How ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ motivates Joseph Benavidez
Don’t be surprised if you run into Joseph Benavidez this week in Baltimore and he immediately starts quoting movies because outside of fighting that seems to be the flyweight contender’s biggest passion.
While some fighters like to relax after training with some video games or maybe even a night out on the town, you’re much more likely to find Benavidez hunkered down on his couch with a pile of DVD’s in front of him or a Netflix subscription working overdrive as he plows through the latest Hollywood classics.
Don’t mistake Benavidez as a casual observer though, because he likes the highbrow films as much as anyone. For instance, with the recent Academy Award nominations, Benavidez did his best to go through and watch as many movies that made the list so he could see what’s good, what’s bad and what bears re-watching.
His favorite of the bunch ended up being the 2013 hit ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ from Oscar-winning director Martin Scorcese.
The film documenting the rise and fall of penny stock broker Jordan Belfort captured Benavidez’s mind through a series of hilarious scenes, a well-plotted script and a huge list of one-liners that he will probably drop during interviews this week.
"I’m a big guy on watching things over and over. I have watched ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ like eight times. That one’s obviously amazing," Benavidez told FOX Sports.
His obsession with the movie has transcended just watching ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ at home on his big screen. Benavidez actually took something from the movie and made it his own motivational tool in the training room with his partners at Team Alpha Male.
The scene is set in a restaurant during the first day of work for Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) where he has lunch with a seasoned broker, who is showing him the real keys to success in the stock market game. Recent Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey plays the part, and at the beginning of the scene he unveils a chest-thumping, humming anthem that’s repeated several times during the film.
If you need a reminder or haven’t seen the movie, feel free to check out the clip below.
Well, Benavidez took the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ chant and made it his own for teammates after a hard day’s work and they are just about to finish practice. He likes the chant so much if he beats Tim Elliott this weekend at UFC 172, he might even showcase it for commentator Joe Rogan when he comes to do the post fight interview.
"Every time we bring it in at practice I start doing that. Like we’re doing jogging at practice and everyone’s like ‘bring it in’ for the huddle, and I just start beating my chest and a few people know what I’m talking about but everyone else is like what the hell," Benavidez said. "It would be good for post fight when they get you going out. That could be nice."
Given Benavidez’s obsession with movies and film culture in general, one has to wonder if this couldn’t be an avenue for the fighter once he hangs up the gloves. Sure, he doesn’t have formal training in filmmaking or the movie industry, but lest we forget that Quentin Tarantino was once a video store clerk before making Reservoir Dogs and then becoming one of the most sought after directors in Hollywood.
Benavidez admits the thought of putting his hands on a keyboard and typing out a script has crossed his mind before, but as of yet there’s been no time for a second career outside of fighting.
"I remember this one time I had a dream about me writing a screenplay, and when I woke up, you know those dreams that feel so real, but I woke up and I was like, ‘Oh my god I have this amazing screenplay I need to write down as soon as I wake up’ and then I woke up and I was like what the heck was I dreaming of? It was like this crazy movie that I had dreamed about writing. When I woke up, I had no idea, I couldn’t remember," Benavidez said.
"I’m so passionate and love the craft of movies and watch them over and over. I’ve thought of doing something in that. I feel it’s something I could learn, it would be pretty awesome."
So if you run into Benavidez this week, feel free to start beating your chest and humming out the tune from ‘Wolf of Wall Street.’ Chances are not only will Benavidez get the reference, but he’ll probably start chanting right along with you.