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Joseph Benavidez slated to return from injury against Sergio Pettis at UFC 225

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Joseph Benavidez returns against Sergio Pettis at UFC 225.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

One of the best flyweight fighters in the world is finally ready to come back.

Joseph Benavidez, a two-time UFC title challenger at 125 pounds, will make his long-awaited return from a 14-month injury layoff in a top-contender bout against Sergio Pettis on June 9 at UFC 225. The Chicago Tribune first reported the booking on Monday.

Benavidez (25-4) enters the contest riding a six-fight win streak that dates back to 2014 and includes victories over ranked contenders Henry Cejudo, John Moraga, and Tim Elliott.

Benavidez has not competed since Dec. 2016, when he outpointed Cejudo to win a matchup between the two coaches of The Ultimate Fighter 24. He subsequently suffered a torn ACL that sidelined him for all of 2017.

Despite the time off, though, Benavidez remains the No. 1 ranked contender on the UFC’s official media-generated flyweight rankings. In total, he carries a 12-2 Octagon record, with his only two losses coming via split decision in 2012 then via first-round knockout in 2013 at the hands of UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.

Pettis (16-3), meanwhile, looks to rebound after a Dec. 2017 unanimous decision loss to Cejudo snapped a four-fight win streak over the likes of Moraga, Brandon Moreno, Chris Cariaso, and Chris Kelades. The younger brother of former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, the 24-year-old Milwaukee native is currently ranked No. 5 at flyweight.

In addition, a heavyweight matchup between Rashad Coulter (8-3) and Allen Crowder (9-3) was also announced for UFC 225.

UFC 225 takes place at the United Center in Chicago, Ill. The card does not yet have a main event.