|Born||Joseph Rolando Benavidez
July 31, 1984
San Antonio, Texas, United States
|Other names||Joe B-Wan Kenobi, The Beefcake, Joe Jitsu|
|Height||5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)|
|Weight||125 lb (57 kg; 8.9 st)|
|Reach||65.0 in (165 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Sacramento, California, U.S.|
|Team||Team Alpha Male|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
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 and ranked the #2 flyweight in the world by Sherdog. 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.
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, and wrestled varsity for 4 years. In 2000 Benavidez became the State Wrestling Champion of New Mexico at 103 lbs during his sophomore year. Benavidez also wrestled one year at William Penn University in Iowa before moving back to Las Cruces, New Mexico. 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
Team Alpha Male
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") 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.
|“||"I had finally found him, and it was at the end of my vacation. I went to airport and my friends dropped me off; [I] was ready to go back to New Mexico and my regular life."||”|
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. 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. The bout was canceled only days before the fight, and Benavidez was instead matched against Junya Kodo whom he defeated by guillotine choke submission.
World Extreme Cagefighting
Benavidez faced Jeff Curran on April 5, 2009 at WEC 40. 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.
Benavidez defeated former WEC Bantaweight Champion Miguel Torres on March 6, 2010 at WEC 47. He dominated the former Bantamweight Champion before opening a huge cut on Torres' forehead and submitting the bloodied Torres via guillotine choke.
Bantamweight title shot and beyond
Benavidez faced Wagnney Fabiano on November 11, 2010, replacing an injured Brian Bowles. 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.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
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 and won via TKO in the second round, earning Knockout of the Night honors for his performance.
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).
A rematch with Demetrious Johnson was expected for November 30, 2013 at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale. However the bout was shifted to December 14, 2013 at UFC on Fox 9 after that event's headliner was postponed due to injury. Benavidez lost via knockout in the first round, the first time he has been stopped in his MMA career.
Benavidez faced Tim Elliott on April 26, 2014 at UFC 172. Benavidez won the fight in the first round via modified guillotine choke. 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.
Benavidez was briefly linked to a bout against former Olympic Gold Medalist Henry Cejudo on September 5, 2015 at UFC 191. However, the fight never materialized. In turn, Benavidez faced Ali Bagautinov on October 3, 2015 at UFC 192. Benavidez won the fight via unanimous decision.
Championships & accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
- World Extreme Cagefighting
- 2010 All-Violence Second Team
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|27 matches||23 wins||4 losses|
|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|
- "Profile on". Wec.tv. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
- "Confirmed Joseph Benavidez Twitter account". March 17, 2011.
- "Fight Finder - Joseph Benavidez".
- "Fight Card - UFC 172 Jones vs. Teixeira". UFC.com. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
- Probst, Jason (2009-03-13). "Sherdog Prospect Watch: Joseph Benavidez". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
- UFC Fighter Rankings
- "Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings". Sherdog.com. January 5, 2014.
- "Las Cruces Public Schools State Champions" (PDF). Retrieved March 20, 2011.
- "Joe Benavidez | Ultimate Fitness on Purefight". Purefight.org. 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
- "State Champions Individual" (PDF).
- "The Next Level" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-07-20.
- "William Penn University wrestling roster for 2001-02: Joseph Benavidez". Statesmenathletics.com. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
- Damon Martin (November 12, 2008). "Joseph Benavidez vs. Danny Martinez at WEC 37". mmaweekly.com. Retrieved November 12, 2008.
- "Jeff Curran vs Joseph Benavidez WEC 40 fight booked for Chicago April 5". www.mmamania.com. Retrieved 2009-11-21.
- "Report: Joseph Benavidez vs. Dominick Cruz set for "WEC 42: Torres vs. Bowles" in August". www.mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2009-05-29.
- "Joseph Benavidez vs. Rani Yahya set for WEC 45 in December". www.mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
- "After surprising start from Yahya, Benavidez claims stoppage just at WEC 45". www.mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- "Miguel Torres vs. Joseph Benavidez set for WEC 47, likely to determine No. 1 contender". mmajunkie.com. 2009-12-31.
- "WEC: Joseph Benavidez knocks out critics and taps out Miguel Torres". bleacherreport.com. 2010-03-07.
- "Cruz vs Benavidez For The Title In August". MMAweekly.com. 2010-06-08.
- "WEC 50: Dominick Cruz beats Joseph Benavidez". mmafighting.com. August 18, 2010.
- "Bowles Injured; Benavidez Probable Replacement for WEC 52". sherdog.com. October 7, 2010.
- "Benavidez uses 'Joe-Jitsu' to submit Fabiano at WEC 52". sports.yahoo.com. November 11, 2010.
- "UFC and WEC set to merge in 2011; events to air on Versus and Spike TV". mmajunkie.com. October 28, 2010.
- "UFC 128 gets three more contests, including Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian Loveland". mmajunkie.com. January 4, 2011.
- "UFC 128 Recap Results: Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian Loveland". bloodyelbow.com. March 20, 2011.
- "Joseph Benavidez vs Eddie Wineland fight set for UFC on Versus 5 on Aug. 14". mmamania.com. May 24, 2011.
- "UFC on Versus 5 Play-by-Play: Joseph Benavidez vs. Eddie Wineland". MMAweekly.com. 2011-08-14.
- "UFC adds flyweights: Johnson vs. McCall, Benavidez vs. Urushitani at UFC on FX 2". mmajunkie.com. December 11, 2011.
- "UFC on FX 2 results: Benavidez TKOs Urushitani, headed to flyweight-tourney final". MMAjunkie.com. March 3, 2012.
- "UFC on FX 2 bonuses: Benavidez, Kampmann, Johnson, McCall $50K awards". MMAjunkie.com. March 3, 2012.
- "UFC 152 results: Demetrious Johnson edges Joseph Benavidez, claims flyweight title". mmajunkie.com. September 23, 2012.
- "Flyweights Jospeh(sic) Benavidez vs. Ian McCall on tap for UFC 156 in February". mmajunkie.com. December 4, 2012.
- Matt Molgaard (March 6, 2013). "Joseph Benavidez Will Return Against Darren Uyenoyama at UFC on FOX 7". bleacherreport.com. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- Matt Erickson (2013-04-20). "UFC on FOX 7 results/photos: Joseph Benavidez body shot stops Darren Uyenoyama". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
- "Joseph Benavidez vs. Jussier Formiga targeted for UFC on FOX Sports 1 3". mmajunkie.com. June 21, 2013.
- "UFC Fight Night 28 Results: Joseph Benavidez crushes Jussier Formiga, back in title contention". mmaweekly.com. September 4, 2013.
- Staff (September 18, 2013). "Joseph Benavidez meets UFC flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson at TUF 18 Finale". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
- Staff (November 10, 2013). "Pettis-Thomson off UFC on FOX 9, Johnson-Benavidez shifts to main event". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
- Matt Erickson (December 14, 2013). "UFC on FOX 9 results, photos: Demetrious Johnson KOs Joseph Benavidez in first". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
- Jesse Holland (2014-02-03). "Joseph Benavidez vs. Tim Elliott booked for UFC 172 on April 26 in Baltimore". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
- Ben Fowlkes (2014-04-26). "UFC 172 results and photos: Joseph Benavidez makes Timothy Elliott tap out with his feet". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-04-26.
- Matt Erickson (2014-04-27). "UFC 172 bonuses: Gomi, Vallie-Flagg, Benavidez, Beal win $50,000". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-04-27.
- Mookie Alexander (2014-08-27). "Joseph Benavidez vs. Dustin Ortiz slated for UFC Fight Night in Austin". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2014-08-27.
- Steven Marrocco (2014-11-22). "UFC Fight Night 57 results: Joseph Benavidez rolls past Dustin Ortiz for decision sweep". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-11-22.
- MMA Fighting Newswire (2015-02-18). "UFC 187 rounds out main card with fights between Andrei Arlovski-Travis Browne, John Moraga-Joseph Benavidez". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2015-02-18.
- Steven Marrocco (2015-05-23). "UFC 187 results: Joseph Benavidez sweeps John Moraga in 'reckless,' wild slugfest". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
- Jeremy Brand (2015-07-11). "Joseph Benavidez takes on Henry Cejudo in September". mmasucka.com. Retrieved 2015-07-11.
- Staff (2015-08-17). "UFC 192 adds Joseph Benavidez vs. Ali Bagautinov.". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
- Steven Marrocco (2015-10-03). "UFC 192 results: Joseph Benavidez beats Ali Bagautinov by decision". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-10-03.