SACRAMENTO, CA - If size matters, then heart, hardwork and determination is what will be measured when Joseph Benavidez enters the Octagon Saturday night to fight for the first ever UFC Flyweight Title.
"When you get in this sport you have to dream big," Benavidez told News10. "You have to think you are going to be the best. And now that it is finally here it is a crazy feeling, man"
Benavidez, who trains with Urijah Faber's Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, will face Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson (15-2-1) as the co-main event at UFC 152 in Toronto.
At 5'4 and 125 lbs. Benavidez (16-2) is who used to fighting much bigger opponents. His only two loses were a unanimous and split decision to UFC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz at 135 lbs. On Saturday, this will be Benavidez's first fight where he enters the cage as the bigger fighter to Johnson's 5'3 frame.
"It is awesome he is smaller than, he is just a little mighty mouse," said Benavidez. "It is nice being the bigger guy where I don't have to compromise my style to fight. At this weight I think my power can be known whether it is holding a guy and dominating him on the ground or staying in the pocket with him."
Originally, UFC 152 featured Benavidez and Johnson as the main event, but after a scheduling change they will now share the spotlight with the Jon Jones and Vitor Belfort bout for the UFC Light Heavyweight Title.
"This is just the first Flyweight (Title) fight ever. I'm a pratical guy, I know these guys (Jones and Belfort) are way more popular than me," Benavidez said. "But I have faith that we are going to deliver and put on the best fight of the night. This is a fast track to more exposure. We get to go in and steal the show."
UFC 152 is Saturday in Toronto on PPV.