Fresh off a fifth consecutive victory, Joseph Benavidez was hoping to secure one more shot at UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
Instead, he was left to vent following news that Johnson would defend his title in April against Henry Cejudo.
The former U.S. Olympic gold medalist in 10-0 in his career and 4-0 in the UFC, but Benavidez (24-4) doesn’t believe he’s earned his title shot.
“He hasn’t beat the top guys,” said Benavidez, who’s only two Octagon defeats have come vs. Johnson. “When he beat (Jussier Formiga), no one after was like, ‘oh, I can’t wait to see that guy fight for the title.’
“That’s how I felt about it. That he didn’t earn it.”
Benavidez, 31 years old, has win his last five fights – four of which have gone to the scorecards – since a 2013 knockout defeat to “Mighty Mouse.” He was on the losing end of a split decision to Johnson four years ago in the finals of the tournament to crown the first-ever UFC flyweight champion.