Gabriel Benitez proud to have ex-champ Cain Velasquez in corner for UFC Fight Night 234

LAS VEGAS – Most fighters don’t have the prestige and luxury of a former UFC champion in their country, or at least very often.

For Gabriel Benitez, he’ll experience that Saturday with not just an ex-champ, but an ex-heavyweight titleholder. Cain Velasquez will walk out with Benitez (23-11 MMA, 7-6 UFC) when he takes on MMA ironman Jim Miller (36-17 MMA, 25-16 UFC) in a lightweight bout at UFC Fight Night 234.

“Cain was the champ before, and he has a lot of experience,” Benitez said at Wednesday’s media day in Las Vegas. “But the good thing, he knows how to share the experience. A lot of fighters, they’re super good. Or coaches, they’re super good, but they don’t know how to (work with you). I’m glad (to have him), and I feel like right now, Cain is like a big brother for everyone else. I’m grateful to have him in my corner again.”

Benitez is looking to put together a second straight win for the third time in the UFC. He’s yet to win three straight in the promotion after his appearance on the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America.”

In August 2022, he took out Charlie Ontiveros with a first-round TKO to snap a two-fight skid. But 11 months ago, with a chance to fight Miller and built on that win, Benitez had to pull out. Now that fight is rebooked and a win would give the 35-year-old Mexican fighter his first two-fight streak in nearly six years.

And while the bulk of the MMA world knows Miller as a record-setting legend, Benitez is taking the “just another fighter” tack.

“To be honest, I don’t watch fights, so I didn’t know (who he was) before (the matchup),” Benitez said. “But I heard about him and I know he has a lot of fights and he’s a good fighter. I’m excited, and I know he’s a tough fighter, and he’s not new in this. He’s like me. He wants to put on a show, so I’m ready for that.”

UFC Fight Night 234 (ESPN+) takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Benitez fights Miller in the featured bout on the main card.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 234.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie