What mattered most at UFC on ESPN+ 30 at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi? Here are a few post-fight musings …

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1. Heartbreak for Joseph Benavidez

That was a tough one to watch from Joseph Benavidez. Everyone knew he was facing a steep climb against Deiveson Figueiredo in their flyweight title rematch after seeing what went down in the first fight, but there was optimism he could pull it out.

Unfortunately, it went even worse the second time around. Benavidez was dropped multiple times then strangled out cold by Figueiredo and now sits on the first 0-4 UFC title fight record in history. The situation is not lost on Benavidez, who turns 36 on July 31, as there’s almost no chance of another title shot coming.

Benavidez admitted post-fight he knows he won’t get another crack at the belt, and will have to live with being second best for the rest of his days. It’s unfortunate, because anyone who has met Benavidez face-to-face knows he’s one of the genuine good guys in MMA and will now go down as one of the best fighters to never gets hands on a UFC title.

What happens from this point forward, though, could potentially be very dangerous. Benavidez said in his post-fight press conference that he doesn’t want to go out on a loss and have his final octagon image being choked out cold. That’s perfectly understandable, but the race to go out on a final moment of glory has the possibility for grave consequences.

If the next one doesn’t go Benavidez way, does he try again? What about the one after that? Or the one after that? Even in defeat, Benavidez is still capable of beating most 125-pound fighters out there, so this may not be a problem. However, if he follows through with this plan, he’s putting himself on a tightrope that could have a scary fall.