Former UFC flyweight title contender Joseph Benavidez has reportedly retired from fighting after a long career in the cage.
Joseph Benavidez is calling it a career after fighting almost two decades in promotions such as the UFC and WEC, as first reported by MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn.
Benavidez had lost his last three fights in the UFC’s flyweight division, including back-to-back title bouts against Deiveson Figueiredo. He most recently fell to Askar Askarov at UFC 259 in a fight in which he looked far removed from the former contender he once was.
Benavidez’s wife, UFC correspondent Megan Olivi, appeared to all but confirm the news in a post on her Twitter page.
“Retirement adventures are gonna be fun,” Olivi tweeted. “My king forever, [Joseph Benavidez].”
Joseph Benavidez is regarded as one of the biggest names in the history of the UFC flyweight division
Benavidez leaves the fight game as one of the most decorated 125-pounders in UFC history with the most fights (19) and wins (13) in the history of the flyweight division. He was a mainstay in the flyweight title picture and challenged for the belt four times.
Benavidez has also reportedly requested that the UFC brass remove him from their rankings as well as the USADA drug testing pool. The 37-year-old could potentially return to fighting in an analyst role as so many others, including Michael Bisping and Daniel Cormier, have done so.