Before his fight, Benoît Saint-Denis’ comparison of Jérôme Le Banner: “It’s our…

French fighters Benoît Saint-Denis (left) and Jérôme Le Banner (right)

UFC (DR) / France TV (DR)

Par Pierre-Andréa Fraile | Sports journalist

Even if he was immersed relatively late in the world of professional combat sports, Benoît Saint-Denis knows their history, and in particular that of his French predecessors. He also recently mentioned the name… of Jérôme Le Banner.

The son of a judoka, he almost logically followed in his father’s footsteps and climbed the ranks in the discipline before earning his black belt at the age of 16. Benoît Saint-Denis, however, abandoned combat sports for a few years before starting to learn Brazilian jiu-jitsu. A discovery that quickly led him to diversify and subsequently embark on a career as an MMA fighter.

A choice which he can now congratulate himself on, having been able to navigate his way perfectly in this hostile environment. Since 2021, it is in fact in the UFC that he fights and where he achieves wonders in the toughest lightweight category. Currently 12th in the rankings in his division, he will even apply in a few days for an even more prestigious place. To do this, however, he will have to bring down a monument.

Benoît Saint-Denis designates the “Jérôme Le Banner of the UFC”

Winner of his first opponent ranked in the -70kg category last November, Saint-Denis will face in a few days a true legend of the category and of MMA. He will indeed challenge Dustin Poirier at UFC 299 in a poster that is already making fans salivate. Recently invited to present the American to the general public in the Super Moscato Showhe then made a comparison that should speak to the French:

Dustin Poirier is a bit like the uncrowned king. He’s a bit like our Jérôme Le Banner from the K-1 era. This is a guy who has been interim champion, but has always lost to the champions at the decisive moments of his career and who today presents a bit of a world semi-final opportunity for me.

Like Jérôme Le Banner, The Diamond lost twice during fights for the supreme title in his category. The most recent of these defeats dates back to December 2021 and saw him suffer a rear choke against Charles Oliveira. The previous one, against Khabib Nurmagomedov, had delivered the same verdict, but could have delivered almost a completely different result:

Having come close to the lightweight belt twice in his career, Dustin Poirier has never managed to capture it. A point in common with Jérôme Le Banner, whose failures in the final of the K-1 World GP are not foreign to Benoît Saint-Denis.

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