Not like this.
Joseph Benavidez knows he’s never getting within title shot range again following his fourth failed attempt to capture the UFC flyweight title at UFC Fight Night 172, but the fourteen-year MMA veteran isn’t willing to hang up the gloves just yet.
Benavidez was submitted by Deiveson Figueiredo in the first round of the main event, but this was no ordinary submission loss. Figueiredo dropped Benavidez multiple times and choked him unconscious. It was, by all metrics, a complete thrashing — arguably the most lopsided defeat of Benavidez’ career.
Speaking to reporters at the UFC Fight Night post-fight press conference, a highly emotional Benavidez explained why he won’t retire following his latest loss.
“My goal in this sport is to be the best, be the champion,” Benavidez said, per MM Fighting’s Damon Martin. “I knew last fight was my last title attempt. It wasn’t ‘cause of circumstances but this one certainly was. I wasn’t fighting in this sport from the beginning for any other reason than to be the best. I’ve been close. I’ve been lucky. I’ve been in that top-two, -three for 11 years at two weight classes. It’s been a crazy journey. It’s been awesome.
“I’m not going out like that. Nothing’s guaranteed in this sport for sure. But I’m not going to get another title shot and I don’t want to go out on that. I just want to go out with another fight. After that, there’s nothing else for me to do. I’m not going to beat 10 guys again. I know that was my last title shot but like I just said, I don’t want to go out on that.”
“If I lose, fight again until I win,” he added. “So that’s kind of where I’m at.”
As of writing, Benavidez, 35, is ranked #2 in the UFC flyweight rankings.