Emotional Joseph Benavidez opens up on retirement, says he made decision a while back

·2 min read

The news that he was officially retired came out a little sooner than Joseph Benavidez expected, but it’s a decision he came to terms with a while back.

After fans noticed his name was removed from the UFC’s flyweight rankings, speculations arose and the news later became official that multiple-time title challenger and perennial contender Benavidez has decided to hang up his gloves.

Although it wasn’t news to Benavidez (28-8 MMA, 19-7 UFC) himself, the 37-year-old couldn’t help but get emotional when he saw the public’s support and praise for his accomplished career.

“I’ve known I’ve been retired, so I didn’t also think it would be an emotional thing,” Benavidez told TSN. “But just reading a bunch of stuff, I was crying in the backyard – so it’s been a good day. I haven’t been able to put anything out myself yet.”

Benavidez said once he notified the UFC of his decision and he was removed from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing pool, everything happened fast.

“It just kind of came very sudden,” Benavidez said. “I’ve actually known I was going to retire for a while, but you have to make it official, I guess, to retire and do all that stuff – like tell the people that it concerns, like (UFC matchmaker) Mick Maynard, that you’re going to retire, and USADA and all that. So I actually just had to kind of do that yesterday because I was bored. I was like, ‘I should probably make this official.’ I’ve kind of been retired, in a way.

“So I talked to Mick, and he was like, ‘Yeah, you’re probably going to be out of the rankings here soon, so people will probably know what’s happening.’ I said cool. He said it’ll probably be until Monday, but then I got out of a workout, and I had a few people messaging me, and I was like, ‘Well, here we go. That’s how it is.’ In all honesty, I hadn’t really had time to post and to really take it all in.”

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