Good things come to those who wait.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight Joseph Benavidez hopes this will be the case for him, as he has been sitting out, waiting for his title shot, since he defeated Yasuhiro Urushitani at UFC on FX 2, in Sydney, Australia, on March 3, 2012.
"Joe Jitsu" visited with HDNet's "Inside MMA" to talk about his excitement over being able to finally move forward and fight for the belt:
"It's amazing. I've been waiting for a while for this. Not only for the division to open up, but since it opened up, I've been waiting for the title fight. So I was super excited to see those guys fight again -- One, because I knew it was gonna be an excellent fight, and two, 'cuz I get an opponent. So I was pacing back and forth the whole time they were fighting. I'm not gonna lie, I was rooting for 'DJ' a little bit, just 'cuz I like him -- McCall's a great guy too -- but now it's finally over, and I can't wait to make history."
After the jump, we'll hear from "Mighty Mouse," Benavidez's title bout opponent, and we'll talk about the potential time frame for the upcoming championship match up:
Before moving on to discuss the ins and outs of the "tale of the tape" between himself and Johnson, Benavidez talked about his feelings about the fight between Johnson and McCall, as well as the landscape of the Flyweight division, in the short term future:
"You know, it didn't matter to me. People asked me who I wanted to fight. I just said, 'I just wanna fight the best guy.' I just wanna fight the winner. That way, when I win the belt, in the new division, there's no question that I beat and fought the best guy. So, I like both the guys, and just because I'm fighting 'Mighty Mouse' now, it basically just means I'm fighting him first. I'm still gonna fight McCall at some point, anyways, so I'm just fighting 'DJ' first."
Johnson also made a brief appearance on "Inside MMA," where he had nothing but nice things to say about Benavidez. Don't expect a lot of trash talk as a build up to this fight:
"Oh, I'm always impressed with Joseph. I tell everybody he's a killer. He took it to Yasuhiro. I don't think Yasuhiro Urushitani knew what he was in for. He came from Japan, the Shooto organization, and the UFC, we have better athletes. It's just a whole different sport over here in America. When he fought Joseph, I think he found that out real quick. Joseph stopped him, which I knew Joseph was gonna stop him. Joseph took it to him and put him where belonged."
Benavidez was asked to give his analysis on how he thinks the two fighters match up. He anticipates a very diverse battle, and specifically, he predicts a finish:
"I think we're both super well-rounded. It's a fight that me, myself and fans have been waiting for. You got the small division, which people have been waiting for, you got the two very best guys in the division, going at it. What better way to make history? It's gonna be a great fight. As far as our finishes and styles and everything, I just think the lighter you get in the divisions, the more well-rounded the guys get. Like I said, you've got the two best, and we're just super well-rounded. I think either of could finish the fight, either way."
So now it just comes down to when the title bout will be scheduled. For the most part, it depends solely on Johnson and his being able to get a clean bill of health following his upcoming hernia surgery.
Benavidez has had to wait three months, but it looks like he's going to have wait at least a few more. If it were up to him, they'd fight tomorrow, but realistically, he believes a date in September may be what the UFC comes up with:
"I've been waiting. I figured around September anyway. I hope they can rush it, especially with all the injuries that have happened. I know fights need to be filled in. I'm ready, just waiting on Demetrious. Obviously, I'd love to fight on any card. It's for the title, so I'm excited."
The UFC currently has four events planned for September, so there's no shortage of cards to choose from. For now, it's mere speculation, but MMAmania.com will have the news for you, as soon as Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson becomes finalized and placed on an event.