Joseph Benavidez got two cracks at the WEC bantamweight title, but both fights saw champion Dominick Cruz leave the victor. With the idea of another chance at Cruz and title drifting away, Benavidez opted to drop to flyweight.
“No matter what I did after that, I would be ranked No. 2 in the world the whole time I was never going to get another title shot,” said Benavidez to Bleacher Report. “With the [flyweight] division so new, I just wanted to see it develop, and I feel like I had just fought Mighty Mouse. That’s kind of the outlook I’ve took since that.”
To name the inaugural flyweight champion, the UFC held a four person tournament. Benavidez made it to the finals before taking a split-decision defeat to Demetrious Johnson. He returns later today at UFC Fight Night 28 against Jussier Formiga.
Formiga is 1-1 for the UFC and got a decision in May opposite Chris Cariaso.
They’re on the main card of UFC Fight Night 28, which comes from the Mineirinho Arena in Brazil. FightLine will have play-by-play of the card.