Joseph Benavidez worked Darren Uyenoyama like a side of beef Saturday night, tenderizing Uyenoyama with heavy punches and kicks to take a one-sided TKO victory at the 4:50 mark of the second round during their UFC on Fox 7 undercard bout.
Benavidez (18-3) again looked like a contender at 125 pounds. He pretty much took what he wanted throughout the contest, easily staying out of protracted ground exchanges with Uyenoyama (8-4), an accomplished grappler but a clear striking novice.
What we'll remember about this fight:
For me, it was a pair of kicks. Benavidez dropped Uyenoyama with a heavy high kick in the first round, then landed a wince-inducing liver kick in the second that started what proved to be the fight's decisive sequence.
What we learned about Joseph Benavidez:
John Dodson might have something to say about this, but Benavidez might be the most powerful striker in the division.
His standup has progressed in a serious way since Muay Thai champion Duane Ludwig joined Benavidez's Team Alpha Male training camp as a striking coach. He kept Uyenoyama guessing and basically ate the other guy's lunch Saturday night.
What we learned about Darren Uyenoyama:
If he wants to win, he needs to tie up his opponent or get the fight to the ground. Against a strong opponent with a wrestling background, Uyenoyama was unable to do so.
What's next for Benavidez:
While champ Demetrious Johnson mends his surgically repaired shoulder, I suggest John Moraga and Benavidez for the title shot.
What's next for Uyenoyama:
I'd like to watch him fight Ian McCall.