There’s no denying that Joseph Benavidez has had a huge year, as not only has the flyweight won three straight fights, he’ll challenge Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight title tonight at UFC on FOX 9. If he wins, then the Team Alpha Male member will have had one of the best 2013 campaigns in the sport.
Of course, the two have fought before, as Johnson earned a split decision win over Benavidez last September to secure the flyweight belt. If Johnson wins again, then as long as “Mighty Mouse” has the belt, one would think Benavidez could have a long road back to a title shot. So does the talented fighter feel extra pressure as a result? Surprisingly he says no.
Here is some of what Benavidez had to say on that subject of pressure while speaking to MMA Junke.com recently:
“Now it’s way easier, just because I’m never going to build anything up to be as colossal as that fight was to me,” Benavidez said while referring to his first encounter with Johnson. “Once I built that up and I didn’t win, that was the worst thing that could happen, according to how I’d built it up in my mind. I thought my life was over. I counted on that title and that win happening so much, and for it not to happen was devastating. At the same time, it was alright. I realized that later.”
“That was the worst thing that could happen there and I went through it, so now what’s the worst that could happen?” Benavidez said. “How bad could it be? Now it feels like Demetrious is just a dude and this is just another fight.”
That’s an interesting way of looking at it. If you’re wondering, the betting lines have Benavidez as a slight underdog in the +100 to +130 range heading into tonight. It should be a ridiculously faced paced and entertaining fight.
UFC on FOX 9 will go down at Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena.