Joseph Benavidez knows he should be next in line for a shot at the UFC flyweight title, but also that it’s out of his control whether Henry Cejudo will agree to fight him.
Following a second-round TKO win over Jussier Formiga last weekend in the UFC Minneapolis co-main event, Benavidez said he is the only fight that currently makes sense for Cejudo, the current flyweight and bantamweight champion.
“I’ve realized that I can’t control what the hell everyone else is gonna do,” Benavidez said at the post-fight press conference. “People are crazy. People want different things. They think there’s some imaginary fight and title or something. I don’t know what the heck [Cejudo] is gonna do, but I know his last call-outs didn’t make sense, and I’m the only one that does make sense. I think the competitor in him, and hopefully even the company, will see that that’s the fight to make.”
Benavidez, a former flyweight title challenger who has won three in a row and nine of his last 10, doesn’t plan on starting to call out Cejudo for being “scared,” because he doesn’t believe the double champ is. Cejudo, who’s coming off a 135-pound title win over Marlon Moraes, is expected to be out until the end of the year due to an injury.
“I don’t believe someone like Cejudo would be scared of somebody,” Benavidez said. “He’s avoiding it for whatever reason. It was a hell of a fight the first time, and I know it’s hell in there.”
Benavidez said he will gladly sit out and wait for Cejudo to fully recover. And if the UFC offers him another fight before Cejudo, Benavidez said he would have to “assess” the situation before agreeing to it. After all, he is the No. 1 flyweight and has been in that spot or close by for years.
“I’ve sat out months before,” Benavidez said. “The opponent I want, there’s a huge prize there, and it’s the fight to make. What, I got to wait four or five months I think before he said he can fight? That’s nothing. I’ve fought pretty recently with the (Alex) Perez, (Dustin) Ortiz and this fight — three times already in the last six months. If I have to wait for a surgery to fight for a world title fight — longer time to prepare, to get better, five rounds — that’s not a problem.”