It has now been three years since UFC flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez shared the Octagon. The last time the pair met inside the Octagon, Johnson picked up a 1st round KO win to retain his title for the third time. That fight came just over a year after the pair had their first meeting in 2012, where Johnson picked up a split decision win to win the UFC flyweight championship.
Now, in the midst of a 6-fight win streak that recently saw him pick up a split decision win over Henry Cejudo at the TUF 24 Finale in December, Benavidez is hopeful that he will be able to secure a trilogy fight with the flyweight champ.
He spoke to MMAJunkie:
“I would assume the only thing that could be next is another match with ‘Mighty Mouse,’ which I want,” Benavidez said. “That’s all I want. That’s kind of what would complete me, in a way. That’s kind of all I really want or need, and I think that’s really the only option. So I guess the only thing I’m waiting for is when it’s going to happen.”
“If I beat him, we’d have another fight – and I truly believe I can,” Benavidez said. “But if I lose three to somebody, yeah – I’m not going to fight him again. With Demetrious, it’s not necessarily about the wins and losses. I’m comfortable losing – it happens. You can’t control your loss or your win. You can do everything to control it, but you can only control yourself. You can’t control what the other guy is doing. You can just go out and try to fight your best. With both the Demetrious fights, even when I lost, I didn’t feel like I was done and I fought my best or performed my best.
“… I want to fight Demetrious and feel like, ‘Hey, he beat me when I fought my best.’ And I don’t think he’s done that yet, and I haven’t, either, on my part. That’s really what it’s about.”
For Benavidez, a rematch with Henry Cejudo could very well be the next step. Although Benavidez was awarded the decision, many, including UFC President Dana White, believed Cejudo won the fight. The UFC President even went as far as to text Cejudo after the fight and apologize for the judges scoring of the bout.