You have to feel for Joseph Benavidez.
After his loss at UFC Norfolk he has now tied the record for most title fights without a victory. Though this latest setback has was against a fighter who effectively bought a weight advantage, this might be it for Joseph Benavidez. He took his feelings to the mic and said one word that immediately stuck out: nightmare.
Across the world aspiring MMA fighters dream of one day winning the coveted UFC belt. Even most who never progress past one or two fights can hear it in their head. “And the new…”
After the announcement by Bruce Buffer, it’s an interview with Joe Rogan or Michael Bisping for the new champion. They plan out their speech, thank the ones who supported them to the elite level, and tell the world how they feel having achieved their dreams. All aspiring fighters have thought this –even for a fleeting moment.
Benavidez mentioned the speech he’ll never get to make, the thank you’s he’ll never get to give, and that the events that transpired in Norfolk Virginia were a nightmare. Joseph Benavidez chased Dominick Cruz for five years. Twelve wins and two losses later, Cruz is the only man he can’t best. Cruz goes on to a UFC hall of fame career.
The UFC then opens up a flyweight division, and Benavidez gets the first title shot. His opponent is another contender with a loss to Cruz is Demetrius “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. Johnson beats Benavidez by close split decision and wins the rematch a couple years later. Mighty Mouse sustains a career that cements him as one of the greatest of all time.
Benavidez then rebuilds and loses one battle in ten fights during the last six years.
He even takes a “W” over Henry Cejudo, who unfortunately did not have a belt at the time. Finally it was his turn for another shot at the title. Cue Joseph’s opponent coming in three pounds overweight. Cue Joseph losing another title fight.