Joseph Benavidez was set to fight Demetrious Johnson Nov. 13 at “The Ultimate Fighter 18” Finale.
Now that the UFC flyweight title fight has been pushed back to headline the Dec. 14 UFC on Fox 9 card, though, Benavidez believes he’s only better prepared. In an interview with the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show, Benavidez discussed his training, his opponent and more.
On the fight being pushed back: “I think everything really just benefited me. I’m just looking at it as I’m just getting better and more prepared during that two weeks. Even though I was planning the whole time to fight this weekend on the 30th, I never thought I’d be so happy to have a fight moved back two weeks. You plan everything around this one date and then it gets moved back and you’re just kind of, ‘Oh no,’ but in this case, I think it’s going to really benefit me.”
On his loss to Johnson in September 2012: “I just watched it once and moved on. It’s not something I really wanted to do. You’ve got to have a short memory in this sport. You can’t dwell on things. I know what he does well from his other fights, but I’ve got to just forget about that. I know I didn’t fight to my best. I’m not going to even look at it. I watched it once and got the gist of it. It all goes along with yeah, you don’t want to dwell on it too much, but also, it’s just a hard thing to watch. All my dreams and everything and goals were kind of set there. Pretty much, that was everything to me and it didn’t happen.”
On the experience of having fought for a title: “You always learn from a loss, especially something that drastic. It was a world title that I pretty much obsessed over and crushed my world. You learn so much, not to mention it’s the same guy I’m fighting this time. If it was a different guy, I would have still learned so many lessons and things from a loss and a fight like that, but on the technical aspect, I get to go in there against the same guy and I kind of know what he does. There’s no better practice than going in there with him before.”
On Duane Ludwig joining Team Alpha Male as a coach and the role he could play in the adjustments Benavidez makes: “What we’ve done at Team Alpha Male is totally turn our routine and structure over here a 180 and added a new coach. That’s not something that happens in between fights every year and at every team. It’s pretty rare, and I think it’s obviously been a good change.”
On how the fight could go: “I’ve had three outstanding fights this year, and hopefully it will end on a high note.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 41:12).