Joseph Benavidez Feels Jussier da Silva Is ‘Excellent Matchup’

By: Staff
Sep 2, 2013

Joseph Benavidez likes how he matches up with UFC Fight Night 28 opponent Jussier da Silva.

“I just think it’s an excellent matchup,” Benavidez told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I’ve had great fights against jiu-jitsu black belts in the past, some of my best fights.”

At one point in his career, Benavidez beat four straight Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts and even submitted two of them. Da Silva is another ground specialist, and Benavidez expects him to try to move the fight to the mat Wednesday in Brazil.

“I think he’s going to do what he’s good at,” Benavidez said. “You have to expect that. I think his standup is a lot improved, but when you’re a guy like that who’s a specialist at one thing, which is he’s very good at jiu-jitsu specifically from the top, when you’re that good at one thing, it’s hard to really do anything else or want to do anything else because you’re so good at one thing.”

Known as “Formiga,” da Silva is 1-1 in the UFC. He was stopped by John Dodson in his UFC debut before bouncing back with a unanimous decision over Chris Cariaso in May. He’ll enter the bout as’s No. 5-ranked flyweight in the world.

“I think he’s right there,” said Benavidez, who’s ranked No. 2, when asked if da Silva belongs in the conversation for top flyweights. “His losses are to two guys that have fought the champion in great fights, John Dodson and Ian McCall. He controlled McCall entirely for a whole round and even took him down at the end of the fight. … He’s dangerous as he can be. I think he’s ranked where he should be, four or five or whatever he is. He beat a tough Chris Cariaso pretty handily, so he’s a tough guy.”

With that said, though, Benavidez just didn’t think da Silva will have many options when they meet in the Octagon.

“He wants to take you down because that’s where he is good at, and honestly, I think that’s the only disadvantage I would have in the fight is him on top of me,” Benavidez said. “I don’t think it would be for long if he could get me down, but that’s the only place he could put me where he’s in a better position. Because even though he’s good on the ground, if I’m on top of him, I still think I’m beating him. I’m not worried about him from the bottom. I think I’m going to be in dominant control even though we’re in the grappling world, and on the feet I think I have the advantage.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:44:17).

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