Benavidez Asks Cejudo Not To Chase 135 Pound title
Following his win at the UFC’s debut on ESPN+, UFC flyweight champion, Henry Cejudo, told T.J. Dillashaw that he’d give him a rematch at bantamweight.
Now, Joe Benavidez, who won his flyweight fight on the same card, has made a plea to Cejudo for him to stay at 125 pounds and defend his title.
“I’m all about respect and I never get outside myself as far as calling people out,” Benavidez said. “I’m always going to be myself when calling someone out. I haven’t got to talk to Henry a ton since [our fight] and I don’t know if people have the idea that me and Henry are enemies. Obviously when we coached ‘Ultimate Fighter’ a lot of things were said and done but after that fight, if you watch that fight, me and Henry give each other a part of ourselves. We don’t stop hitting each other for 15 minutes.
“I gained so much respect for him after that obviously. We’re not going to go bowling together—we’re not friends—but I have so much respect for him. It’s not about me and you right now fighting for a title, but there are thousands of kids out there dreaming of being a flyweight champion of the world and now we have a chance to keep this division moving forward.”
Benavidez has a win over Cejudo from the Ultimate Fighter 24 finale via a split decision, and Benavidez as the defacto number one contender feels he should be next in line. The Texan also believes that if the roles were reversed, Dillashaw would refuse to give Cejudo a rematch.
“He’s talking about the rematch with T.J. but do you think T.J. would even think of you twice had he knocked you out — controversial or not — do you think he’d even think twice about giving you a rematch?” Benavidez said. “No. He’d move on, he wouldn’t think about the division, he already says he’d be calling for a featherweight title shot.
“He wouldn’t give you a rematch. He wouldn’t give you another shot. He didn’t have respect for you before. He’s acting like he has respect now but he already acted the way he did. He wouldn’t think about Henry again or give him a rematch. The only reason he is now is because he lost in 32 seconds. That would never happen. Move on, do the right thing for the division.”
“I gave him 15 minutes of hell and he knows I’m going to come after him,” Benavidez said of Cejudo. “This time it’s going to be 25 minutes. I don’t think he’s scared of me, but he knows a fight with me is a fight with me and the other fight he has nothing to lose because he already knocked the guy out in 32 seconds. If he believes what he says, this is his chance to do it.
“If he believes in that, if you truly believe in that and you’re not just saying it, this is the only option to keep it moving forward. Give me the shot.”