UFC 259 Results: Third Straight Loss Could Mean Retirement for Joseph Benavidez

Published 03/06/2021, 9:43 PM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: (L-R) Joseph Benavidez punches Askar Askaarov of Russia in their flyweight fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


UFC flyweights Joseph Benavidez and Askar Askarov went to war on the preliminary card for UFC 259. The undefeated Russian fighter in Askarov came in with a dominant decision win that had fans chirping about his potential. The 13-0 standout largely dominated Benavidez in all realms and displayed a comprehensive game plan that he stuck to for the full 15 minutes.

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Joseph Benavidez looked out of sorts in certain positions and wasn’t able to maintain consistency in his offense or defense. Furthermore, he was out of his depth in the grappling department with shades of the Deiveson Figueiredo 2 fight coming to mind. The preliminary card feature was the perfect spot for Askarov to showcase his growth against a former title challenger.

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Twitter had plenty to say about Benavidez’s possible downslide while also complimenting Askar Askarov. Fighters and media members alike clearly recognized the Russian’s potential. Chiefly, there are championship projections being laid out for him following the fight.

Where does Joseph Benavidez go from here after three straight losses?

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The once-formidable title challenger has run into a rather unfortunate career skid as of late, and things are not looking up. Benavidez has lost his last three fights and doesn’t look like the same fighter he once did in some respects. However, it’s tough to know his overall trajectory, especially when looking at the quality of opponents he’s faced.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: (R-L) Askar Askaarov of Russia punches Joseph Benavidez in their flyweight fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Prior to the skid, he was on a three-fight win streak that brought him to two title shots against ‘Deus de Guerra’. However, it seems as though those fights against the Brazilian champion went a long way in changing his path. Benavidez has a lot of soul searching to do and will have to be selective about the fights he takes.

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Another loss from here on out will virtually guarantee his departure from the flyweight division he once dominated. Moreover, it seems like the mileage he’s been under for several years has caught up to him. Looking at his strength of schedule, taking another fight against one of the fringe top 15 prospects is the only way to go for Joseph Benavidez.

What do you think is next for Joseph Benavidez in the UFC or his professional MMA career?

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Darryl Pinto

1875 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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