Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC on Fox 9 blew the roof off Sleep Train Arena last Saturday night (Dec. 14, 2013) in Sacramento, California.
Many combatants were left licking their wounds after a wild night of fights, including Michael McDonald, who was choked out by Urijah Faber in round two (highlights here). And Nik Lentz, who was knocked down from the clouds as Chad Mendes lived up to his words and show "Carny" what exactly it's like to face a true No. 1 contender (recap here).
But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover now two days removed from the show?
The Team Alpha Male-trained product looked to claim the Flyweight title and get some sweet revenge by dethroning division king Demetrious Johnson in the main event of the nationally televised event after coming up short in his first bid against "Mighty Mouse" at UFC 152 one year ago.
Not only did "Joe-B Wan Kenobi" fail to do so, but he was finished for the first time in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, as he was viciously knocked out by Johnson two minutes into the fight (watch video here), sending him back to the drawing board.
The loss for Benavidez not only sent him to the back of the 125-pound line, but limited his chances of getting another title shot at the division strap as long as "Mighty Mouse" rules the roost. Because much like Chuck Liddell was to Tito Ortiz, Anderson Silva to Rich Franklin and Anthony Pettis to Ben Henderson, Johnson just might be the obstacle Benavidez can't get over.
It's not that Benavidez isn't talented enough, because he is, he truly is the second best 125-pound fighter in the world. But, as the results of their first two meetings have proved, "Might Mouse," it seems, has his number.
Can Benavidez work his way up to another title shot? Absolutely! But, what happens if he reels of another three straight wins and remains the No. 1 contender and Johnson is sitting at the top? Will Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) officials book the two up again?
That will be the tough call Joe Silva and Co. will have to make should the situation arise. He could always make the jump back up to Bantamweight, but friend and training partner Urijah Faber will soon own the No. 1 contender's spot there, so he'll likely stay put.
In the meantime, Benavidez will have to climb his way back to the top of the mountain if he every hopes to vie for the gold again. And a fight against Tim Elliott would be a good start.
What say you Maniacs, what do you think Benavidez's next move should be? Should he stay in the Flyweight division or look for another weight class to call home?
If he stays put at 125 pounds and strings together a few impressive wins, does another potential title fight against "Mighty Mouse" make sense to you?