Joseph Benavidez is hanging up the gloves after a deeply revered run within the Final Preventing Championship (UFC) and the larger combined martial arts (MMA) sphere.
Benavidez (28-8 MMA, 19-7 UFC) has retired from the game, in line with MMA Junkie. The four-time UFC title challenger requested to be faraway from the U.S. Anti-Doping Company (USADA) testing pool. Benavidez subsequently confirmed the retirement to ESPN.
“I type of knew I wasn’t gonna battle, however I used to be simply type of letting it linger,” Benavidez stated. “You by no means know. Nevertheless it’s simply come to that time.
“These guys are killers,” he continued. “They’re all the blokes I’m gonna battle subsequent. All these killers coming in that will be my subsequent battle are coming as much as me and saying, ‘Dude, I’ve to take an image with you. I used to return house from college and watch the WEC with my dad…’ That each one feels actually nice to listen to. Nevertheless it’s not enjoyable for me to battle a man who tells me that. I don’t wish to beat them up or for them to beat me up, both.”
Benavidez challenged for the UFC Flyweight title on 4 events: for the inaugural title towards Demetrious Johnson at UFC 152 in Sept. 2012, a second battle with “Mighty Mouse” in Dec. 2013, and twice towards Deiveson Figueiredo in Feb. 2020 and July 2020.
“I don’t suppose it’s something I anticipated to do or be,” he stated of being a pioneer. “I don’t know. I can’t even actually clarify how, I suppose, I could be actually thought of that. You’re not doing it to be that. You’re doing it since you like it. It’s a bizarre factor. It’s a type of issues the place one thing occurs and it’s actually good, however you may’t even think about it being that good.”
Megna Olivi, Benavidez’s spouse of six years, acknowledged the retirement in a tweet posted on Wednesday.
“Retirement adventures are gonna be enjoyable,” she wrote, tagging Benavidez. “My King Endlessly.”
UFC President Dana White additionally supplied a press release on the retirement information.
“Joe Benavidez has been a pillar of the lighter weight divisions for years,” White informed ESPN. “Since becoming a member of WEC in 2008 after which UFC in 2011, he’s used his unstoppable tempo and nasty guillotine to stay on the high of two divisions for 13 years… His epic battles with [Dominick] Cruz, [Demetrious] Johnson and [Henry] Cejudo won’t ever be forgotten. He was a relentless skilled and carried himself in a method that demanded respect from his friends.”
Finally, Benavidez lived out his goals and as soon as that keenness fizzled, it was time to maneuver on.
“For 10 years, I’ve been in title rivalry,” he concluded. “Two completely different weight courses. It was type of bizarre as a result of I might all the time suppose to myself, ‘Is it bizarre for different folks to battle and know they’ll by no means win the title? Or are they simply doing it for the job?’
‘I by no means felt prefer it was a job to me. I didn’t need it to change into like that, both. I all the time simply fought to be the most effective. After my final title battle, I felt I’ll most likely by no means go for a title once more. Then it’s like, what am I actually doing it for?”
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