Joseph Benavidez may be moving to 125 pounds to compete in the first ever UFC flyweight tournament, but that doesn’t mean his time at bantamweight is done.
Benavidez, who went 7-2 during his time between the WEC and UFC as a bantamweight, isn’t closing the door on a return there despite his new home at flyweight.
The problem that Benavidez was having at bantamweight had nothing to do with an inability to hang with bigger fighters.
The only two losses that Benavidez has in his entire career are courtesy of current UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, so unfortunately he was stuck in limbo unless the promotion opted to see the two square off for a third time at some point down the road.
Add to that, Benavidez’s longtime teammate and training partner Urijah Faber is the one challenging Cruz next for the belt. Benavidez has said on numerous occasions that he has zero desire to face him at any point. The move to flyweight was just natural.
That doesn’t mean, however, that Benavidez won’t return to 135 pounds at some point in the future.
“I’m not against it. I definitely would like to go up and fight again and see what happens,” said Benavidez when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio.
“I’ll fight at 35 again if the fights are right. Superfights are always something the UFC wants to do, so we’ll see what happens. I’m definitely not against it.”
The focus right now for Benavidez is only on winning his fight at UFC on FX 2 March 3 in Australia against Japanese fighter Yasuhiro Urushitani, and then moving onto the finals of the flyweight tournament to claim the championship.
Still, Benavidez knows he is just now starting to hit his peak as a fighter, and as time goes on, he definitely sees conquering the bantamweight division as a goal.
“In my mind I will fight at 35 again. I’m going to be fighting for a long time, probably in the UFC for the rest of my career,” said Benavidez. “35 is probably going to happen again.”