Ryan Benoit made quite a splash in his last UFC fight when he knocked out highly touted prospect Sergio Pettis, but following the win he wasn't screaming for a top 10 matchup just yet.
The win over Pettis put Benoit's name on the map, but he's looking at his UFC career as a marathon and not a sprint so there's plenty of time to call out top 10 opponents when the time is right.
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"I'm still early in my career and early in my contract so before I start getting into the top five guys, I'd like to get top five pay," Benoit told FOX Sports. "I don't want to get in a bad situation where I get somebody that's too tough, too early and when I do beat them and I'm still stuck in my lower contract. I kind of game planned this with my manager that we want to keep fighting the right type of fights for the right type of pay."
Benoit knows deep down that he's ready to compete with the best guys in the UFC after seeking out equally tough matchups before he even arrived in the promotion.
Taking those kinds of fights likely earned Benoit his spot on the UFC roster and nothing will get easier from here, but he still needs to approach his career with more in mind than satisfying some kind of alpha male machismo.
"This is a business," Benoit said. "I have a training camp to get me ready for fights. I have a manager for game planning my business side of the fight. We have a great relationship and we look at this Ben Nguyen fight (at UF 193) and it's a great fight. We looked at Sergio Pettis as a great way to get my name out there. I think we're approaching this very smart."
Another reason why Benoit is confident in his future with the UFC is thanks to the style he brings to the Octagon whenever he steps in to perform.
Benoit's first matchup that he accepted on short notice ended with a 'Fight of the Night' bonus and his second was getting the TKO finish over Pettis.
As he approaches his third fight this weekend against Nguyen at UFC 193 in Australia, Benoit knows that he's going to lay everything on the line once again to either get a finish or swing so hard there's no doubt what he was trying to do when it's over.
"I'm a brutal kind of fighter. I'm constantly looking for the big shot. All of my fights have been pretty entertaining, I bring it every time and I think the division kind of needs a guy like me," Benoit said.
"We were looking at statistics from either 2013 or 2014, I can't be sure, but there were only four knockouts in the flyweight division. I've fought at 135 my entire career and the UFC asked if I could make 125 and I said I'll make whatever weight class you want me to make. When I was at 135, I was knocking guys out. So I think I bring the power from 135 down to 125. I've had eight wins and seven of those are knockouts. I'm definitely the power puncher here and I want to be known as the heavy-handed 125'er."
This weekend, Benoit will kick off the entire show with the first fight of the night on UFC Fight Pass, but he plans on setting the tone for the rest of the card with his performance.
Benoit knows that fighting won't last forever so he wants to make as big an impact as possible in the time he has in the sport so when it's over he can retire with a pile of cash and the satisfaction of knowing that always gave everything he had.
"I'm trying to make as much money as I can while I'm here. To do that, I need to have entertaining fights, I need the highlight reel knockouts," Benoit said. "I may not always get it but I always go for it."