After three rounds of non-stop action at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 24 Finale, Joseph Benavidez edged out Henry Cejudo on the judges’ scorecards, earning the split decision victory over the Olympic gold medalist.
In round one, however, Cejudo was deducted a point after he inadvertently nailed Benavidez below the belt on two occasions (see it again here). It was decision Cejudo obviously didn’t think was warranted and ultimately cost him the fight.
"Do I think it’s fair? I’ve seen people get hit in the balls, gouged in the eyes and rarely do you see points get take away," said Henry during the post-fight presser (video replay here).
"As much as I don’t like Joe, I really didn’t mean to hit him in the balls. In a street fight, yes, but not in an organized mixed martial arts (MMA) fight like this. they took the point and that’s probably what cost me the fight."
That, and highly-questionable judging added to his defeat, as the scores that were given out for the entertaining scrap were absolutely mind-blowing (see them here). That said, despite fighting from behind to make up for the point loss, Cejudo is confident he still deserved the nod.
Especially since everyone — including some of Joseph’s personal friends — are telling him so.
"I’ll have to watch the fight, because everybody keeps coming up, even some of his personal friends, telling me they thought I won," said Cejudo while laughing. "I should’ve recorded it for you guys."
The loss for Cejudo marks his second straight after previously coming up short in his bid to dethrone current 135-pound division champion Demetrious Johnson. As for what’s next for him, he’ll go back to the drawing board and wait for the phone to ring in anticipation for his next challenge.
For complete TUF 24 Finale results and coverage click here.