Gabriel Benitez
Moggly

Mexico

Out
Injury Lower Leg
Est. Return 11/14/2020
Nasty leg injury leads to suspension
FeatherweightUFC
Out
May 14, 2020
Benitez was suspended 180 days by the Florida Boxing Commission on Thursday pending a physician's clearance, Nolan King of MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
While Florida doesn't disclose injury specifics, anyone watching the telecast at this point saw Benitez's exposed shin bone as a result of continued Morales low kicks. The graphic injury actually occurred earlier in the bout, and it's a statement to the toughness of Benitez that he was able to continue through the third round. He'll now need to get medical clearance if he wishes to make the walk to the Octagon prior to mid-November.
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Battles before dropping decision
FeatherweightUFC
Out
May 13, 2020
Benitez lost to Omar Morales via unanimous decision (27-30, 28-29, 28-29) at UFC Fight Night on Wednesday in Jacksonville.
ANALYSIS
Benitez performed admirably, but this was the correct call. He made a concerted effort to pepper Morales with leg kicks, and while the plan worked, it also left Benitez with a vicious gash on his leg that hampered his movement. He struggled with the size and length of Morales in what was a 15-minute kickboxing match. Benitez has put together some impressive performances over the course of his run with the UFC, but his career record with the company is barely over .500 (5-4). He has lost two straight, and the soon-to-be 32-year-old appears unlikely to make a significant run at lightweight any time soon.
New opponent, new date
FeatherweightUFC
Out
May 4, 2020
Benitez appears in line take on Omar Morales at a UFC Fight Night event in Jacksonville on May 13, Marcel Dorff of MMA DNA reports.
ANALYSIS
Per the ESPN website, this fight will be contested in the featherweight division. Both fighters have had plans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic so far, as Benitez was scheduled originally for UFC London on March 21. Morales, on the other hand, lost a fight with Alexander Hernandez on April 18. Benitez will be giving up a bit of height and reach to Morales, but also has logged significantly more time under the UFC banner. He's 2-2 in his last four bouts, most recently losing to Sodiq Yussuf via first-round finish last August.
No longer facing Murphy
FeatherweightUFC
Out
March 15, 2020
Benitez will no longer face Lerone Murphy on Saturday following the relocation of UFC London, MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The UFC will be relocating the weekend's event, per an official statement, which leaves fighters like Benitez unable to secure travel plans on short notice, especially given the recently-imposed restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19. It's unclear if this matchup will be rescheduled for a later date. The news was also confirmed via Murphy's personal Instagram account.
Fighting in London
FeatherweightUFC
Out
December 30, 2019
Benitez (foot) will take on Lerone Murphy in a featherweight matchup at UFC London on March 21.
ANALYSIS
Benitez suffered a right foot fracture during his loss to Sadiq Yusuff via TKO (punches) at UFC 241 in August, and it resulted in a 180-day medical suspension. However, the 31-year-old should still be able to have a fairly normal training regimen ahead of his return to the Octagon. Murphy's UFC debut in September against Zubaira Tukhugov ended in a draw, which brought his professional record to 8-0-1. Both fighters are known for their striking abilities, but Benitez was unable to absorb enough punches in his last fight, leading to the loss to Yusuff. Murphy carries height and reach advantages over Benitez.
Suffers possible foot fracture
FeatherweightUFC
Out
August 19, 2019
Benitez has been suspended for 180 days due to a potential right foot fracture, Steven Marrocco of MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Benitez was unable to hold his own against Sadiq Yusuff at UFC 241, falling via TKO at just 4:14 of the first round. He may have picked up a pair of injuries along the way, though the foot issue appears to be the most severe. He will need to gain clearance from a physician if he wants to fight again before February of 2020.