Wednesday, Dec 08, 2010
After Considering Retirement in 2009, St. Preux Looking to Build on Break-Out Year
By Kelsey Mowatt
One year ago, few people would have likely predicted that by the close of 2010, Ovince St. Preux would be considered one of Strikeforce’s fastest rising light-heavyweights. After all, this time last year, St. Preux’s MMA record was 3-4, and the former collegiate line-backer was coming off back-to-back losses to Nik Fekete and Virgil Swicker. Despite his impressive athletic abilities, St. Preux was struggling at times early into his MMA career. (Pictured: St. Preux hitting Radach from above)
2010, however, has been a dramatically different story, and in this year’s campaign St. Preux has not only won six straight, he’s recorded victories over UFC vets in Jason Day and most recently, Benji Radach. St. Preux is quickly improving and people have been forced to take notice as a result.
“To be perfectly honest, this time last year I was thinking to myself that I almost wanted to quit fighting,” St. Preux told FCF when asked to reflect on the past twelve months. “People tell you when you first get into the sport that you’re going to lose in order to gain, but when you continue to train, do good shows, you’ll get back those losses. This year has been such a blessing for me.”
While a successful Strikeforce debut in April and St. Preux’s eight second KO of Day in July created some buzz, earning back-to-back decision wins over Antwain Britt and Radach in a span of two weeks, was a great way to cap off the year.
“Those wins were very important,” said St. Preux. “Every fight I have now with Strikeforce is going to be the most important fight of my career. When I fought Antwain two weeks ago that was the most important fight of my career, and then when I fought Benji it was the most important.”
After working his way to a unanimous decision win over Britt on November 19th, it certainly appeared as though St. Preux’s would close out 2010 having gone 5-0. But when a series of injuries hit Strikeforce’s December 4th “Henderson vs. Babalu” card, the promotion was left scrambling to find another compelling fight.
“At first I thought, if you don’t take the fight, when’s the next time you’ll get an opportunity to fight a guy like Benji on a big show,” said St. Preux. “So I thought I might as well take it as I really had nothing to lose.”
Clearly St. Preux made the right call, as he punished the veteran Radach throughout the bout, landing some telling strikes when the two were on their feet, but largely from the top position on the ground.
“My strategy was to stick and move, stick and move,” St. Preux said, when asked about the game plan he looked to employ against Radach. “My initial strategy was to just get him against the cage and just kind of grind on him and take him down. He kind of tried to force that situation on me, but I was able to come out on top.”
“He felt strong to me,” said St. Preux, when asked about the fact that Radach moved up to 205lbs. from middleweight where he usually competes. “I didn’t really have to lose that much weight for this fight, I only had to cut six pounds and that was it. So I didn’t think I looked bigger than him; I thought at the weigh-ins he looked bigger than me.”
Having put together a remarkable break-out campaign in 2010, St. Preux is setting the bar even higher for himself in 2011.
“I told myself that in 2010 I wanted to get my record up to par and sign with a major organization,” St. Preux noted. “I did that. I told myself in 2011 I want to get a title shot and get my name out there; I want to get my name out to the MMA community, not just in the U.S. but around the world.”
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 2:03 pm