Longtime Contender Joseph Benavidez Retires From Fighting
By FCF Staff
One of the best flyweights of all time is walking away from the game, as Joseph Benavidez has retired at the age of 37.
The longtime, flyweight contender, who also recorded noteworthy wins as a bantamweight, recently confirmed the news to ESPN. While discussing his decision, Benavidez reported he actually decided he was done fighting this past spring, following a loss to Askar Askarov.
“I kind of knew I wasn’t gonna fight, but I was just kind of letting it linger,” Benavidez said. “You never know. But it’s just come to that point.”
Benavidez (28-8) was coming off back-to-back losses to now-former champ, Deiveson Figueiredo, prior to facing Askarov.
“For 10 years, I’ve been in title contention,” Benavidez said. “Two different weight classes. It was kind of weird, because I would always think to myself, ‘Is it weird for other people to fight and know they’ll never win the title? Or are they just doing it for the job?’
“I never felt like it was a job to me. I didn’t want it to become like that, either. I always just fought to be the best. After my last title fight, I felt I’ll probably never go for a title again. Then it’s like, what am I really doing it for?”
During Benavidez’s impressive career, he recorded victories over former champs and top contenders like Henry Cejudo, Jussier Formiga, Alex Perez, Miguel Torries, Eddie Wineland and Tim Elliott, among others.
Before losing to Sergio Pettis in 2018, the only fighters who had defeated Benavidez were legends Dominick Cruz and Demetrious Johnson.