Benavidez excited for WEC’s future, ready for title fight

Joseph Benavidez isn’t on the card for Saturday’s WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber pay-per view, but the bantamweight fighter knows that it is an important night in his career.

As World Extreme Cagefighting jumps into the PPV world, a successful card on Saturday can lead to big things for the promotions other fighters, including Benavidez, who is one of the WEC’s brightest young stars.

“This is huge. It is the start of the WEC growing as big as the UFC,” Benavidez said of the PPV. “I am really excited about it because I know it is going to do well and it is going to give us more respect and it is going to get the fighters more money. I have gotten two bonuses from the WEC for my fights and I know it isn’t anything compared to what the UFC does. We have some great business minds running this organization, so things will be fine. I just need to stay patient and things are going to work out the best for me.”

AMP Energy sponsors Benavidez and allowed Bullz-eye to get a chance to speak with him fresh off his victory over former WEC Bantamweight champion, Miguel Torres.

“Torres was definitely the biggest win of my career,” Benavidez said. “I always envisioned myself fighting Miguel Torres. For it to go down like that and the way it happened, it was surreal to me. I can’t lie, after that I felt like I was on top of the world.”
Benavidez was a big underdog when facing Torres, but controlled the fight from the start. He opened a big cut on Torres’ forehead early in the bout and then sunk in a guillotine choke to earn the submission.

Since the win, Benavidez has been a hot name in the MMA world.

“I’ve never had as great of reaction from the fans and my peers as I did after that win over Torres. From what he was considered, as one of the pound-for-pound best in the world, I let it motivate me. People all told me I was the underdog and that was rightly so, but everything he had is what I wanted. I knew it was going to be tough, but I knew I was ready.”
Now, Benavidez is eyeing a fight with current WEC Bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz. The two met in a three-round bout last August, with Benavidez losing a close decision.

In a rematch, Benavidez believes things will go his way.

“For one the result will be different,” Benavidez said of the potential rematch. “I don’t think I won the first fight. (Cruz) had a good night that night and I had a bad night. I made more mistakes that night and he capitalized on them. I didn’t have a great night and still made it a very close fight and I feel he had one of the best fights he could have. When you look at the fight, some of the turning points came from me slipping instead of him doing something. It was a 15-minute fight. It was a crazy fight, but I know I can beat him.”

While that battle will take place in the near future, Benavidez has his focus on his teammate, Urijah Faber, who is set to face Jose Aldo for the WEC Featherweight Championship on Saturday night.

“Aldo is a tough guy and he is super fast,” Benavidez said. “But that is his strength and Urijah is just as fast and much stronger and much better on the ground. I just think Urijah needs to close the distance a lot and do a good job with his timing and his spacing. He needs to slow things down and fight a smart fight. (Faber) takes pride in being the best in the world and he hates the fact that he isn’t right now, so he is going to go out and show everyone that he still is the best. Faber is going to win by submission in the third.”

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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