When he first learned his UFC 171 opponent had scratched from the card, Ovince St. Preux seemed most upset that his strict dieting would go to waste.
It didn’t. But after beating short-notice replacement Nikita Krylov (16-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC), the 30-year-old light heavyweight still had weight on his mind.
“Even throughout the week, I felt good,” St. Preux (15-5 MMA, 3-0 UFC) told MMAjunkie after this past Saturday’s pay-per-view event at Dallas’ American Airlines Center. “My weight felt good. I came in at about 217 (pounds), and I only had to lose two pounds when I woke up Friday morning, and I don’t think I even got up to 220 today. But other than that, I felt really good.”
What felt really good, though, was the benefit that followed his win: money. He got a lot more of than his contracted purse for submitting his opponent with a little-seen Von Flue choke in the PPV opener.
“(I’m) definitely happy because it got me $50,000,” St. Preux, who won a “Performance of the Night” bonus, said. “I really wanted to stand up in this fight, but coach wanted me to take him down, because I could take advantage of him on the ground. But the minute he grabbed my head, I was like, ‘This is a move I learned, like, five years ago.’ And I stuck to it and finished with that.”
As he said in a previous interview, St. Preux wasn’t happy to lose his originally scheduled opponent when Thiago Silva went on an alleged domestic rampage that left him in jail, and he certainly didn’t approve of the abuse allegations surrounding the Brazilian fighter. But while the circumstances leading up to the bout may have been unfortunate, he was able to salvage the buzz lost with an impressive win over a lesser-known opponent.
Asked on Saturday whether he had gained as much by beating Krylov rather than Silva, St. Preux said, “probably not as much as if I would have fought Thiago.”
St. Preux, however, now has won three straight in the UFC since transferring from the now-defunct Strikeforce promotion, and he’s finished three out of his past four opponents. That should give him some good traction in the light-heavyweight division, but how much is yet to be known.
St. Preux said he might not have taken a big leap, but he certainly hasn’t slipped.
“Just because of what I did, the Von Flue, a lot of people noticed it, and a lot of people are going to be talking about it,” he said. “So either way, it works for me.”
For complete coverage of UFC 171, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.
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