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Zach Makovsky sees a big opportunity to make a case for a title shot in a division hard up for contenders

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LAS VEGAS – As with all reshaped cards, UFC Fight Night 82 is odd on a number of levels. For starters, with the heavyweight title fight between Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum being scotched due to injuries, it’s no longer the pay-per-view it was intended to be.

Then there’s the matchmaking. Roy Nelson, who has lost back-to-back fights and five out of six overall, is fighting Jared Rosholt, who’s won three in a row, and five out of six in the UFC. Such a collision of opposite tending trajectories is unusual.

Although not quite, as something like that’s going on in the flyweight fight between Zach Makovsky and Joseph Benavidez, as well. Makovsky lost his last fight to John Dodson via unanimous decision, and two of three overall. Yet the guy he’s facing, Benavidez, is smoking hot, having won four in a row.

In this case, logic is trumped by circumstance. Benavidez would normally be right there vying for a title shot, but he’s already 0-2 against the man holding the strap, Demetrious Johnson. He’s also 0-2 against the man holding the 135-pound title, Dominick Cruz. Against everyone else he’s a perfect 23-0.

And as with all of those previous 23 guys he’s vanquished, there’s a big opportunity to leapfrog a top contender stuck in purgatory, which is exactly the way “Fun Size” Makovsky is looking at it.

“Anytime you get to fight guys that are at the top of the division it’s great, and Benavidez has been top of 125 and 135 for the last seven or eight years,” he told MMA Fighting at Wednesday’s media day. “So anytime you get a chance to fight a guy like that it’s a huge opportunity. And it is kind of unique because I’m ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting