Last week Dustin Poirier scared all of the UFC fans when he announced his fight with Benoit Saint Denis was off. He then said the fight had never been signed or agreed on to begin with. Then as quickly as it was off, it was back on and Poirier announced it was "miscommunication."
MMA fans assumed that it was a tactic to get whatever demands for the fight he was asking, and it appears to have worked ... if you believe that's what happened.
Now, the other half of the fight is speaking about what he knows from his end.
“I thought I was going to have a tough fight against a top 10,” Saint 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.”
Benoit Saint Denis says he doesn't have 'politics in my pocket' after Dustin Poirier fight negotiations
“I did know the fight was going to happen the night before,” Saint Denis said. “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.
He continued, “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.”
One think he said is that the fight was clear on his side, though he understands that might have been the case for Poirier.
“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. 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.”
Poirier and Saint Denis fight a five-round co-main event at UFC 299.