Joseph Benavidez showed that he’s still a major threat in the UFC flyweight division with an impressive performance at UFC 172 in Baltimore against Tim Elliott. The two-time former title challenger got his career back on track with a first-round submission victory, and earned a Performance of the Night bonus in the process. Benavidez was looking to rebound from the first knockout loss of his career against champion Demetrious Johnson, and did so in highlight-reel fashion.
Elliott was aggressive from the start, as he came out swinging for the fences against Benavidez, who was coming off a first round knockout loss to “Mighty Mouse” at UFC on FOX 9 in December. The aggressive Elliott mixed in a few takedowns in the opening stanza, but ended up getting caught in a mounted guillotine choke. The end came at the 4:08 mark in rather bizarre fashion, as Elliott was forced to tap by flailing his legs against the canvas, as his arms were tied up by Benavidez.
“Joe Jitsu” improved to 20-4 with the victory, and now has 15 of those wins by either knockout or submission. Elliott is now just 2-3 inside the Octagon, with those losses coming against the best that the division has to offer. He’s suffered setbacks at the hands of Benavidez, John Dodson and Ali Bagautinov.
Benavidez will clearly need to string together multiple victories before being considered again for a title opportunity. He’s 0-2 against Johnson, having also lost by decision at UFC 152 in the promotion’s first-ever flyweight title fight. However, the Team Alpha Male fighter showed that he still possesses the skills to make life extremely difficult for any competitor in the 125-pound division.