Joseph Benavidez has retired.
A longtime contender, Benavidez (28–8 MMA, 19–7 UFC) has hung up his gloves after 36 professional MMA fights – 26 of which came in the UFC. A staple of the UFC flyweight division’s upper echelon, Benavidez challenged for the 125-pound title on four occasions – twice against Demetrious Johnson and twice against Deiveson Figueiredo.
MMA Junkie verified the news with multiple people close to the situation, who requested anonymity because Benavidez has yet to officially make the announcement. According to sources, Benavidez instructed the UFC to remove him from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing pool.
Benavidez’s wife, UFC correspondent Megan Olivi, subsequently confirmed the news on social media (via Twitter):
Retirement adventures are gonna be fun ☺️👑❤️ My King Forever @JoeJitsu