If there’s still a UFC flyweight division by the next time Joseph Benavidez steps into the cage, it should be time for him to get another title shot.
Benavidez scored an impressive victory over Dustin Ortiz on Saturday night’s UFC Brooklyn main card, outworking him for 15 minutes and earning 29-28 scores across the board for a unanimous nod at Barclays Center.
With the victory, Benavidez (27-5) has now won two in a row and eight of his past nine, a stretch which includes a victory over current 125-pound champion Henry Cejudo.
Benavidez set the tone in the opening round by outgrappling Ortiz from the jump. In case there was any doubt who won the round, Benavidez dropped Ortiz with a big left hand late.
Ortiz had his moments in the fight, including a rear-naked choke in the closing seconds of the second round, but by and large, Benavidez’s wrestling skills held the day as he never let his opponent get untracked, scoring six takedowns over the course of the bout.
This marked Benavidez’s second career win over Ortiz, as he also won a unanimous decision in a Nov. 2014 bout.
“I think any 15 minutes is hard against this guy,” Benavidez said. “I did this with him once before and he worked his way back up the ranks and I said yeah, let’s do it.”
Three of Benavidez’s five career defeats have come in title fights, losing a decision to Dominick Cruz in a WEC bantamweight title bout and a pair of flyweight title fights against Demetrious Johnson.
Ortiz (19-8) had a three-fight winning streak snapped.