PARIS – Don’t expected Benoit Saint Denis to fight more conservatively now that he’s finding success and rising up the UFC lightweight rankings.
Saint Denis (11-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) has reeled off three straight wins – all by stoppage – as he heads into Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 226 matchup with Thiago Moises (17-6 MMA, 6-4 UFC), which takes place at Accor Arena and streams on ESPN+.
The Frenchman values winning above all else, but he also knows entertainment is a significant part of gaining traction with the UFC brass and fans of the sport. For that reason, he enters the cage each time willing to go out on his shield.
“If I need to go through a fight and I’m not winning it, I will do everything I can to win it,” Saint Denis told MMA Junkie at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 226 media day. “If I need to get knocked the f*ck out or I need to get submitted by doing that, I will go through. All I want is a victory. If there’s a 1 percent chance of getting the victory by putting myself in danger, I will do it. You will never see me doing a boring fight. If I’m losing a fight, I will take risk.”
The approach from Saint Denis, 27, has paid dividends. “The God of War” positioned himself to get a fight with Moises, who has shared the octagon with the likes of current UFC lightweight titleholder Islam Makhachev, Beneil Dariush, Bobby Green and more. It’s a true test for Saint Denis, and he’s ready to see how he stacks up.
“I’m very happy because I’m looking for a tough fight, and he’s a guy that can give me what I’m expecting to have inside the octagon of the UFC,” Saint Denis said. “He’s well-rounded, he’s only gotten finished by the champ (Makhachev and Joel Alvarez). … He’s a tough fighter and I think he thinks he’s better than me in everything. I think the same. Let’s see who is right.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 226.