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Benoit St. Denis Addresses Drama Regarding Dustin Poirier Booking

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Benoit St.
Denis claims he had nothing to do with confusion regarding his
upcoming Octagon clash with Dustin
Poirier.

St. Denis (13-1) is scheduled to fight Poirier (29-8) for five
rounds in the co-main event at UFC
299 on March 9 in Miami.

The booking suddenly appeared to be jeopardized when Poirier
announced on social media that the fight was off. The drama ended
with the promotion confirming that the fight was on within hours.
Notably, “The Diamond” also confirmed the booking on X (formerly
known as Twitter), blaming the confusion on “miscommunication.”

Poirier did not divulge much about what went on behind the scenes
in a subsequent interview. Regardless, “The Diamond” was quick to
express his happiness at finally getting the deal done.

St. Denis has now shared his side of things, which seemed to be a
mixture of confusion and hope. “God of War” was aiming for a
top-tier opponent but couldn’t be sure that it would be Poirier
until the fight was confirmed.

“I thought I was going to have a tough fight against a Top 10,” St.
Denis said on The MMA Hour. “I really believed in this
Beneil
Dariush matchup potentially, but I knew my manager was working
a lot on a lot of stuff. When something is not sure or is not done,
he’s never telling me, because I don’t want to be preparing for
Hooker, and then for Turner, and then for Dariush, and for
Tsarukyan, and then for Poirier, and then for Justin. Then you go
back from Justin to Hooker or whatever, so he always tells me when
it’s almost sure, like 90 percent sure.”

MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz also reported that St. Denis’ coach,
Daniel Woirin, wasn’t aware of the Poirier booking before it was
announced. In response, UFC CEO Dana White slammed Cruz on social
media while also posting screenshots of his conservations with St.
Denis, where the fighter seemingly agreed to the booking. According
to “God of War,” Woirin was one of the last people to know about
the booking to avoid him getting worked up about a matchup that
could potentially fall through.

“I did know the fight was going to happen the night before. We
agreed, everything was agreed. But like my manager said, when it’s
not announced, you are not 100 percent sure. We had the green light
from Hunter
Campbell, but my coach is a very energetic guy, so he’s always
the last guy we are telling the fight is on, because he’s going to
get crazy all night long watching his fights. So, if it was not
going to be the guy we are fighting, he was not going to be happy
about the announcement.”

“The day after I [was surprised] that it was announced this fast,
because it was only 24 hours after we agreed to make the fight,
because it’s this far away. I didn’t know when it was going to be
announced, but of course, I was surprised it was announced this
fast.”

St. Denis believes Poirier, being the bigger star, has more
negotiating power with the promotion than him, which also leads to
more politics behind the scenes.

“I’m not a big star like Poirier, so I’m still pretty fresh in the
game, so I don’t have the politics in my pocket, and it’s not a
game I’m used to playing or I have ever played,” St. Denis said.
“I’m just going to try to do what I’m good at, taking people’s
heads off and climbing the rankings and getting ready for this
fight. I imagine when you have been this long in the UFC, there’s a
lot more talk with the show, a lot more stuff. But yeah, really
happy to have this guy in front of me the ninth of March.”

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