by Brian Lopez-Benchimol – MMAWeekly.com
Since his inception into the WEC, Joseph Benavidez
has been doing anything but ask for an easy fight. In his four fights with the
promotion, having gone 3-1 with his sole loss coming to the hands of now top
contender Dominick Cruz, Benavidez has picked up impressive victories over
former title challengers Jeff Curran and Rani Yahya.
So to say that Benavidez was excited when he received word that the WEC
brass had chose him to face former divisional king Miguel Torres would be a
“I was pumped. I didn’t hesitate at all,” he told MMAWeekly.com
It was right after my Yahya fight, there was talks of (the Torres
match-up), and I kind of expected it. When (the WEC proposed the match-up), I
was already prepared for it,” explained Benavidez.
“I knew it was going to happen and that was a fight I’ve been waiting
for as long as I’ve been training, so I jumped at the opportunity.”
While Yahya and Curran proved to be good measuring sticks as far as
evaluating where Benavidez stacks up amongst some of the toughest and best in
his division, he’s only in there for one reason.
“I’m in there to fight the best,” said the surging 135-pound prospect.
“I don’t want easy fights. I want fights that are going to get me a
title shot. Of course the paycheck and getting the win are important, but I
think I can beat anyone anyway. So I’ll fight whoever and there’s more at
stake, there’s a lot more to gain beating a guy like Miguel,” he added.
“I think it’s a great fight for me. It puts me right back in title contention.
I could have fought another guy and beat him and not been up for the title
fight. I beat (Miguel) then I’m right there. This is just huge for my career
and it’s just going to be fun. Miguel’s a great fighter.”
Torres’ frame has offered all of his opponents a problem, as he is
recognized not only as one of the best in his class, but also one if it’s
tallest. For this, Benavidez was able to call upon the help of a close and
personal friend: Snoop Dogg.
“It’s real convenient down here at Alpha Male, having all of these
five-foot-four-inch, five-foot-five-inch wrestlers to (train with in
preparation to) fight Miguel, a five-foot-ten-inch guy. That works out real
good,” said the Team Alpha Male product.
“Well, Snoop Dogg is a good friend of mine, actually I’ve seen him come
in. They have the same body style, him and Miguel. Yeah, he came down, so that
was good,” joked the always colorful Benavidez.
With current champ Brian Bowles and challenger Dominick Cruz called in
for headlining duties for WEC 47 in Columbus, Ohio, the same night the Torres
and Benavidez bout is to take co-main event honors, Benavidez has heard the
On several occasions, Torres has stated that whether Bowles should
remain champion or not come Saturday night, Torres will be gunning for him.
With nearly 40professional fights to his credit, it wouldn’t be out of the
realm of possibility that Torres could be overlooking the Sacramento, Calif.,
native (who holds a subtle 11-1 record), and Benavidez doesn’t mind one bit.
“I kind of hope he is,” said Benavidez while a guest on MMAWeekly Radio.
“I think that would definitely play into my favor, and if that is what’s
happening, then I like that. I don’t mind it at all. I think Jeff Curran kind
of did that to me, looking towards Miguel, and I went in there and surprised
“I would like it if he’s looking towards (Brian) Bowles. I’ll just sneak
in and shine and that’d be great.”