TUF 28 Finale Results: Joseph Benavidez Finishes Alex Perez Twice in One Night

Joseph Benavidez UFC
Joseph Benavidez Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Thanks to some questionable refereeing, Joseph Benavidez had to do a little extra work to get the finish over Alex Perez at the TUF 28 Finale.

The culmination of UFC’s Ultimate Fighter Season 28 went down Friday night from the
Pearl Theatre at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. In early action, fans saw the flyweight (yes, still a weight class in the UFC, for now) division in action. That came with a meeting of Joseph Benavidez and Alex Perez on the TUF 28 Finale preliminary card, for three rounds or less.

It turned out to be less, but Benavidez certainly had to earn it.

As the fight got underway, Benavidez fired off a body kick that Perez answered with a right hand. Benavidez looked for another kick that Perez caught; he quickly moved onto his back and tried for an arm triangle. Benavidez was quick to escape. Perez then threw a kick that Benavidez answered with a flurry that looked to have hurt Alex Perez.

With Benavidez slowly taking control of the fight, he moved in and the two worked in the clinch for a moment before they separated. Benavidez rushed forward with a 1-2 combo and shortly after repeated the attack. Key difference, this time he secured the take down. Benavidez rained punches down on a fallen Perez and it looked like the fight was done. To the point that ref Yves Lavigne appeared to step in and stop the action — only to step back and let it continue. What exactly the thought process behind the decision was is unclear, but Joseph Benavidez stopped his attack thinking he’d won.

Just as quickly he had to get back into the fight. Luckily as action resumed Benavidez was quick to get Perez in the same position again. This time Lavigne called a stop to the action, for good, as Benavidez was dropping bombs on a helpless Perez for a second time.

With the division on thin ice and Henry Cejudo facing T.J. Dillashaw next, what the win really means for Benavidez remains to be seen. Maybe award him two wins, since he had to finish the fight twice.

Joseph Benavidez def. Alex Perez by TKO, Round 1, 4:19