Henry Cejudo’s reign at flyweight is ending, and Joseph Benavidez is set to face Deiveson Figueiredo for the vacant flyweight title this February.
Benavidez shared the story of how the title bout was booked, saying it was a very quick process for everyone involved.
“They already had the date and the event planned. So [the UFC] said ‘hey we’re going to make a title fight for that day and we’re going to tell Henry he can be a part of it or not,” Benavidez told MMA Fighting.
“The next thing they did, literally the day after, they said it’s you and Figueiredo for the vacant [title]. So it was a quick, good process.”
As Benavidez shared, Cejudo didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. “Triple C” though tried to shift the narrative the moment this title fight was announced, saying he isn’t being stripped of the title, he is relinquishing it.
Either way, Benavidez says he never believed that Cejudo ever planned on defending the flyweight belt.
“I don’t think he ever did,” Benavidez said. “I think we could have got him down for a crazy amount of money but that’s not the fight to make for a ton of money and you have to earn that, too, from his perspective.
“So I don’t really think he ever did [intend on coming back to flyweight]. For one, he would never say it publicly but also anyone that I knew personally that talked to him said ‘honestly, he’s not interested in going down again.’ I honestly never think he wanted to do it.”