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Joseph Benavidez: ‘Brilliance’ of Demetrious Johnson crippled the flyweight division forever

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Number two-ranked flyweight Joseph Benavidez has his own thoughts on why his weight class is not very popular among fans.

The UFC’s flyweight division has not really been popular among fans. So much so that it has been threatened to be shut down multiple times, with T.J. Dillashaw going as far as saying that he was hired by the UFC to kill the division.

For top-ranked 125-pounders like Joseph Benavidez, Henry Cejudo’s win over Dillashaw on Saturday night was a strong statement on their behalf. But as for being constantly cold-shouldered by fans and observers, he has his own theories.

“I think a lot of it has to do with just the brilliance of DJ crippled the division forever,” Benavidez told reporters during a post-fight scrum. “People didn’t love him, so maybe they didn’t love the rest of everything. I think that’s all people knew, and people didn’t enjoy him as much as they probably should have.

“But there’s a whole world of guys out there, guys training right now. Future champions, future stars and let’s give everybody a chance.”

Benavidez (27-5, with 16 wins by stoppage) was part of Saturday night’s ESPN +1 card in Brooklyn, where he won via unanimous decision in a rematch against Dustin Ortiz.