Joseph Benavidez Will Serve as Backup to Cejudo vs. Dillashaw at UFC on ESPN Card in Brooklyn

Joseph Benavidez will have to fight Deiveson Figueiredo one week earlier than scheduled but he also now gets to serve as the backup to the main event on the debut UFC card on ESPN+ in January.

Joseph Benavidez lost a fight but he will still get the opportunity to serve as the backup to the upcoming flyweight title bout between Henry Cejudo and bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw.

UFC officials announced on Thursday that Benavidez’s previously announced matchup against Deiveson Figueiredo had been put on hold following the cancellation of UFC 223 in Anaheim on Jan. 26.

Benavidez will still stay in training camp and go through the weight cut, however, as he’s been pegged as the back up should Cejudo or Dillashaw not be able to compete on Jan. 19 at the UFC’s debut card on ESPN+ from Brooklyn.

“A flyweight bout between Joseph Benavidez and Deiveson Figueiredo has also been put on hold. Benavidez will be brought in as a backup for the January 19 bout between Henry Cejudo and TJ Dillashaw,” UFC officials wrote on Thursday.

It’s unknown why the UFC decided to scrap the fight but Benavidez will still remain a backup to the main event.

Cejudo will be defending his title against Dillashaw, who will move down from bantamweight for the opportunity to become a two division champion.


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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.