Ovince St. Preux isn’t concerned with the added pressure of competing in a main event for the UFC, as St. Preux was a standout on the gridiron at Tennessee in college.
This Saturday night, OSP will step inside the Octagon to face former Ultimate Fighter winner Ryan Bader at UFC Fight Night from Bangor, Maine. The main card airs on FOX Sports 1.
OSP (16-5) has picked up five consecutive victories since a 2011 decision loss to Gegard Mousasi. The 31-year-old submitted both Ryan Jimmo and Nikita Krylov already this year after earning a knockout of Cody Donovan in 2013. A win over Bader, though, would generate even more buzz for him.
“It’ll move me up in the 205 rankings,” said St. Preux, during a recent appearance on UFC Tonight. “I’m at least two fights away from the title and that’s what I’m shooting for.
“In my mind, I won the fight. It ain’t going to be easy, but it ain’t going to be hard.”
St. Preux started his MMA career in 2008 with back-to-back decision losses. He went on a three-fight win streak before a pair of 2009 losses. Since that time, OSP has only suffered the defeat to Mousasi, scoring nine finishes.
“I don’t feel added pressure,” he said. “To be honest, I feel there’s more pressure on Bader than me. I’m a newcomer; he’s been around for a minute.”
Despite the level of skill “Darth” will bring with him as a former Arizona State University wrestling standout, St. Preux isn’t overly concerned.
“I think he’s overrated,” he said. “Nothing personal against Anthony Perosh, but I would have put him to sleep.”
Bader (17-4) has picked up two straight decisions over Perosh and Rafael Cavalcante, having only lost to either former or current UFC champions Lyoto Machida, Tito Ortiz and Jon Jones, along with contender Glover Teixeira.