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Joseph Benavidez retires from MMA after 15 year career

Joseph Benavidez

Joseph Benavidez has decided to call time on his career in MMA. The flyweight fighter has competed since 2006.

The news came about after Benavidez was removed from the UFC rankings online. The retirement information was then confirmed by multiple sources.

MMAJunkie confirmed the news with sources behind the scenes and then Megan Olivi, Benavidez’s wife and beloved UFC broadcaster, confirmed the news on Twitter.

Joseph Benavidez was an incredibly important fight for the flyweight division. He was one of those athletes competing at bantamweight when it was obvious he was small for the weight class.

He was a part of the UFC’s flyweight tournament that would help crown the inaugural UFC flyweight champion. He knocked out Yasuhiro Urushitani in the semifinals before taking on Demetrious Johnson at UFC 152.

It’s fair to say, Joseph Benavidez’s arch-nemesis is Johnson. The two fought twice with Benavidez losing both contests.

It was largely agreed that Benavidez would have been a long-reigning champion had it not been for Johnson. Despite not winning the belt, his importance to the division cannot be overstated.

He fought for the title in WEC as well before the promotion famously merged with the UFC. He was competing at bantamweight where his only losses came to Dominick Cruz.

He was on a three-fight losing streak before calling it a career. The losses came to the best fighters in the division but it was enough for the 37-year-old to make a difficult decision.

Joseph Benavidez has yet to make an official statement regarding his retirement.