Lucedale resident returns to UFC cage Saturday

Jason Knight continues his climb in the UFC featherweight division.

The Lucedale faces Gabriel Benitez on UFC Fight Night 123 on Saturday night at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The Knight-Benitez fight is the co-main event on FS1, starting at 9 p.m. The main event is a featherweight bout between Cub Swanson and Brian Ortega.

Knight (20-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) is fighting for the first time since losing to top-ranked Ricardo Lamas on July 29 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Knight is ranked 15th in the UFC featherweight division rankings. Two more victories could vault him into the Top 10 rankings of the 145-pound division.

Benitez (19-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is considered an underdog, according to Both veteran fighters love to stand and bang, then go for the submission victory.

“If I get this to the ground, I'll finish him easy,’’ Knight told

Knight, 25, fights out of Alan Belcher’s MMA Club in D’Iberville. In the UFC community, Knight has earned praise for taking tough fights, especially on short notice.

James Jones: 228-896-2320, @_jkjones