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Joseph Benavidez wants answers from Henry Cejudo: ‘There’s not an urgency right now’

Joseph Benavidez’s next fight will likely be for the UFC flyweight title, but he wants to know whom against it’ll be.

UFC night at Target Center in Minneapolis Photo by Alex Kormann/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Joseph Benavidez, on the cusp of fighting for the UFC flyweight title, just wants some answers.

Benavidez, a longtime contender in the division, should be next in line for current 125-pound champion Henry Cejudo. The problem is, Cejudo is still injured and doesn’t know himself if he wants to fight at flyweight again. Cejudo is also the promotion’s bantamweight titleholder.

Benavidez is happy to wait for when Cejudo is ready to fight again, but if “The Messenger” has no real intent to return to the weight class, Benavidez wants him to say so to allow the division to move on.

“There’s not an urgency right now, because [Cejudo] doesn’t fight until March,” Benavidez told MMA Junkie on Thursday. “For me, I would just like an urgency, because I don’t want to wait till March to not fight him. If I fought in January for a vacant flyweight title or something, I could be defending by March. I don’t want to wait for him to make a decision in January when he starts training and it not be me.”

Cejudo, who beat Marlon Moraes this past summer for the vacant 135-pound title following a flyweight title defense in January, underwent shoulder surgery in June. He is likely to return to the cage in the first quarter of 2020.

Cejudo hasn’t committed to his next move, whether at bantamweight or flyweight, but it’s looking less and less likely the two-division champion wants to cut the extra 10 pounds. The weight cut to 125 has always been difficult for Cejudo. UFC president Dana White, however, said recently that Cejudo must fight Benavidez next or give up the flyweight belt.

“I think that’s the problem with the double champ stuff; it’s always real cool when it happens, but a year down the road, you’re like, ‘Well, what are they really doing? What is this guy doing?’” Benavidez said. “It just disables everybody else. For one person, it’s cool, but there’s so many people in every other weight class that’s debilitated there for a moment.”

Benavidez said he is willing to wait until March for a fight with Cejudo, but otherwise wants to fight Deiveson Figueiredo for the vacant belt in January.

In fact, Benavidez said he would actually prefer the Cejudo fight, even though it requires a longer wait, because “it’s a big fight and a good fight.” But more important than anything, Benavidez just wants to know what’s going on.

“I can’t control if he wants to go to bantamweight, if he thinks that’s the bigger, more glamorous fights or whatever,” Benavidez said. “I don’t care. I already beat the guy; it’s really up to him to come back and defend. If I just have to beat another flyweight for the vacant title, that’s fine. It’s on him. You can’t control what other people do.”

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