Benavidez: Cejudo is playing the victim

UFC flyweight Joseph Benavidez has heard Henry Cejudo say a lot about their back-and-forth, three-round fight earlier this month in Las Vegas.

One thing he hasn't heard from Cejudo, however, is a request to do it again.

Benavidez (25-4) picked up a split-decision win over Cejudo on Dec. 3, in a closely contested bout. Judges Glenn Trowbridge and Derek Clearly scored the fight for Benavidez via scores of 30-26 and 29-27, respectively. Judge Marcos Rosales had it 29-27 for Cejudo.

Shortly after the fight was over, Cejudo claimed he heard several of Benavidez's teammates thought the final scores were incorrect. He later told MMAFighting.com the result was a "complete robbery."

"Honestly, I expected that out of him," Benavidez told ESPN's 5ive Rounds podcast. "When I hear that, I feel he's playing the victim. He sees his fans, which, of course, no fan is going to con on the Internet and say, 'Hey, I think the right and proper decision was made.' People are going to talk smack to the person who won.

"Funny enough, in the press conference, I was like, 'If Henry honestly thinks he won, I'll do an immediate rematch. It doesn't matter to me.' But then [reporters] said, 'We already talked to Henry and he said he doesn't want an immediate rematch.' If he really thought he won, he'd probably be asking for that."

A U.S. Olympic gold medalist in wrestling, Cejudo did acknowledge on fight night he wished to "take a break" from Benavidez, after recently coaching against him on the "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series.

Benavidez said he was happy that a point deduction in the first round against Cejudo (10-2) did not ultimately affect the scorecards. Referee Yves Lavigne docked Cejudo a point in the opening minutes of the fight for landing two accidental kicks to the groin.

A point deduction can be huge in a three-round bout, but in this case, it would not have affected the final scorecards. Benavidez said he didn't even want a point to be taken at the time of the foul.

"I think people are making a bigger deal about the point deduction than they need to," Benavidez said. "Give him back the point and the scores are still the same.

"I don't really think it should have been taken away, to tell you the truth. [But] I mean, it was hard for the referee not to take it because he had just kicked me and I think it was a matter of seconds later, he did it again.

"[The referee had said], 'Do it again, I have to take away a point.' It kind of called his bluff almost. The referee had to take a point. But me, I would have been fine with him not taking it."

Benavidez, who trains out of Las Vegas and Denver, is on a six-fight win streak and is widely viewed as the No. 1 flyweight contender. He has lost twice to dominant champion Demetrious Johnson, in 2012 and 2013, which has kept him in a sort of title shot purgatory, despite a three-year unbeaten run.