Cool little story about Benavidez
On Sunday night in Milwaukee, the internet would have you believe that bantamweight Joseph Benavidez will be participating in his 17th professional bout at UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle. The Internet would also have you believe that his first professional fight was against Brandon Shelton in June of 2006.
The Internet is wrong.
Then again, maybe it depends on what your definition of 'professional' is. If you mean professional in terms of the overall quality and credibility of the event, some vaguely official quality that separates the serious promoters from the amateurs, then okay, the Shelton fight might have been it.
But if you mean professional in the sense that it was a fight for which a fighter was paid (and to the man who is or is not going home with money in his pocket, this distinction often matters a great deal), then no way.
For that definition of professional, and for the very humble beginning of Benavidez's MMA career, you've got to go all the way back to 2005 in Silver City, N.M., and into a slightly terrifying bar called the Brown Derby. Link