Joseph Benavidez has called it a career.
The four-time UFC title challenger was removed from the official UFC rankings and fan rankings on Wednesday as it was eventually revealed that he was departing the sport overall.
“I’ve known for a while,” Benavidez told MMA Fighting regarding his retirement. “I’ve always fought to be the best and also because it was fun. I probably knew my last title shot was my last shot ever so that was kind of not going to happen for me.
“I still knew I could compete in the top five. I could beat guys in the top five, top 10 easy but one of the main things is a lot of these guys that are coming up that are killers or I see them, it’s their UFC debut and they take pictures with me in the back and say, ‘I’ve looked up to you for so long, I used to get off school and watch you in WEC with my dad, I look up to you’ — it’s like, I don’t want to fight these guys next, these killers. I don’t want to beat them up or have them beat me up. There was no more fights that were going to be fun.”
The 37-year old Joseph Benavidez ends his career with a 28-8 record having most notably competed in the WEC as bantamweight before making the move to flyweight in the UFC. For the majority of his career, Benavidez had only had losses to Dominick Cruz and Demetrious Johnson on his record — three of those four outings coming in title tilts.
“One half of the people, like the younger generation used to watch me on TV and tell me they look up to me,” Benavidez said. “The other half of the generation, I had the connection with on The Ultimate Fighter. There’s just not fights there for me anymore that excite me to have fun. They’d only be for money or whatever. I’d never looked at it like a job I’m doing for money. It’s always been to have fun and to be the best.”This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM