After making the foray up to the heavyweight division earlier this year, Ovince Saint Preux returns to heavyweight at UFC Vegas 7.
Saint Preux (24-14) lost a split decision to “Big” Ben Rothwell, in what was OSP’s heavyweight debut back in May. However, the master of the Von Flue choke hasn’t ruled out the weight class altogether.
“The heavyweight thing was almost like a trial type of deal. If another fight presents itself and it’s a really good match-up, I guess I’ll move back to heavyweight,” he told Cageside Press during the UFC Vegas 7 media day this week.
With that said, “my weight class has always been light heavyweight,” Saint Preux added. “Just getting back down felt good. The weight cutting part is always tough, but other than that, fighting people your size is always good.”
OSP wasn’t supposed to be fighting who he is this weekend, however. While he’ll take on Alonzo Menifield in the ESPN card’s co-main event, it was originally Shamil Gamzatov he was paired up with. Gamzatov pulled out of the bout, however, and Menifield stepped up on short notice.
There was never a question of declining the fight, Saint Preux said, mainly because “I tend to do better with short notice fights.”
“It’s not the first time it’s happened, it won’t be the last,” he stated. The way he sees it, “I spent all this time actually training, getting ready for a fight, and I can either wait, or I can just jump in there. And I tend to do better when I actually jump in there.”
Menifield has become known for his Von Flue choke finishes in the UFC, to the point where you could almost call it the Saint Preux choke. There’s another fighter with his own signature finishing move — Aleksei Oleinik, with the Ezekiel choke. Asked, in essence, who does it better, Saint Preux replied “I got more finishes with the Von Flue [in the UFC].”
“He’s actually kind of slick with it, it’s cool. But I definitely have more finishes than he does in the UFC,” he added, in reference to their signature chokes.
If Saint Preux ever does venture back up to heavyweight, maybe that’s a match-up fans will see some day. Instead, it’s Menifield that Ovince Saint Preux is now focused on, who like himself has a background in college football.
“Just from him playing ball, I know he’s got strong hips. You can tell just by looking at him, he’s really strong and durable. I come from that background too, so I know,” OSP observed.
Watch the full UFC Vegas 7 virtual media day press scrum with Ovince Saint Preux above. The event takes place Saturday, August 22 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.