Benoit Saint Denis put the lightweight division on notice earlier tonight (Sat., July 1, 2023) at UFC Vegas 76 live on ESPN/ESPN+ from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, when the French prospect stopped former Contender Series standout, Ismael Bonfim, with an impressive first-round submission (rear-naked choke).
Bonfim is an explosive fighter who was riding a 13-fight win streak into tonight, but Saint Denis would not be denied. The hard-nosed French fighter was relentless with his pressure by landing punches in bunches, hard kicks, and mixing in takedowns. Once Saint Denis was able to drag Bonfim to the canvas he quickly worked for the back and sunk in the choke. Bonfim tried to fight it but the squeeze was too tight.
Check out the final moments above courtesy of UFC/ESPN.
Saint Denis, a 27-year-old who was in the French Army Special Forces before turning to fighting, looks to be the real deal at 155 pounds. He used his post-fight speech to callout the likes of Rafael Fiziev and Mateusz Gamrot for a showdown in Paris, France, later this year. We’ll see if UFC bites.
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