Benoît Saint-Denis, ex-special forces, before UFC 267: “I want to leave my mark on the UFC”

France will find out. French MMA revelation, Benoît Saint-Denis (career undefeated) will play his first fight at the UFC on Saturday in Abu Dhabi. For CNEWS, the former special forces spoke before this big meeting.

He’s the newcomer to the MMA Champions League. Recently passed by the Brave CF in particular, Benoît Saint-Denis, native of Nîmes, has a career record of 8-0. He will make his debut against Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos in hot UFC 267.

Is there any pressure as we approach this first fight in the UFC?

I would say no. I feel good. They take care of the athletes. With the Brave, I was already used to these conditions even if here, with the UFC, we are on something a little more daunting. Even if we are on something stronger in terms of media coverage, media pressure too. But I had already prepared. It was a mid-term UFC goal so I had already prepared myself mentally.

You will discover the prestigious UFC. What does it represent?

Entering the UFC is the start of a great career, of a new adventure. It was my first goal set. I wanted to put my bags there and be able to prove myself there, fight with the best and prove that I belong among them. We have to move step by step, I want to be there to stay there and leave my mark on the UFC and have a good career.

You started MMA in 2019 only …

It went very quickly. I was well coached, well surrounded. Daniel Woirin, my trainer, took me in hand in January 2019 and in February, we had our first pro fight. Then, we chained the victories. We took risks. I found myself fairly quickly at the Brave, which is a good organization. It’s a lot of pride. I had set myself the goal of entering the UFC in two to three years to fight and make a living. When I left the special forces, I went from 2000-2500 euros net to nothing, finally unemployed. So I said to myself: I have two years of unemployment, I have two years to succeed in integrating an organization that will give me visibility and a means of living and having a social situation that will allow me to focus only on training.

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How did the transition from special forces to combat sports go?

I returned to combat sports through ju-jitsu in 2017. At the end of 2017, I started the foot-fist and I was quickly taken by the passion. I trained two, three times a week. Then I said to myself why not try MMA since it is closer to the disciplines that I love. I fell in love with it. I made selections for the Venum Team Elite, I was selected.

Your nickname is “God of War”. Why ?

Because I live the life of a warrior. As I have been at war since I was of age, I wanted to keep this “fighting spirit” a little. So this philosophical side of a warrior. No matter what happens, I keep this philosophy. MMA allows me to express myself at best.

What do your tattoos represent?

I have some that represent the special force to which I belonged. I have one for the Brazilian Ju-jitsu club which made me take a liking to combat sports. And I have the Templar cross because the Templars spoke to me. I am a Christian and when the Order of the Templars was created their initial function was to secure the pilgrimage of those who went to the Holy Land from Europe to Jerusalem. And given that the group I belonged to provided security for François Hollande when he came to Mali and that the special forces are generally employed for the security of high-ranking French personalities, I liked it a lot so I had it. made.

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