Joseph Benavidez began fighting in 2006 in New Mexico, after practicing boxing and kickboxing while in high school.
He seeked out Urijah Faber in 2007 in hopes of making it big in MMA, and impressed Faber enough to become part of the team. After going 8-0, the WEC took notice and signed him as a featherweight, where he went 5-2, including a loss to bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz.
When the UFC absorbed the WEC, Benavidez soon dropped to flyweight and fought in their innaugural championship tournament, losing in the finals to Demetrious Johnson. After three wins, Benavidez had another chance at the belt, losing once again, but this time by first round knockout. After this loss, he has scored many back-to-back wins, including victories over John Moraga and Zach Makovsky.
Benavidez is married to MMA reporter Megan Olivi.