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Ovince Saint Preux solidified his position in the upper crust of the light heavyweight division, submitting Yushin Okami at UFC Fight Night 117 on Friday night in Japan.

Okami accepted the fight on short notice when Mauricio “Shogun” Rua had to drop out because of a knee injury, but short notice and conditioning had nothing to do with the outcome, as Saint Preux made short work of the Japanese veteran.

As soon as the bell rang, Okami shot for a takedown, which was instantly stuffed by Saint Preux. Okami pulled Saint Preux into half guard, but that only played into the No. 6 ranked light heavyweight’s game.

Ovince Saint-PreuxShortly after pulling half guard, Okami wrapped his arm around Saint Preux’s head, which was the beginning of the end.

“That’s my go to move,” Saint Preux said. “I pretty much knew the choke was there when he put his hand around my head and I basically trapped his glove. After that, it’s just me locking up and waiting for him to pass out.”

And that’s exactly what happened. Saint Preux passed from half guard to side control, digging his shoulder into Okami’s neck, cutting off the blood supply to his brain. Moments later and Okami was asleep. It marked the third time that Saint Preux finished an opponent by the Von Flue choke, making him the only fighter in UFC history to finish three opponents with the choke.

Like every other fighter, Saint Preux wants to make his way back to a title shot, but having struggled against the fighters ranked higher than him, he knows another opportunity isn’t coming without some more work in the cage first.

“Pretty much keep on doing what I’m doing tonight. Just getting ready for another fight,” Saint Preux said about what he needs to do to get into title contention. But he still hoping to get the fight that he was supposed to have had on Friday night in Japan.

“Don’t get it twisted, I still want to fight Shogun.”

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