Having lost twice to UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, it’s going to take a tremendous effort by Joseph Benavidez, despite being the next best in the division, to get back to a title shot.
His quest continues at the UFC Fight Night event on Nov. 22 in Austin, Texas.
UFC officials on Tuesday announced that Benavidez will next face Dustin Ortiz in Texas.
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Benavidez (20-4) lost to Johnson the first time via split decision in the flyweight tournament final, which crowned the UFC’s first 125-pound champ. Johnson then became the first man to ever knock Benavidez out when they rematched late last year.
Since the most recent loss to Johnson, Benavidez went on to submit another top flyweight in Tim Elliott, retaining his position as one the division’s strongest contenders, despite having been unable to capture the crown thus far.
He’ll try to remain on a roll against Ortiz (14-3), who had his own title aspirations slowed by a split decision loss to Jussier Formiga in January of this year.
Ortiz has rebounded with split-decision victories over Ray Borg and Justin Scoggins, but a win over Benavidez would catapult him forward in his hunt for a title shot.