In one of the rarest occurrences inside the Octagon, longtime veteran Joseph Benavidez nabbed two stoppages in the first round.
After dropping opponent Alex Perez with punches midway through the opening frame, Benavidez rained down punches from on top; Perez (21-5) was flattened out on his belly and referee Yves Lavigne intervened. However, as soon as the veteran third man broke up the fight, Perez fought back and Lavigne allowed the fight to continue.
Benavidez (26-5) turned and walked away, but quickly realized that Lavigne had changed his mind. Benavidez was able to avoid Perez’s charges and eventually placed him the same position and poured on punches from on top. Eventually, Lavigne jumped in and stopped the fight for good, officially ending the flyweight tilt -- again -- at 4:19 of the first.
Joseph Benavidez (26-5) shows he's far from done, snapping Alex Perez's eight-fight tear with a torrent of strikes! The three-time UFC/WEC title challenger is 7-1 in his last eight. It's his first finish since 2014. #TUFFinale pic.twitter.com/Y8vElNlfn8— Tanuki Usman (@Hamderlei) December 1, 2018