Joseph Benavidez cemented his position as the top contender in the UFC’s flyweight division with a hard-fought second-round stoppage of Jussier Formiga.
Joe Jitsu was a man on a mission in the UFC Minneapolis co-main event as he managed to overcome some early adversity to see off the in-form Jussier Formiga in the second-round.
After suffering a cut that seemed to light a fire under his belly, the UFC and WEC veteran managed to swing the fight’s momentum completely in his favour with a sharp head-kick, one he followed up with a barrage of punches to finish the job.
Since losing his 2013 title-fight rematch against Demetrious Johnson – his last shot at the belt – Benavidez has gone 8-1, losing only to Sergio Pettis and never once slipping outside of the top-3.
Seen by many as one of the most underrated fighters on the roster, Benavidez’s return to the position of title-challenger will surely happen in his next outing, despite the ambitions of the sitting champion Henry Cejudo.
Taking to the mic directly after, Benavidez made a point of reminding Cejudo about the 2016 split-decision victory he holds over him while daring him to return to the 125lb ranks.
“They call me ‘Joey Two-Times’. I beat Ortiz two times, I beat Formiga two times, next, beating Cejudo two times. Ton of respect for that guy, he’s calling out a lot of fights that don’t make sense.
“He know’s I’m the hardest one out there, he knows I’m going to come after him every second. That’s the fight to make.
“I’ll be waiting when he gets out of his surgery. I’ll be in this division that I started, that I’ve been fighting in for my whole career. Come back down!”
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena