Ovince Saint Preux
34-Year-Old UFC Light Heavyweight 21-10-0
September 22, 2017 Ovince Saint Preux News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Saint Preux defeated Yushin Okami via submission (von flue choke) at 1:50 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Friday in Japan.
Saint Preux is now the owner of three of five von flue choke submissions in UFC history. Yushin Okami pulled guard to start the fight, and Saint Preux had no issue following him to the ground. It was clear "Thunder" believed his only chance against the larger fighter was to use grappling and leverage instead of rolling the dice standing. Shortly after Okami pulled guard, Saint Preux was able to set up the von flue choke and got to side control before causing the Japanese fighter to become unconscious. After the fight, Saint Preux said he still wants to fight Shogun Rua, who he was originally scheduled to fight in the main event.
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Fantasy AnalysisSaint-Preux was scheduled to take on "Shogun" Rua in the main event in Japan, but Rua has since been forced to withdraw due to a knee injury. He has been replaced by one-time middleweight title challenger Yushin Okami. Both southpaws are experienced fighters, but "OSP" has an eight-inch reach advantage and has been facing top opponents. Saint-Preux is currently 20-10 overall (14-6 UFC).
Fantasy AnalysisSaint-Preux has been busy since he last faced "Shogun." While he's been consistently in the fight game, he is 3-4 since that KO victory over Rua. However, his losses came from top light heavyweights in Jon Jones, Glover Teixeira, Jimi Manuwa and Volkan Oezdemir. The southpaw will be entering the cage after a win over Marcos Rogerio de Lima (submission-shoulder choke). "OSP" has a 20-10 career record that includes 15 wins via stoppage.
Fantasy AnalysisSaint Preux was eating high kicks from Rogerio de Lima for most of Round 1, but made a quick adjustment in Round 2, converting a kick to a takedown and following with brutal ground-and-pound. Rogerio de Lima seemed as though the fight had been beaten out of him, as he hung on to OSP's head while attempting to wrap up half guard, allowing the 34-year-old all the time in the world to sink in the choke. OSP had been on a rough road of late, but showed nice resolve for a bounce-back win after losing his last two fights. He improves to 20-10 in professional MMA as a result of the victory.
Fantasy AnalysisSaint Preux has had a rough stretch of late, dropping three fights in a row, most recently to newcomer Volkan Oezdemir. He'll get to try and bounce back against a younger (31), Brazilian opponent in Rogerio De Lima, who has gone 2-2 in his last four bouts with the UFC. He'll have the home crowd behind him in Nashville, as Saint Preux hails from Knocksville and attended school at the University of Tennessee.
Fantasy AnalysisOSP probably deserved a better fate, but it was a lousy effort nonetheless. He got progressively better as the fight progressed, but it took him a good seven or eight minutes before he did anything of note. Saint Preux looked befuddled against a last-minute replacement that he almost certainly knew nothing about. OSP lost the total strike battle by a count of 103-79, and he failed on all four of his takedown attempts, so it's impossible to say he got robbed by any stretch of the imagination. Saint Preux was a world-class athlete, but at age 33, he's not getting any younger, and he was never a world-class fighter. He is 1-4 in his last five fights and the lack of depth in the UFC's light heavyweight division would be the only reason he may be still be ranked in the top-ten come Monday.
Fantasy AnalysisNot good. OSP had a strong first round. He landed both of his takedown attempts and scored more than three minutes worth of control time, but in Round 2 he allowed Manuwa to get loose on the feet and he paid for it. Saint Preux also appeared to be a bit tired by the time the end of the fight rolled around, which is kind of surprising just over halfway through the fight, especially for a former Division I football player. OSP certainly entered this fight well aware than Manuwa had little going for him other than the big power in his hands, but he played right into the strength of his opponent. OSP is talented, but his UFC career has been marred by inconsistency. He isn't a top-five light heavyweight.
Fantasy AnalysisOSP put together a halfway decent performance on late notice in his Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Championship fight against Jon Jones in April, but he was slowly overwhelmed by the former pound-for-pound king. The majority of Saint Preux's MMA success has been the result of his God-given athletic ability. He can get sloppy at times from a technical standpoint, and while he is athletic enough to make up for the difference against lesser fighters, that isn't going to fly against fighters the caliber of Jones or Daniel Cormier or Rumble Johnson.
Fantasy AnalysisSaint Preux is coming off a loss to Jon "Bones" Jones, a fight in which he was competing for the interim light heavyweight strap. Not only did he lose the bout, but he suffered a broken arm in the defeat. That injury resulted in a six-month suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission, but with this fight taking place in another country, they won't necessarily have to honor that ban. That being said, Saint Preux surely wouldn't have taken this fight if he felt he wouldn't be healthy by then. A Knoxville, Tennessee product, Saint Preux will enter this bout as the younger fighter and a superior athlete. The crowd will be behind Manuwa, however, as the fight will take place in his home country of England.
Fantasy AnalysisAn official medical suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission should be handed to Saint Preux in the near future, but regardless of those terms, he'll likely have to miss a few months of action. What's impressive here is that Saint Preux suffered the injury at some point during the fight's first three rounds, yet continued to push through the discomfort in rounds four and five. He showed a lot of heart in going the distance against one of the best fighters of all time, but when all was said and done, it was clear Saint Preux is not among the division's elite. That being said, a thin weight class likely means he'll be fighting another ranked light heavyweight opponent when he does return to the octagon.
Fantasy AnalysisDespite the fact his body language was pretty bad from the opening bell, facing one of the most dominant fighters in the world on three weeks notice, OSP should be pretty proud of his effort. His pace slowed greatly as the fight went on, which is no surprise, but for the most part he did a good job of defending Jones. As OSP faded in Round 4, Jones was able to land a pair of takedowns which cemented Saint Preux's fate. OSP landed a few nice power shots here and there, but he just wasn't active enough to realistically expect to win the fight. Saint Preux is a tough guy and a good athlete, but he isn't on the level of the top 205-pounders in the world. The light heavyweight division is thin enough that OSP could find himself ranked as a top-five fighter at some point, but at age-33, time isn't on his side.
Fantasy AnalysisAccepting this fight was a no-brainer for Saint Preux. He gets to headline a pay-per-view, earn a huge paycheck and if he somehow is able to pull off a monumental upset, he should find himself right in the thick of the light heavyweight title picture. OSP is 7-2 in his first nine UFC bouts and he’s earned wins over decent opposition such as Gian Villante and Patrick Cummins, but the two times he fought top-ranked guys (Ryan Bader, Glover Teixeira), he lost both fights convincingly. OSP is a great athlete and a solid 205-pound fighter, but he is facing the best that the world has to offer, and quite possibly the best of all time. Anything can happen, but Saint Preux has a huge hill to climb in this one.
Fantasy AnalysisAfter Daniel Cormier had to withdraw from the title fight due to injury, Jones made it clear that he still wanted to be part of the main event at UFC 197. It turned out to be Saint Preux that answered the call just over 20 days before the scheduled event. Always considered to be a stellar athlete, the former college football player is 3-1 in his last four bouts in the UFC. Saint Preux should put up a decent fight, but will have his work cut out for him against Jones, a fighter that was widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world before the saga that led to his suspension from the promotion nearly a year ago.
Fantasy AnalysisOSP appeared to hurt either his ankle or foot early in the first round, but he managed to still pick up a clear win against the non-competitive Feijao. If Saint Preux wasn't hurt, he almost certainly would have been able to pickup a stoppage victory here. It was a really nice rebound effort for OSP after struggling in his last fight against Glover Teixeira in August. OSP will probably never be a title challenger, but he has a chance to eventually be a top-five fighter in the UFC's thin light heavyweight division.
Fantasy AnalysisOSP has nothing to gain in this fight and everything to lose, but he should be able to easily cruise past Cavalcante. Saint Preux was dominated in his last fight against Glover Teixeira last August, but he is 6-2 in the UFC and there are few in the light heavyweight division that can match his pure athletic ability. He has the tools to make a run at the top-five in the UFC's 205-pound division.
Fantasy AnalysisSaint Preux will look to bounce back from a recent loss against Glover Teixeira in which he was submitted in the third round. He'll likely be favored in the matchup, as Saint Preux is ranked eight spots higher in the division, according to UFC.com. Furthermore, Cavalcante is coming off back-to-back losses. One common opponent, Ryan Bader, has handed each fighter a loss. Another, Patrick Cummins, was defeated by Saint Preux but earned a knockout victory over Cavalcante.
Fantasy AnalysisOSP's kryptonite continues to be quality wrestlers. He struggled against Teixeira, Ryan Bader and Patrick Cummins (before he stopped him). Any fighter who is foolish enough to fight OSP on the feet deserves what's coming to them, but we are starting to see that no fighter is stupid enough to do that anymore. OSP's only shining moment came late in round one when he landed a hard body kick to Teixeria's stomach. He followed with several big shots, but Glover survived and controlled the bout the rest of the way. The finish came with Teixiera slapped on a rear naked choke after St. Preux gave up his back. OSP refused to tap out and went to sleep. OSP is an elite athlete, but he doesn't have the wrestling game to compete with the best fighters in the world.
Fantasy AnalysisSt. Preux is currently listed at +100, so he's at even-money right now. OSP is going to have a big athleticism advantage in this fight and he will have to use it if he hopes to come out on top. As long as he doesn't stand right in front of Teixeira and allow him to use his boxing skills, OSP should have a decent chance of pulling the upset in front of his hometown fans.
Fantasy AnalysisSaint Preux has a 7-1 record in the UFC since debuting in April 2013. His lone loss came against Ryan Bader last August. Training out of nearby Knoxville, OSP should have the hometown advantage in this fight. It will be his second chance to perform in a main event since joining the UFC. The first came in November 2014 against Shogun Rua. A fight Saint Preux won via TKO in the first round.