Then, after the bout was waved off, Benoit also delivered a literal kick to the rear behind the referee's back.
That was enough to get Benoit's hometown crowd to turn on him after the Dallas resident's biggest career win.
But the jeers of the Texas faithful will be the only punishment Benoit will face, according to UFC president Dana White.
"The kid was fired up," White said at the UFC 185 post-fight press conference. "He did it. He immediately apologized afterwards."
The difference between such actions, and the UFC's infamous decision to cut Paul Daley after throwing a punch at Josh Koscheck after a bout in Montreal, is that unlike Daley, Benoit apologized profusely for his actions right afterwards.
White put Benoit's act in the same category as new UFC women's strawweight champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk. She and Claudia Gadelha threw punches at one another after the referee stepped in between them at the end of Jędrzejczyk's decision win in December.
"The same thing happened in Joanna's fight and she started apologizing," White said. "When someone apologizes and realizes what they did and apologizes, it's all good."