Victimized by the dissolution of the UFC 231 pay-per-view (PPV) fight card, recently canceled after the promotion was unable to drum up a main event, top flyweight contender, Joseph Benavidez, will no longer be fighting undefeated division phenom, Deiveson Figueiredo.
Instead, the fake Slim Shady will be headed to Brooklyn, New York, where he’ll serve as back-up for the Henry Cejudo vs. TJ Dillashaw 125-pound title fight, which tops the promotion’s debut on ESPN+ on Jan. 19, 2019.
Cejudo had weight-cutting issues earlier in his career, but seems to have gotten them under control in recent years.
“I would rather fight than just weigh in, but that’s a whole other thing,” Benavidez told MMA Junkie. “I don’t wish ill will on anyone in the title fight, either, because I know how hard they worked to get there. If someone falls out then I get that opportunity, as well. There’s a ton of options on the table, and I’m ready for all of them. I’ll be in Brooklyn ready to fight for the title.”
He’ll receive his “show” purse for coming in at championship weight.
Benavidez (26-5) split his two appearances in 2018. After coming up on the wrong end of a split-decision loss at UFC 225, courtesy of Sergio Pettis, the longtime Team Alpha Male product took Perez to the cleaners at last month’s Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale.
To see the current UFC on ESPN+ fight card and line up click here.