'Improving' Joseph Benavidez won’t ask for flyweight title shot with win over Jussier Formiga at UFC Fight Night 28


Does Benavidez even deserve a rematch against 125-pound champion Demetrious Johnson with a win over Jussier Formiga in Brazil?

Most mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters -- or at least the top contenders -- can't wait for the opportunity to get on the mic and ask for a title fight after an impressive win.

Joseph Benavidez, however, isn't most fighters.

According to "Joe-B Wan Kenobi," he isn't going to be asking for a flyweight championship fight should he prove victorious tonight (Sept. 4, 2013) against Jussier Formiga at UFC Fight Night 28, which goes down from Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Why, you ask?

Benavidez told Ariel Helwani during his appearance on "The MMA Hour" that he still has a lot to improve on as a fighter, which is why he wasn't too eager to plead for a shot at the gold after his victory over Ian McCall at UFC 156 earlier this year.

And while he won't pass up the shot if it's given to him, he doesn't plan on falling to his knees like Georges St. Pierre and begging for it.

He explains:

"I think, regardless, it's not something I'm going to ask for. It's something that, if I deserve it, then I'll get it. I'd definitely be willing to take it. Literally, after my fight with McCall, I wasn't even willing to take it. It was like, if they want me to, I literally won't take it. It's too soon; I'm still improving as a fighter. I would just be rushing things; I'd make the same mistakes I did at 135. At that point, Duane (Ludwig) had just came in, too, and I felt like I had a lot to work on and improve on and really change as a fighter. So, literally, at that point, I didn't even want to. Now, I'm still at the point where I'm not going to ask for something, you know. Ultimately, it's not up to me anyway. So, if I deserve the title fight, then I'll get it. Other than that, I'm going to go out there, fight as good as I can, try to put on good performances and let them know that I'm obviously willing to do it and it would be fun. Anytime I get to go out there and fight a guy like 'Mighty Mouse,' who has beat me and is also great fighter, for the world title, it's awesome. I think I can be ready, but, it's not something I'm going to ask for because if I deserve it I'm going to get it and if I don't deserve it then I won't get it."

Joseph came up short in his bid to become the first-ever Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweight champion at UFC 152 last year, losing to current division kingpin Demetrious Johnson via split decision.

Two wins later and the Team Alpha Male-member says he still isn't ready to ask for a rematch, but finds himself improving little by little as an overall MMA fighter, thanks to the help of head trainer Duane Ludwig.

"Bang" has proven to be a solid addition to the California-based fight camp, as the team -- including Benavidez, Urijah Faber, Chad Mendes, Danny Castillo and T.J. Dillashaw -- has gone undefeated since the former kickboxer and UFC veteran took over the reins in late 2012.

Regardless, whether he feels 100-percent ready to vie for the strap again or not, Benavidez -- the divisions No. 1 contender -- may find himself locked inside the Octagon with "Mighty Mouse" should he best Formiga in his own backyard.

But, will the results be different the second-time around?

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join MMAmania.com

You must be a member of MMAmania.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMAmania.com. You should read them.

Join MMAmania.com

You must be a member of MMAmania.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMAmania.com. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.