French UFC Fighter Benoît Saint-Denis Faces Image Battle
Following his victory against Matt Frevola at UFC 296 in New York’s Madison Square Garden, Benoît Saint-Denis finds himself confronting a new challenge: his public image. As a former member of the special forces within the esteemed Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment, Saint-Denis, a patriotic Frenchman, has often been associated with far-right ideologies.
Controversial Competition Organized by Génération Identitaire
Prior to his recent fight, the Argos collective, affiliated with the dissolved Génération Identitaire movement, organized a competition centered around Benoît Saint-Denis. The collective took to social media, stating, “In a time when French youth indulge in comfort, Benoît perfectly embodies the values of combativeness, loyalty, and strength that Argos advocates.” However, this publication did not sit well with Saint-Denis.
🔥 Argos X BSD Competition Game
Benoît Saint Denis returns to the UFC octagon this Saturday, November 11.
At a time when French youth are wallowing in childish comfort, Benoît perfectly embodies the values of combativeness, loyalty and strength that Argos advocates.… pic.twitter.com/dlu4hue8mx
— Argos (@Argos_france) November 10, 2023
When approached by Libération, Saint-Denis’ wife, Laura Saint-Denis, strongly condemned the exploitation of her husband’s image by the far-right, considering it “fraudulent and unauthorized.” She personally responded to Argos, stating that the “God of War” is firmly “opposed to the ideologies promoted by this group.”
Recurring Accusations and Denials
This is not the first time such associations have been made. Last October, Loopsider, a media outlet, released a video discussing French fighters with nationalist and far-right leanings. Benoît Saint-Denis was mentioned in the video due to a tattoo of a Templar cross on his torso. He vehemently denounced this “serious amalgamation,” leading to the video’s removal. “It’s truly disheartening,” he expressed in our interview. “In the noble profession of journalism, it’s a shame to resort to defaming individuals who are finding success just for profit. I hope these people grow and evolve.”