Four-time former title challenger Joseph Benavidez has retired from mixed martial arts.
The former title challenger has put down his gloves after a memorable 36 professional fights. According to MMA Junkie, anonymous sources indicate that Benavidez asked to be removed from the official UFC rankings. In addition, confirmation of his retirement was made apparent by people very close to the situation. As of this writing, the MMA legend has yet to make a formal announcement regarding the matter.
Prior to Benavidez being removed from the flyweight rankings on Wednesday, the American wrestler dropped his last three fights in the Octagon. In particular, the flyweight lost in two title opportunities to the former flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo. Then, in an effort to get back on title track, Benavidez was tasked with facing Askar Askarov. In the end, the younger, hungrier Russian was able to comfortably control Benavidez en route to a unanimous decision victory.
As a four-time title challenger, Benavidez was constantly on the cusp of gold but could never quite pull the trigger in those pressurized moments. Despite that, his tenure in the UFC was long and dominant.
From 2014 to 2016 Benavidez fired off six victories in a row. One of those stands out as he was able to outpoint former double champion Henry Cejudo.
Benavidez made his professional debut in July 2008 on the California regional scene. The high octane flyweight leaves behind a record of 28-8. Benavidez earned his last Octagon win against Jussier Formiga and finished the Brazilian with punches late into the second round. The exciting flyweight holds the distinction for most knockouts in flyweight history (13) and shares the record for most overall flyweight wins with Demetrious Johnson (13).
All Access MMA wishes Joseph Benavidez & Megan Olivi best wishes in Benavidez’s next chapter!