MMA fans weren’t the only ones who lost out when the Demetrious Johnson-Ian McCall bout was mistakenly ruled a decision in Johnson’s favor and not announced correctly as a draw — Joseph Benavidez is stuck on the sidelines while the other side of the flyweight mini-tournament does a redo.
As part of the flyweight tournament, Johnson-McCall would have gone to a fourth, sudden death round in the event of a draw, establishing a clear winner to face Benavidez in the finals for the vacant UFC flyweight title. Now, the whole tournament is delayed through no fault of the fighters. During a recent appearance on Pro MMA Radio (props to MMAMania for the transcription), Benavidez discussed the entire situation.
“That was madness, it was a great fight (Johnson vs. McCall). It was madness the whole way it ended up. I found out it was a draw at the press conference. So here I was thinking I was fighting ‘Mighty Mouse.’ My initial though of the fight, was honestly, when I was watching it backstage was, I literally thought it could be a draw and that it could go to a fourth round,” said Benavidez. “They threw in that fourth round, which is kind of a shame, you know, they threw it in to use it in the rare case it was a draw, and no one thought the draw was going to actually happen, and when it actually did it got messed up. I just wished they would have announced the draw at the end of the fight, they could do the fourth round and we can get on to the title.”
Though the Team Alpha Male fighter is remaining upbeat, it’s hard for him not to let the disappointment seep in when he sits and thinks about riding the bench against his will.
“I am a little disappointed, I felt like I went out there and I did my job to the fullest, I went out there and got the win and did what I had to do. And so did they, they went out there and did their job and it was messed up by somebody else, it’s not their fault,” he said. “They now get to go out there and fight again, they get to get paid again, they get that exposure you know? People are going to watch that while I get to sit there and not get paid and watch them fight again.
“So it is what it is, they made a mistake and its going to be a great fight again and it can only bring exposure to the flyweight division. Whoever wins that is the most deserving guy to fight for the title, so I’m 100 percent willing to wait that way I can fight the guy that is the best so I can be considered the best. But it is a bummer, I only got to fight twice last year and it looks like I will only get to fight twice this year.”
Johnson and McCall are rumored to have their rematch set for The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale on June 1 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.