UFC 267 saw what many are calling one of the worst referee performances in history, between Benoit Saint-Denis and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. Now Benoit’s coach, Daniel Woirin speaks on what happened, and gives an update on his fighter.
Saint-Denis vs dos Santos was refereed by Vyacheslav Kiselev, but he was pulled from the rest of his officiating duties that night after this fight, due to how he handled the contest. During the second round, Benoit got rocked with multiple hard shots, getting batter by his opponent to the point that Daniel Cormier and Paul Felder were screaming at the ref to stop the fight, only for it to go all three rounds.
Speaking to MMAFighting after the fight, Benoit’s coach says that he understood why the commentators were so upset. Woirin explained that he did not understand why Kiselev did not stop the fight, but this gave his fighter the opportunity to show how tough he was.
“I understood (the commentators) reaction but they don’t know Benoit (Saint-Denis) like I do,” Woirin stated. “Even they said that they don’t know him like I do.”
“I was surprised that he didn’t stop the fight but it permitted [everyone] to see how tough Benoit is,” Woirin said. “I do agree with him being pulled out of the rest of the card because they are there to protect the fighters, which he didn’t do in that fight… I didn’t understand what he was doing [after the eye poke]. We tried telling the referee to bring a doctor because Benoit couldn’t see.”
Update On Benoit Saint-Denis
That said, there was a good amount of fan concern about the safety and health of Beoit Sanit-Denis, given the amount of damage he took int he fight. However it seems that he is doing fine, according to a post to his Instagram, where he says that he will be making a move to lightweight in his return.
“See you at 155 pounds @ufc
Thank my @lalou_croft , my family, my team @danielwoirin @[email protected] and sponsors
Shit happens fighting is not a game” he wrote.
This sentiment was backed up by his coach, who confirmed that Saint-Denis was doing much better and had been cleared by doctors. He reiterated that his pupil was extremely tough, and that was displayed in this fight, no matter the outcome.
“He’s doing great,” Woirin said. “He left the hospital [Monday] and he’s coming back to France on Tuesday.”
It is good to hear that Benoit Saint-Denis is doing well and does not appear to have any serious effects from the damage taken in that fight. That said, there was no reason for him to take the damage in the first place.