After his first career knockout loss, former flyweight title challenger Joseph Benavidez begins the climb back to the top at UFC 172. Benavidez will face the rugged Tim Elliott in what should be a solid battle in the 125-pound division. Benavidez was shockingly KO’d by champion Demetrious Johnson in the first round of their rematch at UFC on FOX 9. The emphatic finish was a far cry from their extremely close first contest at UFC 152 when “Mighty Mouse” became the organization’s first-ever flyweight champ by posting a split-decision win. With an 0-2 mark against the champion, Benavidez is fully aware that he will need to string together multiple victories to state his case for another title opportunity. He has an impressive 19-4 career record with 14 finishes by either knockout or submission.
The No. 8 ranked Elliott has shown himself to be a fighter with a high work rate and plenty of stamina. However, he has failed in his biggest tests with the promotion so far. He’s 2-2 inside the Octagon with losses against top-contenders John Dodson and most recently at UFC 167 against Ali Bagautinov. Elliott possesses a granite jaw and showcased his ability to absorb punches in taking both of those dangerous fighters the three-round distance. Elliott’s top performance in the UFC was a dominant decision victory over Louis Gaudinot at UFC 164 where he utilized an effective ground and pound to outstrike his opponent by an enormous margin. He has seven finishes in ten career victories.
This matchup is a key one within the 125-pound landscape as the former two-time title challenger Benavidez looks to show that he remains a formidable figure within the division while Elliott will be in search of the biggest victory of his career. It should be an exciting contest in Baltimore on Apr. 26.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports