Benoît Saint-Denis is going to need some stitches (again) after his win at UFC Paris on Saturday.
The ‘God of War’ earned a second-round TKO of Gabriel Miranda, but did not leave the Octagon unscathed. He suffered a toe injury, which was captured in all its gory glory on the broadcast. However, it turned out to be something he dealt with prior to his fight against Miranda.
Saint-Denis explained that he was injured when he fought Niklas Stolze at UFC Vegas 56 this past June. The Woirin Team Elite representative underwent surgery on his toe but received an offer to fight in France shortly after. Not wanting to miss out on the opportunity, Saint-Denis accepted, even if he risked re-opening his newly repaired toe. Spoiler alert: he did.
“Before my fight with Niklas Stolze, I had an injury,” said Saint-Denis at his post-fight press conference (video provided by MMA Junkie). “I could not lift my toe anymore, but I wanted to fight. I had a hard preparation, so it was one month before the fight against the German guy in Vegas. We did no surgery [and] it was okay, just a lot of times where my toe was going into the ground and it injured me a little bit. I had to train with shoes, obviously. This time just after the fight with Niklas, I got surgery but I had six weeks without any sports. I only had three weeks to prepare for this fight.
“It was the best and the hardest camp I ever had because with three weeks — the first two weeks, you feel like s—t because you haven’t trained for a long time and the last week, I was starting to feel great again but the toe was still a bit open,” continued Saint-Denis. “So I managed to go into the cage. I knew it was only 15 minutes, but after a couple of kicks, it split in two almost. It’s just the fight game, you know? You never have a perfect preparation. There’s always injuries. It’s a part of life for any athlete. Now I will take time to heal it up because I don’t think they will do a UFC Paris in two, three or four months, so I will heal it up very well.”
You can see the toe injury below:
Is the blood-soaked gauze covering where the toe is split? Yes. Is it still gross to look at? Also yes.
Saint-Denis improved to 2-1 in the UFC after signing with the promotion a year ago. He also has an extra $50k in his bank account after being awarded a ‘Performance of the Night’ bonus. That should ease the pain of a nearly severed toe, right?