Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweights Joe Benavidez and Dustin Ortiz battled over a position in the Top 10 rankings last night (Sat, Nov. 22, 2014) at UFC Fight Night 57 inside Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.
Though Benavidez entered this bout having recently lost to 125-pound champion Demetrious Johnson, "Beefcake" was definitely looking to force himself back into the title picture. Bringing his usual aggression into the Octagon, the Team Alpha Male-trained athlete was definitely looking for a finish.
Meanwhile, Ortiz had made a habit of pulling off serious upsets just a few fights into his UFC career. Last night, he attempted to come through with a victory as the biggest underdog on the card.
But, it was not meant to be.
Ortiz started the bout by pressuring his opponent. As Ortiz pursued Benavidez, the Team Alpha Male-trained fighter angled off and repeatedly landed hard punches. Ortiz gamely continued to chase Benavidez around, but "Beefcake" was able to repeatedly get the better of exchanges.
Over and over, Benavidez landed seriously hard punches and kicks directly to Ortiz's mid-section. Near the end of the opening round, Benavidez ran through a takedown. After threatening with a guillotine choke, Benavidez passed his opponent's guard as the bell sounded.
The former title challenger was clearly ahead at the end of the first.
About one minute into the second round, Benavidez landed a head kick that skimmed over Ortiz's head. Ortiz was hurt, and Benavidez aggressively chased the finish. However, Ortiz survived by shooting for a double, which momentarily got Benavidez to the mat.
Ortiz actually managed to land some strikes in the second portion of the round. However, Benavidez still landed the harder shots and repeatedly out-scrambled his opponent. Ortiz continued to show his toughness, as he largely walked through the violent strikes that Benavidez threw his way.
The third and final round started with a quick grappling exchange, during which Benavidez again threatened with his front choke. Once again, Ortiz gamely resisted and returned to his feet.
On the feet, Benavidez kept out-working his opponent and landing very hard strikes. However, this round featured more grappling exchanges than the first two. Unfortunately for Ortiz, "Beefcake" remained in control of the bout on the mat as well, routinely winding up in advantageous positions after a scramble.
Benavidez put a hell of a beating on his opponent. He may not have gotten the finish, but he definitely showed why so few flyweights want to fight him. When Benavidez wins, he doesn't just out-point his opponent.
The Team Alpha Male-trained product abuses his foes.
In particular, Benavidez continued to do an excellent job mixing up his targets. He landed brutal shots to the head and body frequently, and his unpredictability often lead to Ortiz absorbing many clean blows.
Benavidez did not earn a title shot with that performance, but it will be hard to argue if he can keep mauling elite opposition. For his next bout, Benavidez should get any of the ranked opponents he has yet to face, such as Wilson Reis.
Ortiz may not have won, but his toughness was definitely impressive. Few flyweights could survive come of the shots the Roufusport-representative swallowed, let alone continue walking into the fire.
At the end of the day, it was simply too early for Ortiz, as Benavidez clearly had the advantage in every aspect. Still, his valiant performance indicates that he'll likely have a very strong future inside the Octagon. In his next fight, Ortiz could end up scrapping with recent title contender Chris Cariaso.
At UFC Fight Night 57, Joseph Benavidez confirmed his position as one of the very best flyweights in the world. Can he work his way back to another title shot?
For complete UFC Fight Night 57 "Edgar vs Swanson" results and play-by-play click HERE.