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Saturday, 06/16/2012, 12:55 pm

Joseph Benavidez Ready To Put Dark Past Behind Him And Become Champion | UFC News

By Jamie McAllister
Joseph Benavidez in an interview with Pro MMA Radio.

Joseph Benavidez defeated Yasuhiro Urushitani at UFC on FX: Alves vs. Kampmann and claimed his place in the bout for the UFC Flyweight Title. However in the other semi-final between Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall it was wrongly scored a split-decision victory for Johnson when it was a draw and should have gone to a fourth round.

Three months later Demetrious Johnson got the victory over Ian McCall and the title bout was set however Johnson suffered a hernia in the bout and Benavidez is forced to wait a little longer.

Benavidez comments on the lay-off which could see him making his return to the octagon late in the year.

“The layoff has been a little frustrating. You know, I waited so long for this weight class to open and it finally opens and I was like, “Alright, were going to get rolling, I’ going to be on T.V., I’m going to get this fight, I’m going to win the belt in my second fight.” Now, I am back in the same position, kind of, just waiting at (1)25. There is nothing we can do about the debacle that happened, but, I just got to take the cards that are given to me and make a positive out of it. I could look at this and be like, “Oh my God, I have so much time off. I’m going to eat, vacation, and do this and do that.” I don’t party, so, I don’t know what else I would do. Or, I could look at this time and make some improvements. That’s all I’ve done. All this does is give me that much more time to get better. I am going to be a lot more dangerous fighter in October, November, September or where the fight happens, than I would have been in July or August because as a fighter I am getting better everyday.”

Benavidez also comments on his opponent Demetrious Johnson as well as the talent in the Flyweight division.

“It’s going to be an awesome fight. Look at the divisions in the flyweight division so far. Every fight has been outstanding, action packed. The tournament fights, the two fights that were in Jersey with Dodson and Elliot and Gaudinot and Linecker. If you guys haven’t seen those, go back and watch them, they were awesome. Every fight has been great and now we have the two very best guys in the division fighting for everything at stake. So, there is no way this can’t just be and outstanding fight. Put me and “Mighty Mouse” just sparring together, rolling together or fighting in our backyard, it’s going to be an exciting fight either way. Put us in there for the first flyweight title ever and it’s going to be like a battle for the ages. In this division, I think I am better than anyone anywhere. At 135 I definitely thought I could beat everyone but I always had to adapt my game to a certain fighter. At this weight class, I could literally fight to all of my strengths. I think I have every strength advantage on D.J. I’m not delusional, I think he has the speed advantage on me, I think he has the speed advantage on anybody. But, it’s not so much of an advantage that I can’t make up for my timing and my power. My timing and my power are going to negate that speed on the feet and I think I have better submissions and our wrestling is both up there but I think I am better MMA grappling wise.”

He also comments on his personal life and reveals he could have gone down a very different path.

“It’s been a bit of a tough road for me. Every male in my family has had either a drinking or drug problems. I was the same in that department. I am the only one in my family actually not to go to prison, as far as my immediately family. My father went to prison when I was a kid at 6 or 7. So I ended up not growing up with him and that was because of drugs and alcohol. All through my run in the UFC my younger brother and my older brother have been in prison the last four years, so I haven’t had the support of them. I kind of saw myself down the same road. I was never really a bad kid, but I think it was kind of in my blood to be addicted to drugs and drinking. When I went back from college and lived in New Mexico, I didn’t really have much to do. I had a regular job and I wasn’t competing in anything. All through college and after, I got pretty deep into it where I was drinking and really doing drugs every single day. It just came to a point where I knew I didn’t want to live that life anymore and I didn’t necessarily think I was going to turn it around and be a fighter on be on the cover of magazines. That’s just what happened through trying to better my life. I just didn’t want to do what I was doing anymore. That just wasn’t me. I was hurting a lot of people and letting a lot of people down. The way it happened, I was basically at the lowest point of my life I could be. Me and my buddy made a pact to kind of stop drinking and stop living the way we were. The great thing about that now is I’m doing what I’m doing and my friend who also stopped drinking with me, now graduated from medical school and he is a doctor.”

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