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Joseph Benavidez
Born July 31, 1984 (1984-07-31) (age 25)
San Antonio, Texas, USA[1]
Nationality American[2]
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)[1]
Weight 135 lb (61 kg; 9.6 st)[2]
Reach 66.0 in (168 cm)
Style Wrestling, Grappling
Fighting out of Sacramento, CA, U.S.[2]
Team Team Alpha Male[3]
MMA record
Total 13
Wins 12
By knockout 3
By submission 7
Losses 1
last updated on: March 10, 2010

Joseph Rolando Benavidez (born July 31, 1984) is an Mexican-American mixed martial arts fighter. After fighting in smaller shows while working as a screen printer in New Mexico, he joined up with Urijah Faber's Team Alpha Male in 2007. He has since fought in Dream and most recently the World Extreme Cagefighting promotion. He currently fights as a bantamweight in WEC and has a 12-1 record. His fighting style has drawn comparisons to training partner and former WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber.[4]

Benavidez is currently ranked as the No. 3 Bantamweight in the world by Sherdog.[5]



Benavidez attended Las Cruces High School where he played varsity football[citation needed] and wrestled varsity for 4 years (1999-2002).[6] In 2000 Benavidez became the State Wrestling Champion of New Mexico at 103 lbs during his sophomore year.[1][7] Benavidez also wrestled one year (2001-02) at William Penn University in Iowa before moving back to Las Cruces, New Mexico.[8][9]

MMA Career

Benavidez has been competing for several years in mixed martial arts. The exact number of underground or unsanctioned fights he participated in is unknown, but he was undefeated in all of his amateur and professional fights until his first loss to Dominick Cruz via decision in 2009. The fight turned out to be a #1 contenders match for the WEC Bantamweight (135lb) Title. His next fight is to be on March 6, 2010 at WEC 47 where his opponent is rumored to be[10] former WEC Bantamweight champion Miguel Torres, who dominated the division with 17 consecutive wins[11]. Both Benavidez's first loss and Torres loss of the Bantamweight title occurred on August 9th, 2009 at WEC 42. Benavidez's last fight was at WEC 45 where he knocked out world renowned submission specialist Rani Yahya in the first round.

Benavidez has used Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold" (or a similar version of the song) as his entrance music throughout his career, which alludes to his preferred method of finishing a fight.


Team Alpha Male

Before joining up with Urijah Faber, Benavidez fought in smaller shows and trained while working as a screen printer in New Mexico. Hoping to eventually make a living fighting MMA, he sought out Faber on a trip to California in January 2007. Unable to find Faber's gym, he visited one in Roseville hoping to locate him. There his fighting ability impressed the members and instructors enough (or, in Faber's words: "[he] basically beat the crap out of everyone")[3] to refer him to Faber. This was only hours before Benavidez' flight home was due and he had to leave for the airport, unable to meet up with him.[3]

"I had finally found him, and it was at the end of my vacation. I went to airport and my friends dropped me off; [I] was ready to go back to New Mexico and my regular life."[3]

His flight was then canceled, giving him the chance to meet up with Faber as he had hoped. Benavidez impressed Faber enough to offer him a job at the front desk of his gym, enabling him to leave New Mexico to come train with him and his team. Benavidez then went back to New Mexico, "jammed everything into his car" and moved to California.[3]

WEC and Dream

After fighting with smaller US-based promotions, Benavidez was offered a fight with Norifumi Yamamoto by Japanese MMA-promoter Dream in July 2008 at Dream 5.[3] The bout was canceled only days before the fight,[3] and Benavidez was instead matched against Junya Kudo whom he defeated by guillotine choke submission. Benavidez was then signed by US-based World Extreme Cagefighting. On December 3, 2008, he fought Danny Martinez at WEC 37 and won by unanimous decision. He defeated Jeff Curran by unanimous decision at WEC 40 on April 5, 2009.[3] Benavidez dominated Curran from the opening bell with superior grappling and striking, knocking the opponent down in the first round. Curran unsuccessfully attempted an armbar in the second round and a triangle choke in the third round. Joseph fought Dominick Cruz at WEC 42 and lost by unanimous decision so Dominick is expected to get a shot at the WEC Bantamweight Championship at the end of 2009 or early 2010.

Benavidez fought Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Rani Yahya on December 19, 2009 at WEC 45.[12] Benavidez won via first round TKO.[13]

In his most recent match, Benavidez defeated former WEC Bantaweight Champion Miguel Torres on March 6, 2010 at WEC 47.[14]

Benavidez has also recently signed a sponsorship with AMP Energy, who is the World Extreme Cagefighting's main sponsor.

MMA record

Record Result win Opponent Method Round (time) Event Weight Location Date Notes
12-1 Win United States Miguel Torres Submission (Guillotine Choke) Round 2 (2:57) WEC 47: Bowles vs. Cruz BW 135 lb (61 kg) United States Columbus, Ohio, US 02010-03-06 March 6, 2010 Won Submission of the Night Award
11-1 Win Brazil Rani Yahya TKO (Strikes) Round 1 (1:35) WEC 45: Cerrone vs. Ratcliff BW 135 lb (61 kg) United States Las Vegas, Nevada, US 02009-12-19 December 19, 2009
10-1 Loss United States Dominick Cruz Decision (Unanimous) Round 3 (5:00) WEC 42: Torres vs. Bowles BW 135 lb (61 kg) United States Las Vegas, Nevada, US 02009-08-09 August 9, 2009 Won Fight of the Night Award
10-0 Win United States Jeff Curran Decision (unanimous) Round 3 (5:00) WEC 40: Torres vs. Mizugaki BW 135 lb (61 kg) United States Chicago, Illinois, US 02009-04-05 April 5, 2009
9-0 Win United States Danny Martinez Decision (unanimous) Round 3 (5:00) WEC 37: Torres vs. Tapia BW 135 lb (61 kg) United States Las Vegas, Nevada, US 02008-12-03 December 3, 2008 WEC debut
8-0 Win Japan Junya Kudo Submission (guillotine choke) Round 1 (2:42) DREAM.5 Light Weight Grand Prix 2008 Final Round FW 138 lb (63 kg) Japan Osaka, Japan 02008-07-21 July 21, 2008
7-0 Win United States Maurice Eazel Submission (rear naked choke) Round 1 (1:02) PFC 8 - A Night of Champions ?? United States Lemoore, California US 02008-05-08 May 8, 2008
6-0 Win United States Jason Georgianna Submission (guillotine choke) Round 2 (0:38) PFC 6 - No Retreat, No Surrender ?? United States Lemoore, California US 02008-01-17 January 17, 2008
5-0 Win United States Rocky Del Monte Submission (triangle choke) Round 2 (N/A) IE - Independent Event ?? United States Lakeport, California, US 02007-06-01 June 1, 2007
4-0 Win United States Carlos Lovio TKO Round 1 (N/A) Bring it On - Under Destruction ?? United States Oxnard, California US 02007-04-28 April 28, 2007
3-0 Win United States Justin Smitley TKO (cut) Round 3 (2:18) WC 2 - Warrior Cup 2 ?? United States Stockton, California, US 02007-04-07 April 7, 2007
2-0 Win United States Ramon Rodriguez Submission (triangle choke) Round 2 (2:33) BW - Border Warz ?? United States Colorado Springs, Colorado, US 02006-10-14 October 14, 2006
1-0 Win United States Brandon Shelton Submission (kimura) Round 2 (N/A) UFP - Universal Fight Promotions ?? United States New Mexico, US 02006-06-03 June 3, 2006


  1. ^ a b c "Profile on". Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  2. ^ a b c "Fight Finder - Joseph Benavidez". 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Probst, Jason (2009-03-13). "Sherdog Prospect Watch: Joseph Benavidez". Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  4. ^ Dave Doyle (2009-03-01). "WEC notes: Karalexis heeds wake-up call". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Joe Benavidez | Ultimate Fitness on Purefight". 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  7. ^ "State Champions Individual". 
  8. ^ "The Next Level" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  9. ^ "William Penn University wrestling roster for 2001-02: Joseph Benavidez". Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Joseph Benavidez vs. Rani Yahya set for WEC 45 in December". Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  13. ^ "After surprising start from Yahya, Benavidez claims stoppage just at WEC 45". Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  14. ^ "Miguel Torres vs. Joseph Benavidez set for WEC 47, likely to determine No. 1 contender". 2009-12-31. 

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