Benoit Saint Denis Open to Title Shot with Dustin Poirier Win, Believes Nothing is Impossible for a French Guy

Benoit Saint Denis is set to fight Dustin Poirier in the co-main event of UFC 299 in Miami, and sees a victory as just the beginning of his career, with the aim of becoming the face of French MMA.

Benoit Saint Denis has his eyes on the prize. A win over Dustin Poirier is just the start of his ambitious plans.

The two lightweight contenders are set to battle it out this Saturday at UFC 299 in Miami. It’s a five-round co-main event that’s got plenty at stake for both fighters. Saint Denis is gunning for his sixth consecutive win. Poirier, on the other hand, is a regular in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings. He’s fighting to keep his spot in the lightweight top five.

Saint Denis is a proud Frenchman. Recently, on an episode of The MMA Hour, he was asked about Cédric Doumbé. Doumbé, a former Glory Kickboxing champ and current PFL standout, has declared himself the face of French MMA.

“Cédric? He’s the face of kickboxing, not MMA,” Saint Denis retorted. “Sure, he’s one of the kickboxing faces in France, along with Yohan Lidon. We’ve got a bunch of tough guys, some who’ve beaten him and some he’s beaten. He’s a thrilling fighter, packs a punch, and he’s carving out his niche in France. I hope he gets to show off all his GLORY Kickboxing skills. But when it comes to MMA, it’s Ciryl Gane who’s the face of French MMA, not him.”

Saint Denis then made a bold prediction. “One day, I’ll be the lightweight division champion. I’ll be the face of French MMA, maybe even more.”

The Poirier matchup raised a few eyebrows. Some wondered why the former UFC interim lightweight champ would agree to fight a less accomplished, albeit dangerous, fighter. Saint Denis has finished his last five opponents and is the favorite to beat Poirier.

Saint Denis was over the moon when he got the call to fight Poirier. “I was stoked,” he admitted. “He’s a tough cookie, like many others in this division, in the top five. People are surprised I’m facing him, but in this weight class, it’s not unusual to face a top-five opponent after five finishes in a row. I’m thrilled. He’s got a ton of experience. He’s a former interim champ, so this is a real test for me. It’s a big test to see if I’m ready for what’s next after Poirier.”

If he beats Poirier, Saint Denis says there are many exciting options ahead. But he’s not naming names just yet. When asked if he sees a title shot before the year’s end, Saint Denis played it coy.

“Sure, there’s always a plan,” he said. “But plans can go out the window when you start getting punched or kicked in the face. We’ll see. But yeah, there’s always something to think about. My future as an MMA fighter takes a big leap on the ninth of March. Let’s see what happens.”

He ended with a French saying. “In France, we say, ‘Nothing is impossible for a French guy.’ So, let’s see.”


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