Coach of Benoit Saint Denis says “Never in my life would I have thrown in the towel”

By Adam Martin - October 31, 2021

Daniel Woirin, the coach of UFC welterweight fighter Benoit Saint Denis says that “never in my life would I have thrown in the towel.”


Saint Denis suffered one of the most brutal, prolonged beatings we have ever seen in UFC history during his welterweight fight against Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos at UFC 267. During the second round of the fight, dos Santos was lighting Saint Denis up on the feet and had him backed up against the fence at several points where he was hurting his opponent badly. There were numerous opportunities for the referee Vyacheslav Kiselev to step in and stop the fight, but he chose not to, and the fight went the distance. Saint Denis showed off his incredible heart and toughness in the fight, which impressed his wife Lalou, but at the same time, there was no reason this fighter needed to take as much damage as he did.

While most people blamed the referee for not stopping the fight, some have also pointed to the corner of Saint Denis as being just as culpable since they chose not to call or a corner stoppage or throw in the towel. Speaking to following the fight, Saint Denis’ corner Woirin said that he never considered throwing in the towel. In fact, Woirin, who was once the coach of Anderson Silva, said he would never throw in the towel for his fighters.

“Never in my life would I have thrown in the towel,” Woirin said. “The referee it’s true that he could have stopped it at one point, I thought he was going to stop it but he didn’t.”

Woirin also said MMA fans are “too sensitive” and he’s proud his fighter went the distance. According to Woirin, Saint Denis told him he was pleased he did not throw in the towel.

“Benoit has been able to pull himself together in phases. He took a lot of punches but he was able to pull himself together, which allowed him to survive. This is the fight, the fight is hard, you must not be. People are too sensitive. Benoit is a warrior, for his first fight in the UFC he will lose before the limit? It’s not possible,” Woirin said. “We also discussed it after the fight and he told me that I was right not to throw in the towel. But anyway it didn’t even pass a second in my head, not even a second and you can see he got back into the fight. He had a great fight. The guy he took is a top 12, the guy has 30 fights, 14 knockouts. Benoit had a great fight, I’m really happy.”

Do you think Daniel Woirin should have thrown in the towel for Benoit Saint Denis in his fight at UFC 267, or did he make the right choice by letting his fighter go out on his shield?


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