After a historic night – despite a sad ending – for French MMA, Thursday at the Accor Arena during PFL Paris, the week is not over. The most popular French fighter internationally enters the UFC cage in Miami on the night of Saturday to Sunday.

Despite the late hour, 4 a.m. French time according to the forecast, Benoît Saint-Denis’ fight against Dustin Poirier should not be missed under any circumstances. We explain why.

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Dustin Poirier is – in a few figures – 13 years in the largest MMA organization in the world, 29 victories, 15 KOs, seven submissions and eight defeats. A longevity and a track record that would make many fighters pale, even though Poirier fights in the category defined as the toughest in the UFC: lightweight (-70kg).

Throughout his career, he fought, and sometimes won, against the biggest names in MMA. “The Diamond” notably beat world UFC star Conor McGregor twice, during a trilogy inscribed in sporting legend. Among the results of his fights, we also find Khabib Nurmagomedov, Max Holloway, Justin Gaethje and Charles Oliveira. However, despite his superstar status, the fighter from Louisiana is not one of those who won the world belt.

A monument of sport, future “hall of famer” of the UFC, therefore stands opposite our “God of War” (God of War in French), nickname of Benoît Saint-Denis. To not be overwhelmed by the weight of the event, the Frenchman can count on his staff. “We don’t worry about the opponent. We focus on Benoît, his strengths and the strategy. Otherwise we lose the fight before entering the cage,” his trainer Daniel Woirin insisted during an interview on RMC.

Placed in the “co-main event” of UFC 299 – which is seen by many observers as the most attractive program of the year – the Poirier – Saint-Denis duel will have international exposure. A fight, what’s more, organized in Miami, the place where the Acadian has established himself for his training. “It’s my second home here. The flight across the Gulf between Louisiana and Florida is short. Louisiana will be there,” said Dustin Poirier during the press conference organized by the UFC.

However, Benoît Saint-Denis is already used to fighting in a hostile environment. If he put on a show in 2022 and 2023 in Bercy during the UFC Paris in front of his audience, “BSD” proved on November 11 that he was capable of withstanding the pressure. On Armistice Day, in Madison Square Garden – the temple of the greatest fights in history – against an American born in New York, Benoît Saint-Denis was not overzealous in winning by knockout thanks to to a kick to the head of his opponent in the first round.

Small particularity, and not the least, the fight this Saturday will take place in five rounds of five minutes. A detail, which necessarily suits Dustin Poirier, who has already been scheduled for 11 five-round fights in his career. “I feel like unless something crazy happens early, the better fighter wins over five rounds. I understand the rhythm, the timing of the opponent as the fight progresses. I prefer that,” Dustin Poirier said on The MMA Hour, explaining that the five rounds were non-negotiable.

As for Benoît Saint-Denis, it will be a discovery. However, his staff is used to this type of physical preparation, starting with Daniel Woirin. The latter accompanied the Brazilian Anderson Silva to a UFC world champion belt in 2008. Obviously, the strategy put in place will be different for “BSD”, which tends to get carried away by the event. “Stop fighting, you’re more technical than him, stay focused. No fighting!”, Daniel Woirin ordered him during UFC Paris II.

This Saturday, in front of him, “God of War” will have a client who also likes to fight, to the point of having fought for the BMF belt, supposed to put forward two fighters known to be violent in a fight. Dustin Poirier, during the press conference, wanted to warn Benoît: “It’s going to be war. This guy (BSD) has finished his last five opponents. I come to finish him, he comes to finish me. It will be madness. Enjoy the show!”

It’s an understatement to say that we weren’t expecting such a poster. After his victory against the American Matt Frevola, Benoît Saint-Denis entered the top 15 of the UFC lightweights without the pretension of directly fighting the top 5 of the category. “I thought I was going to have a tough fight against a top 10, like Beneil Dariush (

As for Dustin Poirier, the American has everything to lose. Despite his last defeat against Justin Gaethje, “The Diamond” could have restarted against a member of the top 5 to try his luck again against Islam Makhachev for a world title. By accepting this fight against a smaller opponent and taking the risk of a second defeat in a row, Dustin Poirier risks slowly beginning his sporting decline. The fight takes on the appearance of a transfer of power, knowing that Poirier has always said he wants to give a young fighter the opportunity to cross gloves with him once a certain age has been reached.