Justin Gaethje explains why he turned down Benoit Saint-Denis fight, responds to comments from Joe Rogan

By Josh Evanoff - January 26, 2024

The decision for Justin Gaethje to not fight rising UFC lightweight contender Benoit Saint-Denis was a simple one.

Benoit Saint-Denis and Justin Gaethje

‘The Highlight’ recently booked his return to the cage for April, at the milestone UFC 300 event. There, Justin Gaethje will face former featherweight champion Max Holloway in a defense of his ceremonial ‘BMF’ title. The lightweight famously captured the gold with a second-round knockout win over Dustin Poirier last July.

Before the bout with ‘Blessed’ was made, Justin Gaethje was called out by a variety of opponents. One that called to face the longtime lightweight contender was Benoit Saint-Denis. ‘God of War’ is currently riding a five-fight winning streak, last defeating Matt Frevola in November. Following that win, the Frenchman called to meet Gaethje, among others.

Ultimately, the two lightweights drew different opponents. At UFC 299 in March, Benoit Saint-Denis will face former interim champion, Dustin Poirier. In the eyes of Justin Gaethje, that’s the right fight to make. However, commentator Joe Rogan recently issued a warning to ‘The Diamond’ about facing the rising contender. According to the podcaster, Saint-Denis is the real deal.

Speaking with Kevin Iole, Justin Gaethje echoed a lot of Joe Rogan’s remarks about Benoit Saint-Denis vs. Dustin Poirier. The ‘BMF’ champion stated that the Frenchman absolutely deserves the fight, and he stands a great chance of winning. Gaethje also added that he loved Saint-Denis’ callout of him, but it would be a “dumb” fight for him to take.


Justin Gaethje

Justin Gaethje explains why he turned down Benoit Saint-Denis fight, previews UFC 299

“I think it’s 100% a possibility [that Saint-Denis wins].” Justin Gaethje stated to Kevin Iole, echoing remarks made by Joe Rogan. “I think it’s such a crazy sport, I think luck and chance is a factor and I’m not sure how big of a factor but I think it is a factor, I absolutely believe that he could if he’s not unlucky too much but I think his skill is up there. I think it’s a very similar situation for when I fought Fiziev, a young up-and-comer and obviously full of confidence, full of hunger. Not sleeping in silk sheets yet, Poirier is, I was, and these are guys that are dangerous.” (h/t MMA News)

He continued, “They’re young, they’re hungry, they’re confident, they’ve got crazy skills, fighting is a dangerous game and chance is a factor… He didn’t come out of nowhere but he’s just starting to fight these big fights. I love that he was calling me out and I think Dustin Poirier is the perfect fight. I think that’s who he should have been calling out and I think that’s the fight he should be taking because top five in the world, veteran.”

“I’m number two in the world, I’m on the cusp of a championship fight and if he was in my position then he would know that the dumbest thing I could do is fight a fight like that right now.” He concluded. “Not that I don’t want to, does that fight sound fun to me? Absolutely but, this is a business and luckily I’m not the guy making those choices because I would never be here. I would have fought every fight.”

What do you make of these comments from Justin Gaethje? Do you agree with Joe Rogan about the rising Benoit Saint-Denis?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Benoit Saint Denis Joe Rogan Justin Gaethje UFC