Sixth and seventh ranked light heavyweights battled it out on the Fox Sports 1 preliminary card of UFC 217, with Ovince St. Preux stepping up on short notice to face Corey Anderson.
UFC 217 took over New York City on Saturday, touching down at Madison Square Garden and boasting three title fights. In preliminary action on Fox Sports 1, former interim light heavyweight title challenger Ovince St. Preux returned to face off against wrestler and Ultimate Fighter winner Corey Anderson.
OSP was coming in off back-to-back wins over Marcos Rogério de Lima and Yushin Okami, while Corey Anderson had not fought since a KO loss to Jimi Manuwa in London back in March.
St. Preux opened by throwing kicks down the middle, following them up with a left hand that snapped Corey Anderson’s head back. Anderson, however, would turn to his wrestling and score a big takedown of OSP. Securing the back of his opponent against the fence, he was able to land a number of left hands as St. Preux worked his way back to his feet. Once up Anderson kept the forward pressure on, not allowing OSP to create any space. Off the break Anderson moved forward with some short punches, and began letting his hands fly to set up another takedown. The double leg against the cage just wasn’t there, however, as OSP displayed some good defense. A spinning elbow by Anderson followed up by some clean punches surprised St. Preux, however, and the momentum had worked its way from OSP early to Anderson as the round progressed.
OSP, however, would end the round with a flurry of strikes that sent Anderson back to the wrong corner.
A big head kick early by OSP rocked Anderson, but the ref stopped the action almost immediately after to recover Anderson’s mouthpiece, potentially saving him. Anderson would then fall back on his wrestling once again, taking down OSP with a thud and controlling him on the ground for nearly the entire round. Even when back on his feet, Anderson was able to grind OSP against the fence and limit any offense the larger man might have attempted.
Round three had OSP likely behind by two rounds, but before you could blink, St. Preux launched a head kick that connected with the side of Anderson’s skull, sending him crashing to the canvas. Anderson was out, and OSP paid his respects to light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier ringside. Afterwards, he called for a fight against Ilir Latifi at UFC 219 in December.
Ovince St. Preux def. Corey Anderson by KO (head kick), Round 3, 1:25