Dana White Praises Joseph Benavidez Ahead of Latest Title Shot
By FCF Staff
Joseph Benavidez has long been regarded as one of the best flyweights on the planet, but UFC President Dana White clearly is an admirer of the veteran fighter’s personality as well.
The 35-year-old is set to face Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC Fight Island 2 on July 18th, in a contest that will crown the promotion’s new flyweight champ.
Recently Benavidez reported that while he believes this will be his last title shot, he doesn’t expect it to be his final, title fight. When White was asked to comment on Benavidez’s statements, he said this about the talented fighter (quotes via MMA Junkie).
“I’m sure (Benavidez thinks it’s his last title shot), too,” White said. “Benavidez is one of those guys no matter who comes in contact with that guy, whether it’s people at the (UFC Performance Institute), other fighters that train with him, everybody likes Joe Benavidez.
“He’s a great guy, he’s a hard worker. There’s never any bullshit with him. He’s a straight-forward kid. He’s a good kid. So it’s cool to see him get another opportunity at this point in his career. I’m happy for him.”
Benavidez (28-6) and Figueiredo (18-1) fought in February, and the latter won the fight via a second round stoppage. But, since he came in overweight for the bout, he was ineligible to win the title. Further, the flyweights accidentally clashed heads shortly before the fight’s final moments.
As a result, White says there was no question that a rematch would be tabled.
“It was everything (from the first fight that made the rematch),” White said. “That fight was a no-brainer to redo. We had to redo it. So here we are. Now everything’s perfect. No excuses, no controversy, hopefully – hopefully, we answer all the questions (Saturday) night.”
UFC Fight Island 2 will take place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.