“It was definitely a life-changer, but it really changed my attitude towards life and fighting back to what it was. It was really just that one fight that I feel like I kind of got away from myself as far as enjoying (the experience) and taking the fight as `just another fight.’ It was just so colossal to me, and with the wait, I built it up and obsessed over it way too much. I had never done that for a fight before, but I also never had a fight that was the first-ever flyweight title, so it really helped me just get back to what I did before – keep it easygoing, stay relaxed; know that it’s another day at the office out there, and have fun. I’m lucky to be doing this and it’s fun for me, so it’s really just been getting back to that for me. I always want to win, but if the last fight was life or death, it’s never going to be like that again. That was the worst it could possibly be – I built that up so much, I couldn’t imagine losing, and I did lose. That’s the worst that’s going to happen, and I’ve gone through that, so what else is there to worry about as far as the rematch is concerned?” (PHOTO CREDIT: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports) “The biggest change (since our first fight) is that he had a kid and I got a dog; that would be the biggest thing. We’re fighting to put food on the table. Since (the first fight), I think I’ve shown improvement, and that goes with the mentality that I’ve switched back to and the techniques I’ve been learning and the training I’ve been getting from a new coach. Those are two pretty big things that have happened in between a fight. It’s easy to have a fight and say, `I’ve changed this and I’ve changed that,’ but those are two pretty big things that I can talk about and are concrete that you can see. There have definitely been some big improvements that I’ve made since our last fight.” (PHOTO CREDIT: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports) “I fight in the UFC. Every fighter that does this sport dreams of fighting in the UFC, and I get to do it. Every person in the world wishes they could do something they love for a living – that’s their main goal – and I get to do what I love. I get to do it for the best organization in the world, and I get to do it with the top guys. I’m lucky to be doing this, and I’m always going to go out there and do the best that I can – and that’s all I can do.” (PHOTO CREDIT: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) “I don’t want to make it seem like I don’t care about it or anything, but the reality is I can’t do anything about it. The biggest thing that helps is that I built the last one up so much that I felt like my world was going to come crumbling down if I lost. I really, honestly thought there was no way it was going to happen – it was never in my mind – and it happened. It’s not going to get worse than that. At the end of the day, I’m fighting for my third world title – there are a ton of people that are never going to get a title fight in their career, and that makes me work that much harder to keep it going and have some success.” (PHOTO CREDIT: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) “Last time, whenever I thought about winning the belt, I almost felt like I was going to cry. I would tense up and want to yell – just when I was thinking about winning it. Now when I think about winning it, I just kind of think about being like `All right – nice. I get a belt this time.’ It’s weird, but I think that’s the way it’s built up in my head. This time I just visualize smiling, looking at the family, the team, and the corners – nothing crazy, because win or lose, I still have to go back and train my ass off. Nothing really changes either way.” (PHOTO CREDIT: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
Joseph Benavidez (19-3) understands a lot is at stake tomorrow night at when it comes to his showdown with champion UFC on FOX 9 Demetrious Johnson. However, the 29-year old isn’t losing any sleep over how the match-up may unfold. All three of his losses have come in title-fights, so he’s certainly “been there and done that” before, but more importantly he gained a new perspective on his career after falling to Johnson last year in a closely-contested clash. Benavidez opened up in a recent interview with UFC.com where he provided detailed insight into how much his mindset has changed since the stumble.