The prelim card for UFC Fight Night 129 proved to be a lowkey barnburner with some incredible fights but possibly the most remarkable was the action-packed 39-second scrap between featherweights Gabriel Benítez and Humberto Bandenay.
Benítez came into this one having beaten one of the hottest young prospects in the division, Jason Knight.
But despite getting the unanimous decision, he wasn’t happy with his performance.
“In my last fight, I feel like I stuck to my plan and I did the things I needed to do right,” Benitez said before this one. “I feel fine with my performance, but I just want to get better. I want to be fighting better in every fight.”
Benitez first burst onto the scene four years ago at UFC 188, his promotion. On that day, he beat Humberto Brown via submission and since then has scored victories over Clay Collard and Sam Sicilia but also lost to Andre Fili and Enrique Barzola.
Before this fight went down, Benitez promised that he had improved in all aspects of his game and credited his team and training partners at AKA.
“I have good teammates and I feel like I am getting better every day and I think I have improved a lot over the past four years, but I need more,” said Benitez. “In my mind, I know I need more development and I want more. I know I gave a good performance in my last fight, but I know I can do more and better.”
That confidence clearly carried through to the Octagon for this one; Benitez came out strong and dropped Bandenay early with a sharp left uppercut.
From there, he smothered his opponent and delivered some frantic ground-n-pound but Bandenay’s wits soon returned and he was able to lock up a nasty-looking armbar.
With six submissions to his name (including two armbars), Benitez knew that he had to be careful when dealing with the dangerous Bandenay but rather than wriggle out of the conundrum, he chose to lift Bandenay into the air and slam him into the canvas with all his force!
That clearly stunned the Peruvian, which didn’t escape Benitez’s attention; he followed it up with some hammerfists and Benitez was out in a matter of seconds.
He was possibly even knocked him out from the slam itself but Benitez took no chances and finished the job with ruthless efficiency.
It was an incredible performance and one that will undoubtedly earn him an ‘of the Night’ bonus.
As for the rest of the division, they will most likely think twice before locking Benitez up in an armbar anytime soon!
WATCH THE FULL FIGHT ON THE PLAYER BELOW: