Joseph Benavidez has found a way to avoid his kryptonite.
The Team Alpha Male fighter has been one of the best 135-pound fighters in the world for a few years now, but he was unable to defeat current bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz on two separate occasions.
It seemed like Benavidez would have to win an unprecedented amount of fights in order to get another shot at Cruz and the 135-pound title, but this weekend UFC president Dana White made the blockbuster announcement that the UFC is adding a flyweight division in the early part of 2012.
The UFC has already added top flyweights Ian McCall and Yasuhiro Urushitani to the roster in order to add some credibility to the new weight class, and former bantamweight title contender Demetrious Johnson will be joining Benavidez as the other former 135-pound fighter to drop down in weight.
The four men are now officially set to compete in a mini-tournament of sorts, with Johnson fighting McCall and Benavidez set to take on Urushitani on March 3’s UFC on FX 2 event.
Benavidez seems to have drawn the easiest first-round matchup and should make his way into the title bout with relative ease, but the real intrigue lies in the possible bouts against either Johnson or McCall.
McCall has been a wrecking machine ever since he dropped to flyweight after an unsuccessful stint in the WEC, winning three fights in the Tachi Palace Fights organization in 2011, including a title-winning performance against Darrell Montague back in August.
Johnson has also had a very successful year, earning wins over Kid Yamamoto and Miguel Torres before his loss to Cruz in October, and his speed has created problems for every opponent he has fought in the UFC.
While both of these fighters are outstanding in their own right, there is no chance they can beat Benavidez.
An underrated striker with legitimate submission skills and a solid wrestling game, Benavidez is one of the most complete fighters in all of MMA, and his association with Urijah Faber and Team Alpha Male has made him one of the most dangerous fighters in the UFC.
As long as fans have declared Benavidez the uncrowned flyweight champion, it is finally time for him to step up and verify the claims of his supporters and finally put UFC gold around his waist.