Joseph Benavidez faces Dominick Cruz in a WEC bantamweight title bout this Wednesday in Las Vegas. With a ground game polished under the tutelage of Brazil’s Fabio Pateta, Benavidez comes into the fight with street credit after submitting former number-1 Miguel Torres in his last appearance. The fighter sat down for an exclusive chat with GRACIEMAG.com collaborator Diego Marcello. Check it out:
You lost to Dominick Cruz before. What do you expect in this rematch now worth the title?
This time will be different. I’m very focused on this fight and I’ve been working hard. I’m very confident. I dream of this belt every day; it’s mine! (laughs)
In 2009 your team (Alpha Male) came to Brazil to work on its Jiu-Jitsu. Do you intend to travel to sharpen up your ground game again?
I can’t wait to go to Brazil. I plan to go with my whole team after this fight.
What’s your training routine for this fight like?
I train every day. In the morning I train wrestling, in the afternoon MMA and striking with Master Thong, and at night I do Jiu-Jitsu with Fábio Pateta.
How did you get your start as a fighter?
I started in wrestling six years ago and was champion of New Mexico.
In MMA, a friend of mine saw me training and decided to take me to Urijah Faber’s gym. That’s where it all started, just four years ago.
Any message for your fans?
I’d like to thank all the fans and GRACIEMAG readers. I know the site and magazine are really well known in Brazil too, so I’d like to ask for Brazil’d backing come August 18. Thanks for the support.
Check out a day in the life of the challenger to Dominick Cruz’s belt: