Joseph Benavidez has retired.
A longtime contender, Benavidez (28-8 MMA, 19-7 UFC) has hung up his gloves after 36 skilled MMA fights – 26 of which got here within the UFC. A staple of the UFC flyweight division’s higher echelon, Benavidez challenged for the 125-pound title on 4 events – twice towards Demetrious Johnson and twice towards Deiveson Figueiredo.
MMA Junkie verified the information with a number of folks near the state of affairs, who requested anonymity as a result of Benavidez has but to formally make the announcement. According to sources, Benavidez instructed the UFC to take away him from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing pool.
Benavidez’s spouse, UFC correspondent Megan Olivi, subsequently confirmed the information on social media (by way of Twitter):
Retirement adventures are gonna be enjoyable ☺️?❤️ My King Forever @JoeJitsu
— Megan Olivi (@MeganOlivi) September 15, 2021
Benavidez, 37, exits the UFC after three straight losses. He most lately competed at UFC 259 in March when he was defeated by Askar Aksarov by way of unanimous choice.
In June 2006, Benavidez made his skilled MMA debut on the California regional scene. With an 8-0 report in July 2008, Benavidez made his WEC debut with a unanimous choice win over Danny Martinez. He’d go 5-2 in WEC along with his solely losses coming by a unanimous and a cut up choice towards Dominick Cruz.
Upon the UFC-WEC merger in 2011, Benavidez made his promotional debut at UFC 128 towards Ian Loveland, a bout he received by way of unanimous choice. Two fights later, he dropped to flyweight for the promotion’s four-man match for the inaugural title. After a win over Yasuhiro Urushitani, Benavidez misplaced a cut up choice to Demetrious Johnson within the promotion’s first flyweight title battle.
Three extra wins returned Benavidez to problem Johnson in December 2013. In that battle, “Mighty Mouse” knocked out Benavidez in 2:08. Following the bout, Benavidez received six straight earlier than a cut up choice loss to Sergio Pettis in June 2018.
Victories over Alex Perez, Dustin Ortiz, and Jussier Formiga earned Benavidez one other title shot after Henry Cejudo, a fighter he defeated in 2016, vacated the championship. Benavidez was completed with strikes by Deiveson Figueiredo. However, since Figueiredo missed weight, a right away rematch for the vacant title was booked. In July 2020, Benavidez misplaced the rematch by way of first-round submission.
Benavidez holds the report for many knockout wins in UFC flyweight historical past (13) and shares the report with Johnson for many wins total within the historical past of the burden class (13). His 4 fight-night bonuses for 125-pound bouts rank second all-time behind Johnson (9).