Multiple-time UFC flyweight title challenger and perennial division contender, Joseph Benavidez has retired from professional mixed martial arts with immediate effect, following a storied career spanning the course of 15-years.
Benavidez, 37, retires from the sport boasting a 28-8 professional record, lasting competing against Askar Askarov at UFC 259 in March — dropping a unanimous decision loss. The defeat followed a pair of knockout and submission losses to former flyweight champion, Deiveson Figueiredo in his third and fourth title tilt, respectively.
The San Antonio native had been removed from the USADA testing pool today, having requested his removal from the anti-doping agency’s program through the UFC. Benavidez’s wife, UFC analyst, and roving reporter, Megan Olivi confirmed her husband’s retirement this evening. (H/T MMA Junkie)
“Retirement adventures are gonna be fun,” Olivi tweeted. “My King Forever @JoeJitsu.“
Benavidez, a longtime trainee at Team Alpha MMA, has competed under the banners of both DREAM and the now-defunct, WEC, where he unsuccessfully challenged Dominick Cruz for the bantamweight crown, before his March 2011 UFC bow.
The Texan would twice challenge, Demetrious Johnson for first inaugural gold, and then the undisputed title, dropping a split decision and a first round knockout loss respectively.
Throughout the course of his career, Benavidez managed eight knockout wins to go with a further nine submission stoppages — taking professional triumphs against the likes of Rani Yahya, Miguel Torres, Eddie Wineland, Ian McCall, Jussier Formiga (x2), Tim Elliot, Dustin Ortiz (x2), Ali Bagautinov, Alex Perez, and Henry Cejudo.