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Joseph Benavidez announces torn ACL, out of UFC Auckland fight vs. Ben Nguyen

Perennial UFC flyweight contender Joseph Benavidez is injured and out of his June matchup with Ben Nguyen.

MMA: TUF Tournament of Champions-Benavidez vs Cejudo Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As if Henry Cejudo’s late withdrawal from his UFC 211 showdown with Sergio Pettis wasn’t enough of a hit to the flyweight division, two-time title challenger Joseph Benavidez has also suffered an injury.

On Wednesday (prior to the announcement of Cejudo-Pettis being scrapped), Benavidez posted on his Twitter and Instagram pages that he had sustained an injury and would not be able to fight Ben Nguyen at UFC Auckland on Saturday, June 10th (Sunday, June 11th in New Zealand).

Benavidez later revealed on an Instagram video that he’d torn his ACL, which marked the first major injury of his career. It’s also the first time he’s ever withdrawn from a UFC or WEC contest for any reason.

The 32-year-old Benavidez (25-4) last fought in December, narrowly edging out Henry Cejudo by split decision in a thrilling fight. He’s won six straight and his only losses at 125 lbs have been against Demetrious Johnson. Nguyen (17-6) bounced back from a bloody, brutal TKO loss to Louis Smolka by defeating Geane Herrera at UFC Melbourne in November.

The good news for Nguyen is that he has a replacement opponent, and it’s none other than Tim Elliott. UFC officials confirmed on Wednesday that Elliott (14-7-1) has stepped up on short notice, as he looks for another win after last month’s triumph over Smolka.

UFC Auckland is headlined by a heavyweight matchup between Mark Hunt and Derrick Lewis. The main card airs live on Fox Sports 1.

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