SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 03: Joseph Benavidez of the USA celebrates victory during the UFC On FX flyweight bout between Joseph Benavidez and Yasuhiro Urushitani at Allphones Arena on March 3, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
This weekend (Sept. 22, 2012) Benavidez will lock horns with his fast-as-lighting counterpart, Demetrious Johnson, as they attempt to become the first-ever Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweight champion.
"Joe-B Wan Kenobi" and "Mighty Mouse" will co-headline UFC 152 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, after their main event status was taken away from them thanks to Vitor Belfort stepping in and accepting a main event title fight against light heavyweight kingpin, Jon Jones, following the whole UFC 151 fiasco.
For the most part, Benavidez -- or Johnson for that matter -- haven't seemed bothered by the snub because, after all, fighting right before the most talked about mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter in recent weeks (Jones) can only help more eyeballs be drawn to their fight and bring more attention to the 125-pound weight class, which is the newest addition to the UFC family.
Premiering in March of this year, the flyweight division kicked off with a four-man tournament at UFC on FX: "Alves vs. Kampmann" in Australia. Since then, the speedy fighters have proven that despite their diminutive stature, they can put on big performances.
According to Benavidez (via BJPenn.com), in time, the 125-division will be the "most exciting" MMA weight class in the world:
"The thing about the flyweight division is it's going to take time. Think about when the WEC started the fans knew Urijah Faber and Miguel Torres and then it began to grow. There's talent out there, even when the UFC started to grow, the fans knew Rampage and Chuck Liddell; they didn't know many of the other guys. With the UFC growing and being promoted so well it will allow the flyweights to grow even faster than the other weight classes did. It's just going to take time to bring in the talent. We've got guys like John Dodson who's fighting Jussier da Silva. Of course McCall and Urushitani are always going to be factors and I'm sure we'll see some more bantamweight fighters drop down. The UFC believes in us and the fans are coming around, you can't deny how exciting this division is. We will be the most exciting weight class in the world."
Benavidez assures fans they will be in for a treat come fight night, like always, when he steps into the Octagon to face Johnson for the first-ever 125-pound UFC title:
"The fans will see what they always get from me and that's non-stop action and a ton of heart. I trained really hard for this fight and I love going in to the Octagon and fighting for the fans. I'm more motivated and inspired than ever and excited to be fighting for the world title. Mighty Mouse is a great opponent and you are going to see a great fight. I respect him as a person and a fighter; he always brings it in every fight. Every single fight in this weight class has been entertaining and on September 22nd fans will see stuff that they have never seen before. It will be a night to remember, I am looking to finish the fight and come home as the first ever UFC Flyweight Champion."
Anyone agree with Benavidez's comments? Can the 125-pound fighters take over as the 'most exciting' division in MMA? Who, in your eyes, currently holds that title?