4-time UFC title challenger Joseph Benavidez is retiring after 15 years as knowledgeable.
Benavidez, 37, hangs up his gloves with a 28-8 MMA report that features wins over a laundry record of high bantamweights and flyweights throughout his 13-year run within the now-defunct WEC and the UFC, the place he established a status as a perennial contender at 125 kilos and beat again numerous up-and-comers.
Benavidez confirmed the information with MMA Combating on Wednesday.
In accordance with the 36-fight veteran, the choice to retire was really made a while in the past however he simply hadn’t made the formal announcement but.
“I’ve recognized for some time,” Benavidez informed MMA Combating. “I’ve at all times fought to be the very best and in addition as a result of it was enjoyable. I in all probability knew my final title shot was my final shot ever in order that was form of not going to occur for me.
“I nonetheless knew I may compete within the high 5. I may beat guys within the high 5, high 10 simple however one of many foremost issues is a variety of these guys which might be developing which might be killers or I see them, it’s their UFC debut and so they take footage with me within the again and say, ‘I’ve regarded as much as you for therefore lengthy, I used to get off faculty and watch you in WEC with my dad, I look as much as you’ — it’s like, I don’t wish to combat these guys subsequent, these killers. I don’t wish to beat them up or have them beat me up. There was no extra fights that had been going to be enjoyable.”
The best way Benavidez noticed it, he actually didn’t have any actually compelling matchups left out there that wouldn’t additionally contain another form of battle of curiosity in his personal thoughts.
“One half of the folks, just like the youthful technology used to observe me on TV and inform me they appear as much as me,” Benavidez defined. “The opposite half of the technology, I had the reference to on The Final Fighter. There’s simply not fights there for me anymore that excite me to have enjoyable. They’d solely be for cash or no matter. I’d by no means checked out it like a job I’m doing for cash. It’s at all times been to have enjoyable and to be the very best.
“It’s not likely enjoyable to me to combat those who I coached on The Final Fighter or those who regarded as much as me. It’s not likely enjoyable to not combat to be the very best both. Taking these two issues into consideration, it simply wasn’t there anymore and it’s time to maneuver on.”
Benavidez’s retirement was first reported by MMA Junkie, which reported he withdrew himself from the UFC drug testing program overseen by the U.S. Anti-Doping Company.
In March, Benavidez suffered his third straight loss, a choice setback towards Askar Askarov at UFC 259, after a pair of stoppage losses in fights for the UFC flyweight title towards Deiveson Figueiredo. The Brazilian knocked him out within the first assembly following an unintentional headbutt, however was ineligible to win the title as a result of he missed weight. Within the rematch, Figueiredo submitted Benavidez within the second spherical to say the title.
Benavidez owns victories over a bevy of champions and UFC title challengers: Alex Perez, Henry Cejudo, Ali Bagautinov, John Moraga, and Tim Elliott. As a bantamweight within the now-defunct WEC, he additionally defeated names resembling Miguel Torres and Rani Yahya. However he struggled in title bouts, struggling back-to-back losses to WEC (and later UFC) bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz, and as a UFC flyweight towards now-former Demetrious Johnson, who additionally beat him twice.
Benavidez is tied with Johnson for probably the most wins within the UFC flyweight division and holds the report for many fights (19) and most knockouts at flyweight (5). He has captured six post-fight bonuses within the WEC and UFC.
Earlier than his loss to Askarov, Benavidez indicated he would soldier on in his effort to win a UFC title, however he additionally indicated he may dangle up his gloves.
“What I’ve performed my complete profession is go after this title and be so near it, I’ve stated many occasions that’s my purpose,” Benavidez stated. “As soon as I do know I can’t be the very best, there’s not likely a degree for me to combat.
“Some folks do it for this, some folks do it for that, however I don’t do it to be the fifteenth greatest on the earth. I can nonetheless show I’m top-of-the-line after even these final two fights the place I’m not going to be ‘the very best’ and I can nonetheless go combat on the high with the very best, and that’s what I wish to do.”