Latest in our getting to know series, I was fortunate to interview undefeated BRAVE Welterweight Fighter, Frenchman Benoit Saint-Denis.
Currently (6-0), Benoit is quickly becoming a fan favorite showing very few, if no, weaknesses in his game. He has shown his ability to dominate in grappling, as well as in the striking and submission area. The 24-year-old is undoubtedly one of the biggest up-and-coming stars in MMA and a name that will shortly be on the lips of all MMA fans.
With over three years as part of the French Special Air Service (SAS), Benoit Saint-Denis has shown his ability to perform in some of the most dangerous environments in the world, and now it is at BRAVE Combat Federation.
Interview with Benoit Saint-Denis
Good day Benoit, What was your life like growing up tell us about the early days of Benoit Saint-Denis?
Benoit Saint-Denis – “I had a happy childhood, spending my time in between school, football, and judo, and I was very competitive in judo as a child, and I spend a lot of my time around those activities.”
Prior to MMA, you had a career in the French Special Forces, how did that help develop you, was that something you always wanted to be, and why did you change your career path?
Benoit Saint-Denis – “Yeah I always wanted to be part of the French Special Forces, because I always considered special forces to be the most complete on earth, I always wanted to be apart of that, and as I finished school and graduated I went directly to the French special forces selection, during one year and a half I was tested, after this I had passed all the tests and I was an operator in the special air service (SAS) for France, after one and a half years in formation, during the formation, you can be kicked out any time, I was happy to make it through, and I spent the following 3 and a half years in a special forces group, where I was deployed on 3 different occasions, I was in external operations through all the world but mainly in Africa. After 5 years I wanted a new challenge and I started MMA.”
How did MMA become part of your life, and where have you focused your training as you are very well rounded in all aspects of MMA with impressive submission and striking performances?
Benoit Saint-Denis – “I started to do combat sports back in 2017, I started with BJJ and kickboxing, for the first time I fell right away in love with this, I wanted to be able to compete at the highest level possible in the sport, by mixing it up a little bit I was attracted to MMA, so in 2019 I started MMA in the venom training camp, I was made pro straight away and started my professional career. I was very lucky to start BJJ with Christophe Savoca who is a very good teacher, and I started kickboxing in Cyfit Bayonne, they were very good teachers in kickboxing, and I was able to learn very fast, and after one year I got my blue belt in BJJ, after competing in a white belt competition that I won, then I started training more and more, and I started to focus on combat sports, it ended up being MMA, and now I am with daniel Warra who is a very famous trainer in striking.”
You’re currently undefeated and 6-0 as a fighter 3 of those fights has come at BRAVE what was it about that organisation that attracted you to them?
Benoit Saint-Denis – “My manager gave me the opportunity, after my 4th victory to join brave, which is a very well organized promotion, and I’m very happy they gave me the opportunity, I’ve competed in 3 co-main events now for them, and I am very happy I’ve had good performances there, and everything has gone perfectly.”
Your name has been mentioned as the next challenger to Eldar Eldarov Super Lightweight title what would that fight meen to you and how do you see that fight going?
Benoit Saint-Denis – “It will be an honor to face him, because he is a famous name in MMA, and that will be great and a big challenge, I won’t say my game plan it’s always the same, but I’m a very intrusive fighter, I will look for the finish in any situation possible, and give him a war, although the better fighter will win by putting pressure, there is only one possibility for him to win, by fighting hard, it’s the only way to determine the best fighter of the two, it will be a very interesting fight.”
Your recent impressive victory was a 2nd rd TKO over popular fighter Mario Saeed, do you feel that was your best performance to date, and when can we look forward to seeing you next?
Benoit Saint-Denis – “I had a very good performance against Mario Saeed, I was able to show that I am not only a good ground fighter, but it was also a good experience for me to show that with Daniel Woirin in my corner, how my striking had improved a lot, I was able to show it to the world, and I am grateful for the opportunity, I hope to show my skills back as soon as possible.”
At 24 years old you still have many years ahead of you in terms of MMA, have you set yourself any specific accomplishments?
Benoit Saint-Denis – “I don’t set myself any specific accomplishments, I just want to fulfill every opportunity, I have to show my potential, and take the opportunity to see where it will lead me, I want to go as far as possible in MMA, and let’s see what will happen.”
And to finish off, where and when was your nickname ‘God of War’ given to you?
Benoit Saint-Denis – “I got my nickname ‘The God Of War’, from the fact, that I was in the special forces before competing in MMA as a full-time fighter, I went to war on a couple of occasions in the French special forces, because we are deployed a lot in different countries, and the combination of the two, they gave me this nickname.”
I want to thank Benoit Saint-Denis for the opportunity and wish him all the best in the future.
Main image credit Benoit Saint-Denis Instagram
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