|Association||Ultimate Fitness / Team Alpha Male|
|Weight Class||Bantamweight (135 lbs.)|
|Height||5' 4" (163 cm)|
|Birth Date||October 4, 1985|
|Fighting Out Of||Sacramento, California|
|Joseph Benavidez Pictures||Official Website|
Joseph Benavidez is an American mixed martial arts fighter who competes as a Bantamweight. After fighting in smaller shows while working as a screen printer in New Mexico, he joined up with Urijah Faber's Team Alpha Male in 2007. He has since fought in Dream and most recently the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) promotion. He currently fights as a bantamweight in WEC and is undefeated with a 9-0 record. His fighting style has drawn comparisons to training partner and former WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber.
|Record||17 - 3 - 0 (Win – Loss – Draw)|
|Win||Ian McCall||Decision (Unanimous)||UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar||2/2/2013||3||5:00|
|Loss||Demetrious Johnson||Decision (Split)||UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort||9/22/2012||5||5:00||For UFC Flyweight Championship (Inaugural)|
|Win||Yasuhiro Urushitani||TKO (Punches)||UFC on FX 2: Alves vs. Kampmann||3/3/2012||2||0:11||UFC Flyweight Championship Tournament Semifinal; Won Knockout of the Night|
|Win||Eddie Wineland||Decision (Unanimous)||UFC on Versus 5: Hardy vs Lytle||8/14/2011||3||5:00|
|Win||Ian Loveland||Decision (Unanimous)||UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones||3/19/2011||3||5:00|
|Win||Wagnney Fabiano||Submission (Guillotine Choke)||WEC 52: Faber vs. Mizugaki||11/11/2010||2||2:45|
|Loss||Dominick Cruz||Decision (Split)||WEC 50: Cruz vs. Benavidez 2||8/18/2010||3||5:00||For WEC Bantamweight Championship|
|Win||Miguel Torres||Submission (Guillotine Choke)||WEC 47: Bowles vs. Cruz||3/06/2010||2||2:57||Won Submission of the Night Honors|
|Win||Rani Yahya||TKO (Punches)||WEC 45: Cerrone vs. Ratcliff||12/19/2009||1||1:35|
|Loss||Dominick Cruz||Decision (Unanimous)||WEC 42: Torres vs. Bowles||8/09/2009||3||5:00||Won Fight of the Night Honors|
|Win||Jeff Curran||Decision (Unanimous)||WEC 40: Torres vs. Mizugaki||4/05/2009||3||5:00|
|Win||Danny Martinez||Decision (Unanimous)||WEC 37: Torres vs. Tapia||12/03/2008||3||5:00||WEC debut|
|Win||Junya Kudo||Submission (Guillotine Choke)||DREAM 5: Lightweight Grand Prix 2008 Final||7/21/2008||1||2:42|
|Win||Maurice Eazel||Submission (Rear Naked Choke)||PFC 8: A Night of Champions||5/08/2008||1||1:02|
|Win||Jason Georgianna||Submission (Guillotine Choke)||PFC 6: No Retreat, No Surrender||1/17/2008||2||0:38|
|Win||Rocky Del Monte||Submission (Triangle Choke)||IE: Independent Event||6/01/2007||2||N/A|
|Win||Carlos Lovio||TKO||Bring it On: Under Destruction||4/28/2007||1||N/A|
|Win||Justin Smitley||TKO (Cut)||WC 2: Warrior Cup 2||4/07/2007||3||2:18|
|Win||Ramon Rodriguez||Submission (Triangle Choke)||BW: Border Warz||10/14/2006||2||2:33|
|Win||Brandon Shelton||Submission (Kimura)||UFP: Universal Fight Promotions||6/03/2006||2||N/A|
Mixed Martial Arts Career
Benavidez wrestled in high-school and one year in college. He became the State Wrestling Champion of New Mexico in 2000.
Team Alpha Male
Before joining up with Urijah Faber, Benavidez fought in smaller shows and trained while working as a screen printer in New Mexico. Hoping to eventually make a living fighting MMA, he sought out Faber on a trip to California in January 2007. Unable to find Faber's gym, he visited one in Roseville hoping to locate him. There his fighting ability impressed the members and instructors enough (or, in Faber's words: "[he] basically beat the crap out of everyone") to refer him to Faber. This was only hours before Benavidez' flight home was due and he had to leave for the airport, unable to meet up with him.
- "I had finally found him, and it was at the end of my vacation. I went to airport and my friends dropped me off; [I] was ready to go back to New Mexico and my regular life."
His flight was then canceled, giving him the chance to meet up with Faber as he had hoped. Benavidez impressed Faber enough to offer him a job at the front desk of his gym, enabling him to leave New Mexico to come train with him and his team. Benavidez then went back to New Mexico, "jammed everything into his car" and moved to California.
Appearance in Dream
After fighting with smaller US-based promotions, Benavidez was offered a fight with Norifumi Yamamoto by Japanese MMA-promoter Dream in July 2008 at Dream 5. The bout was canceled only days before the fight, and Benavidez was instead matched against Junya Kudo whom he defeated by guillotine choke submission.
He was then set to fight Jeff Curran at WEC 40: Torres vs. Mizugaki on April 5, 2009. The fight was Curran's bantamweight debut, and Benavidez controlled the veteran for three rounds, taking some impressive shots from the former Featherweight title challenger. In the end, Benavidez, Urijah Faber's protege, won via unanimous decision.
He next fought Dominick Cruz at WEC 42: Torres vs. Bowles on August 9, 2009. Many saw this fight as a means to discover the number one contender for a Bantamweight title shot. The fight went the distance, but it was Cruz who would go on to win the unanimous decision victory, handing Benavidez his first career loss. The fight won Fight of the Night Honors.
On December 19, 2009, Benavidez fought Rani Yahya at WEC 45: Cerrone vs. Ratcliff. Yahya used his reach to keep Benavidez at bay early, and his jab was effective in parts. But Benavidez continued to swing for the fences in fierce flurries. While most caught nothing but air, a right hand found its mark, and Yahya collapsed to the floor. Benavidez rushed in to deliver the finishing blows, and referee Kim Winslow hurried in to save the grappler just 95 seconds after the bout began.
It was announced at the end of 2009 that Benavidez would next face off against former WEC Bantamweight Champion Miguel Torres in a fight that would most likely decide the next #1 contender for the Bantamweight title. The bout took place on March 6, 2010 at WEC 47: Bowles vs. Cruz, and Benavidez kept himself out of harm's way on the feet as he used a well-positoned defense and impressive footwork to keep Torres from opening up his assault. Torres appeared tentative as he circled Benavidez, and the former champion wasn't able to use his reach advantage. Instead, Benavidez tossed Torres to the floor in the opening round and was able to control his opponent on the ground. After opening a huge gash in the second round on Torres, Benavidez latched in a deep Guillotine Choke and leapt to his back while throwing his right leg over Torres' shoulder to add strength to the hold. The choke was deep, and a blood-soaked Torres was forced to tap. The impressive submission earned Benavidez the Submission of the Night Honors.
Benavidez faced off against WEC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz on Augaust 18, 2010 at WEC 50: Cruz vs. Benavidez 2 in a highly anticipated re-match, although this time the title was on the line. The fight was an evenly matched bout, where the two fighters stayed light on their feet in the earlier rounds, though there were takedowns. Cruz used his effective stick-and-move game plan that resulted in the fight's momentum swinging to the champ's favor, even if slightly. In the Championship rounds, there was more action on the mat and Cruz took plenty of punishment, and Benavidez proved a game opponent, but in the end, the judges gave the nod to the champion and awarded him the Decision (Split) victory via scores of 47-48, 48-47 and 49-46.
Ranks and Titles
- State Wrestling Champion of New Mexico 2000