Joseph Benavidez Recovered from ACL Tear, Set to Return at UFC 225

Joseph Benavidez

After being out of action since December of 2016, one of if not the most underrated fighters in the sport’s history is back. Perennial #1 ranked flyweight contender, two-time flyweight title challenger, and former WEC bantamweight title challenger, Joseph Benavidez will make his comeback against Sergio Pettis at UFC 225 in Chicago, Illinois, June 9, reports the Chicago Tribune.

PhotoCred: MMAMania

Early on, Sergio Pettis was living in the shadow of his big brother, Anthony and was mostly just known for being the “little Pettis”. But he has quickly come into his own and is a top 5 ranked contender in the UFC’s flyweight division at only age twenty-four.

Pettis was on a solid four-fight win streak before he had it snapped in his last fight by Benavidez’ most recent rival, Henry Cejudo. From one top contender to another, Pettis isn’t looking for any easy opponents. Prior to this announcement, he had called out fellow perennial top flyweight, Jussier Formiga after his impressive victory over Ben Nguyen at UFC 221.

Joseph Benavidez has only lost four times in his twenty-nine professional bouts. All four only coming to two of the greatest fighters of all time. First being the bantamweight legend and longtime ruler, Dominick Cruz and the other being the still reigning, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.

Benavidez has rattled off a staggering six-fight winning streak since his last fight with Johnson and despite having been beaten twice by the champ, many felt it might be the time that you have to give Benavidez another shot. A win over Pettis would make it even more difficult.

According to Henry Cejudo’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, Cejudo will be rematching Johnson in the Summertime so if Benavidez does manage to win and earn a title shot, it could very well be a rematch no matter what. That’s assuming Johnson doesn’t fight the bantamweight champion after a potential win of his own…

Who do you have in this exciting flyweight clash?

 

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/26/2018.