Joseph Benavidez understands the decision made by Duane Ludwig to leave California and open his own gym in Colorado. In fact, Benavidez wants everyone to know there are no hard feelings between the two.

Benavidez will face Tim Elliott this Saturday night at UFC 172 in the FOX Sports 1 prelim main event. He is coming off a knockout loss to Demetrious Johnson last December for the flyweight title.

“No hard feelings,” said Benavidez, in an interview with “It’s just him making the decision since he has to for his future and his family, and having his own business instead of relying on guys who could not fight for a whole year.

“He just wants to have a nice income where he’s not depending on everyone else. We can’t fault him. He’s going to be missed….but at the end of the day, he’s doing what he thinks is best for him and his family.”

Team Alpha Male and Ludwig have had a near-flawless run together, though they are winless in UFC title fights. Benavidez (19-4) suffered his first stoppage loss when Johnson knocked him out, while his other three defeats have been of the decision variety.