Joseph Benavidez thinks Henry Cejudo “didn’t earn” announced title fight with Demetrious Johnson at UFC 197

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Joseph Benavidez (photo credit Troy Taormina © USA Today Sports)

The UFC announced over the weekend that Henry Cejudo will be getting his shot at UFC Flyweight Champ Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson in April at UFC 197, but Cejudo’s fellow flyweight contender Joseph Benavidez doesn’t believe he should be getting that shot.

After notching his fifth straight win on Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 82, Benavidez learned of the announcement, and took his platform at the post-fight press conference to sound off.

“He hasn’t beat the top guys,” Benavidez said. “Even in his last fight, when he beat a guy that wasn’t right at the top, no one after that fight was like, ‘Oh, I can’t wait to see that guy fight for the title.’ That’s what it comes down to, basically.’

” … That’s how I felt about it – that he didn’t earn it.”

Penick’s Analysis: There’s a point to the argument, but given the UFC isn’t keen on giving Benavidez another shot yet, Cejudo’s the next on down the line who hasn’t yet fought the champ. And arguably, Cejudo’s title fight might be beneficial for Benavidez, because if “Mighty Mouse” beats Cejudo, Benavidez may remain the only deserving contender in the division. He’s clearly been better than everyone else he’s faced at flyweight save Johnson, and now that he’s taken out yet another fighter in this field he might finally get that third fight with the champ.

[Photo (c) Troy Taormina via USA Today Sports]

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