Benoit Saint-Denis is the UFC Paris fighter to watch

Benoit Saint-Denis fights in his home country looking for his fourth straight win.
Sep 3, 2022; Paris, FRANCE; Benoit Saint-Denis (red gloves) defeats Gabriel Miranda (blue gloves)
Sep 3, 2022; Paris, FRANCE; Benoit Saint-Denis (red gloves) defeats Gabriel Miranda (blue gloves) / Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC returns to Paris, France after debuting there around the same time last year and Benoit Saint-Denis is looking to have the same performance he had last time. Saint-Denis is the first fighter to compete and win in his home country of France and will face the biggest test of his young career in former-ranked lightweight Thiago Moises.

Saint-Denis hails from Nimes, France, and is a black belt in Judo and a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The 27-year-old also served time in France's Army and went pro shortly after in 2019. Saint-Denis went 4-0 with all submissions before joining Brave FC a year later, also going 4-0 with four finishes. Saint-Denis made his UFC debut in a different weight class at UFC 267 where he lost to Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (who would wind up testing positive for a banned substance after the fight), but then settled at his natural weight class being lightweight.

Saint-Denis has reeled off three straight against Niklas Stolze, Gabriel Miranda, and most recently hype train prospect Ismael Bonfim at UFC Vegas 76. Saint-Denis has a 100 percent finish rate and is 3-3 in submission grappling. Saint-Denis has his work cut out for him against the savvy veteran in Moises.

Benoit Saint-Denis looks to put on a show again in Paris against veteran Thiago Moises

Moises is a 10-fight UFC veteran, fighting out of American Top Team and a BJJ black belt. Moises was 10-2 before competing on Dana White's Contender Series Brazil, winning the now defunct RFA lightweight championship in the process. Since appearing on DWCS, Moises is 6-4 and holds wins over TUF 31 winner Kurt Holobaugh, Michael Johnson, Bobby Green, and Alexander Hernandez. After losing two straight for the first time in his career, Moises has won his last two fights by submission, most recently at UFC 283.

This should be a competetive grappling match, though Saint-Denis can land the knockout. Saint-Denis holds the height and reach advantage, which will help on the feet and could help on the ground. This is a very intriguing matchup in terms of cracking into the top 15 of the division while also testing to see who has the better ground game, and is a great spot to feature before the co-main event. Saint-Denis could catch fire in the division with a win Saturday night.

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