That's because the Alpha Male product has twice tussled with "The Dominator" in his young career. And while he came up short in both outings, the knowledge he took away from the eight rounds he spent inside the cage with the champion is invaluable.
And it's that knowledge that leads him to believe Demetrious Johnson, who will challenge Cruz for the 135-pound title at UFC on Versus 6 on Oct. 1 in Washington D.C., just might have what it takes to steal the strap.
The key, as Benavidez explains, is speed.
They call Johnson "Mighty Mouse" for damn good reason and his combination of quickness and underrated power could very well carry him to victory.
"Dominick Cruz beats a lot of people with his speed. He's just kind of faster. That's his advantage on everybody, for the most part, and I don't think he's going to have a speed advantage on Demetrious. I don't know if anybody does in the division. He's going to have a size advantage, but the ‘Mighty Mouse' name is perfect. It's hard to get a hold of a little mouse like that that's so fast and strong and powerful. I think that's where he's going to give Dominick (trouble) is with his speed. Dominick Cruz kind of gets to you first and moves back quick enough or darts to the side and cuts those angles where you can't get him. I think Demetrious is just as fast. I think if we do see a win by Dominick, it's going to be more in the power game. Maybe he's going to do a lot more clinching. Maybe even more groundwork than we've seen from Dominick because that's where he can kind of hold on to Demetrious and use his size advantage. If we see a win from Demetrious, it's going to be him winning with his speed."
Johnson seemingly came from out of nowhere to quickly establish himself as a legitimate threat to the bantamweight throne.
Can the speedy "Mighty Mouse" culminate his incredible rise to the top by knocking off "The Dominator" to become a UFC champion in just his third fight inside the Octagon?
If he does, it will be because of his rate of motion and nifty footwork ... at least according to Benavidez. Do you agree? Or is Cruz simply too fast and strong to overcome at 135-pounds?