Joseph Benavidez

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Joseph Benavidez
Born Joseph Rolando Benavidez
(1984-07-31) July 31, 1984 (age 31)
San Antonio, Texas, United States[1]
Other names Joe B-Wan Kenobi,[2] The Beefcake, Joe Jitsu
Nationality American[3]
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)[1]
Weight 125 lb (57 kg; 8.9 st)[3]
Division Flyweight
Reach 65.0 in (165 cm)[4][5]
Fighting out of Sacramento, California, U.S.[3]
Team Team Alpha Male[6]
Years active 2006-Present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 27
Wins 23
By knockout 6
By submission 9
By decision 8
Losses 4
By knockout 1
By decision 3
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: November 23, 2011

Joseph Rolando Benavidez (born July 31, 1984) is an American mixed martial artist. After fighting in smaller shows while working as a screen printer in Las Cruces, New Mexico, he joined up with Urijah Faber's Team Alpha Male in 2007. He has since fought in Dream and more recently the World Extreme Cagefighting promotion. He currently fights as a flyweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. His fighting style has drawn comparisons to training partner and former WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber. As of August 17, 2015, he is #2 in the official UFC flyweight rankings[7] and ranked the #2 flyweight in the world by Sherdog.[8] On April 27, 2010, the Mayor and City Council of the City of Las Cruces proclaimed April 27 as Joseph Benavidez Day in Las Cruces.[9]

Early life[edit]

Benavidez was born in Texas. He is of Mexican descent. He attended Las Cruces High School where he played varsity football, winning two State Championships,[10] and wrestled varsity for 4 years.[11] In 2000 Benavidez became the State Wrestling Champion of New Mexico at 103 lbs during his sophomore year.[1][12] Benavidez also wrestled one year at William Penn University in Iowa before moving back to Las Cruces, New Mexico.[13][14] Joseph also has one sister. He is a self-confessed movie buff, citing Martin Scorsese as his favorite director. Joseph is married to UFC reporter Megan Olivi.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Team Alpha Male[edit]

Before joining up with Urijah Faber, Benavidez fought in smaller shows and trained while working as a screen printer in New Mexico. Hoping to eventually make a living fighting MMA, he sought out Faber on a trip to California in January 2007. Unable to find Faber's gym, he visited one in Roseville hoping to locate him. There his fighting ability impressed the members and instructors enough (or, in Faber's words: "[he] basically beat the crap out of everyone")[6] to refer him to Faber. This was only hours before Benavidez' flight home was due and he had to leave for the airport, unable to meet up with him.[6]

His flight was then canceled, giving him the chance to meet up with Faber as he had hoped. Benavidez impressed Faber enough to offer him a job at the front desk of his gym, enabling him to leave New Mexico to come train with him and his team. Benavidez then went back to New Mexico, "jammed everything into his car" and moved to California.[6] After fighting with smaller US-based promotions, Benavidez was offered a fight with Norifumi Yamamoto by Japanese MMA-promoter Dream in July 2008 at Dream 5.[6] The bout was canceled only days before the fight,[6] and Benavidez was instead matched against Junya Kodo whom he defeated by guillotine choke submission.

World Extreme Cagefighting[edit]

Benavidez was then signed by US-based World Extreme Cagefighting. On December 3, 2008, he fought Danny Martinez at WEC 37 and won by unanimous decision.[15]

Benavidez faced Jeff Curran on April 5, 2009 at WEC 40.[16] Benavidez dominated Curran from the opening bell with superior grappling and striking, knocking the opponent down in the first round. Curran unsuccessfully attempted an armbar in the second round and a triangle choke in the third round.

Next, Benavidez faced Dominick Cruz on August 9, 2009 at WEC 42.[17] He lost the fight by unanimous decision.

Benavidez fought Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Rani Yahya on December 19, 2009 at WEC 45.[18] Benavidez won via first round TKO.[19]

Benavidez defeated former WEC Bantaweight Champion Miguel Torres on March 6, 2010 at WEC 47.[20] He dominated the former Bantamweight Champion before opening a huge cut on Torres' forehead and submitting the bloodied Torres via guillotine choke.[21]

Bantamweight title shot and beyond[edit]

Benavidez fought Dominick Cruz in a rematch for the WEC Bantamweight Championship on August 18, 2010 at WEC 50.[22] Benavidez lost to Cruz for a second time via split decision.[23]

Benavidez faced Wagnney Fabiano on November 11, 2010, replacing an injured Brian Bowles.[24] Benavidez defeated Fabiano via second round submission. After an uneventful first round of striking between the two, Benavidez stung Fabiano with a left and pounced, submitting the 3rd degree black belt with a guillotine choke at 2:45 of the second round.[25]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

On October 28, 2010, World Extreme Cagefighting merged with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As part of the merger, all WEC fighters were transferred to the UFC.[26]

In his UFC debut, Benavidez faced Ian Loveland on March 19, 2011 at UFC 128.[27] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[28]

Benavidez next fought Eddie Wineland on August 14, 2011 at UFC on Versus 5.[29] Benavidez defeated Wineland by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).[30]

At the UFC 140 post-fight press conference, Dana White announced that Benavidez would be a participant in a four man tournament to crown the new newly created UFC Flyweight (MMA) Championship. Benavidez faced Yasuhiro Urushitani on March 3, 2012 at UFC on FX 2[31] and won via TKO in the second round, earning Knockout of the Night honors for his performance.[32][33]

Benavidez faced Demetrious Johnson on September 22, 2012 at UFC 152 for the inaugural UFC Flyweight Championship. In an incredibly closely contested fight that contained nonstop action at a frenetic pace, he lost the fight in via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46).[34]

Benavidez faced Ian McCall on February 2, 2013 at UFC 156.[35] He won the fight via unanimous decision.

Benavidez then faced Darren Uyenoyama on April 20, 2013 at UFC on Fox 7.[36] He won the fight via TKO in the second round.[37]

Benavidez faced Jussier Formiga on September 4, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 28.[38] He won the fight by TKO in round 1 after dropping Formiga with a knee to the body and following up with punches.[39]

A rematch with Demetrious Johnson was expected for November 30, 2013 at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale.[40] However the bout was shifted to December 14, 2013 at UFC on Fox 9 after that event's headliner was postponed due to injury.[41] Benavidez lost via knockout in the first round, the first time he has been stopped in his MMA career.[42]

Benavidez faced Tim Elliott on April 26, 2014 at UFC 172.[43] Benavidez won the fight in the first round via modified guillotine choke.[44] Elliot was forced to tap with his feet as his arms were trapped by Benavidez's legs. Benavidez has called this submission the "Joa Constrictor". The win also earned Benavidez his first Performance of the Night bonus award.[45]

Benavidez faced Dustin Ortiz on November 22, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 57.[46] Benavidez won the back-and-forth fight via unanimous decision.[47]

Benavidez faced John Moraga on May 23, 2015 at UFC 187.[48] Benavidez won the fight via unanimous decision.[49]

Benavidez was briefly linked to a bout against former Olympic Gold Medalist Henry Cejudo on September 5, 2015 at UFC 191.[50] However, the fight never materialized. In turn, Benavidez faced Ali Bagautinov on October 3, 2015 at UFC 192.[51] Benavidez won the fight via unanimous decision.[52]

Championships & accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 23–4 Ali Bagautinov Decision (unanimous) UFC 192 October 3, 2015 3 5:00 Houston, Texas, United States
Win 22–4 John Moraga Decision (unanimous) UFC 187 May 23, 2015 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 21–4 Dustin Ortiz Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Edgar vs. Swanson November 22, 2014 3 5:00 Austin, Texas, United States
Win 20–4 Tim Elliott Submission (guillotine choke) UFC 172 April 26, 2014 1 4:08 Baltimore, Maryland, United States Performance of the Night.
Loss 19–4 Demetrious Johnson KO (punch) UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2 December 14, 2013 1 2:08 Sacramento, California, United States For the UFC Flyweight Championship.
Win 19–3 Jussier Formiga TKO (knee to the body and punches) UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Bader September 4, 2013 1 3:07 Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Win 18–3 Darren Uyenoyama TKO (body punch) UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez April 20, 2013 2 4:50 San Jose, California, United States
Win 17–3 Ian McCall Decision (unanimous) UFC 156 February 2, 2013 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 16–3 Demetrious Johnson Decision (split) UFC 152 September 22, 2012 5 5:00 Toronto, Ontario, Canada For the UFC Flyweight Championship. UFC Flyweight Tournament Final.
Win 16–2 Yasuhiro Urushitani TKO (punches) UFC on FX: Alves vs. Kampmann March 3, 2012 2 0:11 Sydney, Australia Flyweight debut. UFC Flyweight Tournament Semifinal. Knockout of the Night.
Win 15–2 Eddie Wineland Decision (unanimous) UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle August 14, 2011 3 5:00 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Win 14–2 Ian Loveland Decision (unanimous) UFC 128 March 19, 2011 3 5:00 Newark, New Jersey, United States
Win 13–2 Wagnney Fabiano Submission (guillotine choke) WEC 52 November 11, 2010 2 2:45 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 12–2 Dominick Cruz Decision (split) WEC 50 August 18, 2010 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For the WEC Bantamweight Championship.
Win 12–1 Miguel Torres Submission (guillotine choke) WEC 47 March 6, 2010 2 2:57 Columbus, Ohio, United States Submission of the Night.
Win 11–1 Rani Yahya TKO (punches) WEC 45 December 19, 2009 1 1:35 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 10–1 Dominick Cruz Decision (unanimous) WEC 42 August 9, 2009 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 10–0 Jeff Curran Decision (unanimous) WEC 40 April 5, 2009 3 5:00 Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 9–0 Danny Martinez Decision (unanimous) WEC 37 December 3, 2008 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 8–0 Junya Kodo Submission (guillotine choke) Dream 5 July 21, 2008 1 2:42 Osaka, Japan Featherweight (139 lbs) bout.
Win 7–0 Maurice Eazel Submission (rear-naked choke) PFC 8: A Night of Champions May 8, 2008 1 1:02 Lemoore, California, United States
Win 6–0 Jason Georgianna Submission (guillotine choke) PFC 6: No Retreat, No Surrender January 17, 2008 2 0:38 Lemoore, California, United States
Win 5–0 Rocky Del Monte Submission (triangle choke) Independent Event June 1, 2007 2 N/A Lakeport, California, United States
Win 4–0 Carlos Lovio TKO (punches) Bring it On: Under Destruction April 28, 2007 1 N/A Oxnard, California, United States
Win 3–0 Justin Smitley TKO (doctor stoppage) Warrior Cup 2 April 7, 2007 3 2:18 Stockton, California, United States
Win 2–0 Ramon Rodriguez Submission (triangle choke) Border Warz October 14, 2006 2 2:33 Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Win 1–0 Brandon Shelton Submission (kimura) Universal Fight Promotions June 3, 2006 2 N/A Mescalero, New Mexico, United States

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Profile on". Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  2. ^ "Confirmed Joseph Benavidez Twitter account". March 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "Fight Finder - Joseph Benavidez". 
  4. ^ "Fight Card - UFC 172 Jones vs. Teixeira". Retrieved May 3, 2014. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Probst, Jason (2009-03-13). "Sherdog Prospect Watch: Joseph Benavidez". Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  7. ^ UFC Fighter Rankings
  8. ^ "Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings". January 5, 2014. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Las Cruces Public Schools State Champions" (PDF). Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Joe Benavidez | Ultimate Fitness on Purefight". 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  12. ^ "State Champions Individual" (PDF). 
  13. ^ "The Next Level" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  14. ^ "William Penn University wrestling roster for 2001-02: Joseph Benavidez". Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  15. ^ Damon Martin (November 12, 2008). "Joseph Benavidez vs. Danny Martinez at WEC 37". Retrieved November 12, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Jeff Curran vs Joseph Benavidez WEC 40 fight booked for Chicago April 5". Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  17. ^ "Report: Joseph Benavidez vs. Dominick Cruz set for "WEC 42: Torres vs. Bowles" in August". Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  18. ^ "Joseph Benavidez vs. Rani Yahya set for WEC 45 in December". Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  19. ^ "After surprising start from Yahya, Benavidez claims stoppage just at WEC 45". Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  20. ^ "Miguel Torres vs. Joseph Benavidez set for WEC 47, likely to determine No. 1 contender". 2009-12-31. 
  21. ^ "WEC: Joseph Benavidez knocks out critics and taps out Miguel Torres". 2010-03-07. 
  22. ^ "Cruz vs Benavidez For The Title In August". 2010-06-08. 
  23. ^ "WEC 50: Dominick Cruz beats Joseph Benavidez". August 18, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Bowles Injured; Benavidez Probable Replacement for WEC 52". October 7, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Benavidez uses 'Joe-Jitsu' to submit Fabiano at WEC 52". November 11, 2010. 
  26. ^ "UFC and WEC set to merge in 2011; events to air on Versus and Spike TV". October 28, 2010. 
  27. ^ "UFC 128 gets three more contests, including Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian Loveland". January 4, 2011. 
  28. ^ "UFC 128 Recap Results: Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian Loveland". March 20, 2011. 
  29. ^ "Joseph Benavidez vs Eddie Wineland fight set for UFC on Versus 5 on Aug. 14". May 24, 2011. 
  30. ^ "UFC on Versus 5 Play-by-Play: Joseph Benavidez vs. Eddie Wineland". 2011-08-14. 
  31. ^ "UFC adds flyweights: Johnson vs. McCall, Benavidez vs. Urushitani at UFC on FX 2". December 11, 2011. 
  32. ^ "UFC on FX 2 results: Benavidez TKOs Urushitani, headed to flyweight-tourney final". March 3, 2012. 
  33. ^ "UFC on FX 2 bonuses: Benavidez, Kampmann, Johnson, McCall $50K awards". March 3, 2012. 
  34. ^ "UFC 152 results: Demetrious Johnson edges Joseph Benavidez, claims flyweight title". September 23, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Flyweights Jospeh(sic) Benavidez vs. Ian McCall on tap for UFC 156 in February". December 4, 2012. 
  36. ^ Matt Molgaard (March 6, 2013). "Joseph Benavidez Will Return Against Darren Uyenoyama at UFC on FOX 7". Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  37. ^ Matt Erickson (2013-04-20). "UFC on FOX 7 results/photos: Joseph Benavidez body shot stops Darren Uyenoyama". Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  38. ^ "Joseph Benavidez vs. Jussier Formiga targeted for UFC on FOX Sports 1 3". June 21, 2013. 
  39. ^ "UFC Fight Night 28 Results: Joseph Benavidez crushes Jussier Formiga, back in title contention". September 4, 2013. 
  40. ^ Staff (September 18, 2013). "Joseph Benavidez meets UFC flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson at TUF 18 Finale". Retrieved September 18, 2013. 
  41. ^ Staff (November 10, 2013). "Pettis-Thomson off UFC on FOX 9, Johnson-Benavidez shifts to main event". Retrieved November 10, 2013. 
  42. ^ Matt Erickson (December 14, 2013). "UFC on FOX 9 results, photos: Demetrious Johnson KOs Joseph Benavidez in first". Retrieved December 14, 2013. 
  43. ^ Jesse Holland (2014-02-03). "Joseph Benavidez vs. Tim Elliott booked for UFC 172 on April 26 in Baltimore". Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  44. ^ Ben Fowlkes (2014-04-26). "UFC 172 results and photos: Joseph Benavidez makes Timothy Elliott tap out with his feet". Retrieved 2014-04-26. 
  45. ^ Matt Erickson (2014-04-27). "UFC 172 bonuses: Gomi, Vallie-Flagg, Benavidez, Beal win $50,000". Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  46. ^ Mookie Alexander (2014-08-27). "Joseph Benavidez vs. Dustin Ortiz slated for UFC Fight Night in Austin". Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  47. ^ Steven Marrocco (2014-11-22). "UFC Fight Night 57 results: Joseph Benavidez rolls past Dustin Ortiz for decision sweep". Retrieved 2014-11-22. 
  48. ^ MMA Fighting Newswire (2015-02-18). "UFC 187 rounds out main card with fights between Andrei Arlovski-Travis Browne, John Moraga-Joseph Benavidez". Retrieved 2015-02-18. 
  49. ^ Steven Marrocco (2015-05-23). "UFC 187 results: Joseph Benavidez sweeps John Moraga in 'reckless,' wild slugfest". Retrieved 2015-05-23. 
  50. ^ Jeremy Brand (2015-07-11). "Joseph Benavidez takes on Henry Cejudo in September". Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  51. ^ Staff (2015-08-17). "UFC 192 adds Joseph Benavidez vs. Ali Bagautinov.". Retrieved 2015-08-17. 
  52. ^ Steven Marrocco (2015-10-03). "UFC 192 results: Joseph Benavidez beats Ali Bagautinov by decision". Retrieved 2015-10-03. 
  53. ^

External links[edit]