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UFC 156: Benavidez outlasts McCall

Joseph Benavidez speaks during the UFC 152 pre-fight

Joseph Benavidez speaks during the UFC 152 pre-fight press conference at the Real Sports Bar and Grill in Toronto. (Sept. 20, 2012) Credit: AP

In his first 19 professional MMA bouts, Joseph Benavidez has three losses -- two against Dominick Cruz and one against Demetrious Johnson.

Cruz is the current UFC bantamweight champion, and Johnson beat Benavidez to win the UFC flyweight title. Two of those losses were via split decision in five-round fights.

Not too shabby of a resume, right?

Benavidez added to it with a unanimous decision win over Ian McCall at UFC 156 in Las Vegas. All three judges scored it 29-28 in favor of Benavidez. McCall (11-4-1) is now 0-2-1 since joining the UFC when the 125-pound division was created.

Benavidez will likely get the next title shot against flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, seeing how that division is very thin (no pun intended) right now. It was Johnson won edged Benavidez to win the inaugural UFC flyweight title last September.

"If there's a world title there, I'm going for it," Benavidez said.

Benavidez was cut on the forehead late in the first round from an accidental headbutt, but out-struck McCall with punches and kicks. He did the same in the third round, as well.

Benavidez (17-3) missed on a low leg shot in the final minute of the second round, and McCall took advantage by getting back and side control and landing several strikes via ground and pound to win the round.

New York Sports