The nickname “Baby Face” may not be the most intimidating nickname of all time, but it should be, now that up-and-comer Ryan Benoit uses the moniker. The Texan has amassed a 6-1 record in his young career, finishing all six of his wins. For a small man, Benoit is powerful, precise and improving rapidly.

Luckily for Benoit, he has been able to take fights with one of the most respected regional promotions in Legacy Fighting Championships. Thanks to his spot on the promotion’s roster, Benoit has been able to fight for audiences with cable television packages that include AXS TV.

“Legacy Fighting Championship definitely helped me by getting me in front of a camera,” Benoit explained in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “To be on the TV main-card spot really exposed me to an audience that may not have known me. My fights in Legacy were quick, but people were impressed and got to see my skill.”

Three of Benoit’s fights have come with the Texas-based promotion, but now Benoit will take his talents much farther north. He will make his Maximum Fighting Championship debut in Canada. It is a promotion that utilizes a ring and is known for exciting fights.

Benoit (top) delivers shots (Andy Hemingway/Sherdog)

“The ring doesn’t necessarily change up my game plan,” Benoit admitted. “I have really wanted to fight in a ring because the cage is kind of a disadvantage to strikers and benefits guys who constantly go for takedowns. I think this will be a fun experience.”

Benoit has been impressive to say the least in his fights. In fact, his three televised Legacy bouts all lasted less than three minutes, including his latest 62-second win over UFC veteran Joseph Sandoval. That victory has definitely garnered him some consideration from the world’s largest MMA promotion.

“A UFC contract is in my reach, I have been talking to them a little bit lately,” Benoit said. “Beating Sandoval the way I did was great for me and a huge credential on my record.”

Benoit is young, but he is well-rounded. All of his skills are developing nicely, as Benoit is a sponge and a workhorse in the gym. All of this has turned him into a top prospect at 135 pounds.

“I have been working hard on my striking, and knocking out Sandoval was a great boost to my confidence on the feet,” he said. “I have a background in wrestling, but I can definitely strike too.”

Although Benoit has spent his career at bantamweight, he is eyeing a potential move to another weight class that is starting to expand in the world of MMA.

“Flyweight is definitely in my future. I naturally weigh about 148 to 155 pounds,” he explained. “I’m not a big 135er, but I’m definitely not small. A good enough offer will definitely attract me to 125, even if I haven’t cut to that weight in a long while.”

Benoit takes on Anthony Birchak at the upcoming MFC 37 event. Birchak is well-rounded, but Benoit holds his own skills in high regard in comparison to his upcoming foe.

“Most of my wins are knockouts, but some of them are on the ground. Birchak’s decent on the ground, but he’s not as good as I am,” Benoit said. “I’m a quick learner and have been wrestling since I was a little kid, but I am very comfortable if Anthony wants to go on the ground.”

Benoit (R) looks to attack (Andy Hemingway/Sherdog)

Wherever the fight goes, Benoit feels he has the advantage over Birchak. Although he is not a striking-based fighter, he has worked diligently to become competent in the art.

“I’m going to expose his striking,” declared Benoit. “His boxing and kicks aren’t nearly as good as mine. I will also expose his jiu-jitsu. I have a great coach in Chris Brennan, and he’s made me into a better grappler. He’s gonna be in a whole new world.”

Leading up to this fight, Benoit and Birchak have seemingly had some bad blood via Twitter and the media. In fact, the two have grabbed the attention of MFC, which has advertised the feud on its website in the lead up to this fight.

“We’re both professionals and we’re marketing ourselves,” Birchak explained. “We’re both up-and-comers and we know trash talk is all a part of the game. I’m sure after the fight we can be cool and shake hands, but for now I hate him and I have to if I am going to fight him in the cage.”

Benoit is very open to fighting anyone who comes along, but the Birchak fight is high stakes for both men. A potential date with gold and further exposure may be the big prize at the end of the tunnel for the victor.

“It’s hard to say right now who I want after Birchak, but apparently the winner of our fight will fight for the MFC bantamweight belt,” Benoit said. “It’s just great to travel outside Texas and take fights.”

Ryan would like to thank God for the blessing of giving him a child this upcoming October, Mark and Scott from MFC for opening doors for him, his trainers, Jesus Chavez, Chris Brennan, his mother and all of his training partners.

Top Photo: Ryan Benoit (Andy Hemingway/Sherdog)

About The Author

Riley Kontek
Staff Writer

Riley Kontek is a Chicago-land native that has been an addict of mixed martial arts since the first Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz encounter. He has been writing on MMA for the last year and is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. In addition to that, he used to host a weekly radio show on MMA. Though he has no formal training in mixed martial arts, Riley is a master in the art of hockey fighting.