The Ultimate Fighting Championship has booked flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson for his next title defence, and it’s against former opponent and #1 contender Joseph Benavidez. Considering what the Team Alpha Male fighter has done since Johnson eked by him with a split decision win last September, it’s a scrap that makes sense.
The two will battle at the upcoming November 30th, TUF 18 Finale, which will go down at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Benavidez (19-3) won’t spend a lot of time on the sidelines in between fights, as the 29 year-old just took out Jussier “Formiga” in impressive fashion at UFC FN 28 on September 4th. Since he lost to Johnson the first go around, Benavidez has won three straight fights, which includes victories over Darren Uyenoyama and fellow contender Ian McCall. The only other man to beat Benavidez to date is bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz, who has scored a split decision and UD win over him in the WEC and UFC.
Johnson (18-2) has fought two times since he battled Benavidez last year. In January the dynamic fighter earned a UD win over John Dodson, and more recently in July, Johnson tapped out John Moraga with a fifth round, armbar (and silenced some of his ‘he only gets decisions’ critics). Since arriving in the UFC Johnson has gone 6-1-1, and his only loss in the Octagon also came against Cruz.
This is good news, as not only does Benavidez deserve another shot, but Johnson has already defeated everyone in the top five except John Lineker.
The only other bout to be confirmed for the TUF 18 Finale (aside from the show’s finals themselves) is Gray Maynard versus Nate Diaz.
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