Joseph Benavidez has always been a fan favorite. His style, charisma, and authenticity have appealed to the fans. Joseph admitted that he can count the number of opponents he’s disliked in one hand.
Joseph’s feelings towards his opponent Figueiredo stem from their last meeting. Figueiredo missed weight in their fight for the flyweight title back in February.
Joseph lost after an accidental headbutt hurt left Benavidez hurt. After the fight, Figueiredo downplayed the headbutt and Joseph was not too happy about it.
“It really does,” Benavidez told MMA Fighting when asked if Figueiredo’s demeanor bothered him. “Just the fact that he’s kind of like a villain to everybody I think. I don’t like him. That is rare for me. It’s not personal cause I don’t really know him, know him personally and everything. I definitely don’t like him.
“It definitely makes you want to go out there and hurt someone worse because when you fight, you win … you hurt him by proxy winning an MMA fight. You kind of have to. It’s one of those things where I want to put this guy away. I want to shut him up. I just don’t like him and that rarely happens in my career.”
According to Joseph, he has only felt this way towards two other opponents.
“The only people I haven’t liked and felt like I wanted to do that, the same similar way that I could compare was Miguel Torres back in the WEC. Ruined him,” Benavidez explained. “Then Henry Cejudo, beat him, [that] was his last loss. It was a great fight as well.”
Joseph won both of those fights and is confident he will defeat Figueiredo.
“That’s a pretty good track record for that feeling,” Benavidez said. “It’s nothing crazy emotional. It’s just like you’re actually fighting a guy you don’t like.”