UFC events usually take place in big cities – like Las Vegas – but UFC Fight Night 47 will take place this Saturday in Bangor, Maine, with light heavyweight Ovince St. Preux facing Ryan Bader in the main event.
Say, Ovince, have you been eating a lot of lobster? I mean, what else is there to do in Bangor, Maine?
“Man, to be quite honest, I haven’t gotten a chance to eat any lobster yet,” St. Preux said on Ferrall on the Bench. “But you know that’s definitely on my menu Saturday night right after the win. It’s definitely on the menu.”
Ferrall thinks St. Preux should eat six pounds, but it’ll probably be more like two.
“If I do six,” St. Preux said, “I might not wake up in the morning.”
Ironically enough, it’s St. Preux’s recent opponents who have had trouble getting out of bed the next morning. St. Preux started his career 0-2 and 3-4 but has been virtually unstoppable ever since. He’s 16-5 overall and has won five consecutive matches.
What’s been the difference?
“I definitely came a long way; I’ve definitely seen a lot of leaps and bounds,” St. Preux said. “I always had the talent level there. My coach, Eric Turner, always told me the talent level was there. But my strength and conditioning coach, Nate Hoffmeister, definitely put me in another plateau with my cardio. I was more explosive, stronger and faster. It was one of those things where . . . all those attributes end up making me the quality fighter that I am right now.”
In fact, the 31-year-old St. Preux feels virtually untouchable.
“I’m in the moment,” he said. “Everything right now is so real. That’s what I’m thinking. I’m taking everything in. I visualize everything. Everything is mental preparation for me right now. Saturday night, I won the fight. My hand is already raised. All I got to do when I get there Saturday night is fill in the blanks. Hopefully I don’t leave it up to the judges.”
“But my mindset is really good. The more I fight, the more confidence I’m getting. My last fight, I was extremely confident. That’s the last thing you want: somebody that’s extremely confident and just relaxed the entire time during the fight.”
St. Preux intends to freestyle a bit against Bader (18-4).
“I got a particular game plan that I got to stick to,” St. Preux said, “but I got a key word during the fight my coach is going to end up calling out – and I can use that keyword – and he’s basically telling me to relax (and) be myself. I can basically start doing moves I usually do in the gym. I get to put in some exciting moves during the fight once I’m in that comfort zone.”
Interestingly enough, St. Preux played college football at Tennessee from 2001-04. Back then, he never imagined he’d go from the gridiron to the octagon, but that’s exactly what happened.
“To be honest, the last thing I thought about was being in the octagon,” St. Preux said. “Football (was) No. 1 on my mind. But at the same time, things happen for a reason. My football career didn’t work out, but I’m doing exceptionally well within UFC and my mixed martial arts career.”
The main card airs Saturday on FOX Sports 1 at 10 p.m.