Joseph Benavidez (19-3, 6 KO’s, 8 Subs)
Benavidez lost a narrow decision to the champ Demetrious Johnson at UFC 152 almost fifteen months ago but redoubled his efforts to get another crack at the title when he earned a unanimous decision over veteran Ian McCall followed by TKO’s over Darren Uyenoyama and most recently Jussier Formiga. He is now poised to continue his winning streak on the biggest stage mixed martial arts has to offer.
If Benavidez has his way, the fight will go very much like the last one except for the outcome. It was a narrow decision and one that could have gone either way. Benavidez recently spoke about the upcoming fight and seemed surprisingly relaxed about his impending rematch.
"This next fight is against Demetrious, it’s five rounds and there is a title on the line. The same things will be on the line as the first fight, but this is going to be just another fight for me. I lost the first one, but I really didn't lose anything. I didn't die, and everything was all right afterwards. My family and friends still loved me just the same after. This is just another fight for me and it's the next fight after my last one."
For those backing Benavidez in their UFC picks, let’s hope the challenger’s attitude is reflective of a quiet confidence rather than blithe ambivalence.
Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (18-2, 3 KO’s, 7 Subs)
The champ has defended his crown twice since he became the first UFC Flyweight title holder with a unanimous decision over John Dodson and a fifth-round submission victory in his match with John Moraga. Perhaps it’s the Moraga fight that best typifies Johnson’s relentless style. He dominated from start to finish and delivered a UFC record of twelve takedowns throughout the match. Despite his total and complete control of the pace and tempo of the match, Johnson was not satisfied and continued to search for a submission. His perseverance paid off when he locked Moraga up in an armbar at 3:43 of the final round to secure not only the victory but Submission of the Night honors.
Expect Johnson to duplicate his efforts in not only his dominating victory over Moraga but his split decision over Benavidez in their first bout. Johnson’s camp is most assuredly strategizing to put much more distance between their fighter and Benavidez in this fight than the previous. Johnson’s frenetic pace is normally what separates him from his opponents but Benavidez has no issues with going full tilt for five rounds. Who lands more often and more cleanly will determine the fate of this one.
Free UFC Pick:
So you want the winner of this one do you? Well, take that shiny coin next to you and flip. Yes, it’s that close and as of this writing there are no UFC odds posted but as the fight approaches, you should find WilliamHill.com or Bet365.com as a good out to get down in your UFC picks.
But let’s take a more analytical approach. Benavidez now knows what he’s in for and will adjust. He’s a bit bigger than the champion and has fought as heavy as featherweight in his MMA career. If this fight is a pick’em then I would lean towards the challenger. However, if the champion is north of +110 then this could be a great value bet. Yet as of this moment, all things being equal, the challenger is circled in my program.
Bet Joseph Benavidez in your UFC picks at Bet365.com.