jeudi 6 août 2015

UFC Fight Night 73: OSP, Haitian Sensation?

This Saturday, UFC Fight Night 73 will be in Nashville, Tennessee. The headliner will be Ovince St. Preux (18-6) vs. Glover Texieira (22-4). St. Preux is a former Stikeforce competitor who came over to the UFC after Zuffa, LLC purchased Strikeforce in 2011. St. Preux has competed professionally since 2008. He ranks #6 in the light heavyweight division.
St. Preux competed in wrestling for Immokalee High School in Immokalee, Florida and compiled a 26-1 record, finishing second in his weight class at the 1A level. He played football at the University of Tennessee from 2001-04. After he earned his bachelor’s in sociology, he began to train in kickboxing and improving his grappling techniques.
His professional career began with two losses, he rebounded with three first round finishes, including a calf slicer submission victory against Ombey Mobley in 2009. After two second round defeats in 2009, he went on a tear and won eight in a row, until he lost to former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi. He started his career in the UFC in 2013 and defeated six out of seven opponents. His only loss was to Ryan “Darth” Bader last year at UFN 47. Since his loss to Bader, he has rebounded with two knockouts, including a :34 second knockout of former UFC Light Heavyweight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Texieira, ranked #4 in the division, is a second-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that has trained with John Hackleman of The Pit. Hackleman also trained UFC Hall of Famer Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell. He lost his last two fights by unanimous decision to former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones and “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis, who recently signed with Bellator.
Texieira has quick hands and lands 4.15 strikes a minute and is an excellent grappler. St. Preux needs to come out aggressive and uses openings to land. OSP is a good striker with knockout capabilities and will have a four-inch reach advantage. He also displays excellent takedown defense at 66% and has a strong wrestling pedigree in his fight game. The advantage on the feet will be on Texieira’s side, but St. Preux against the cage demonstrates a cool, patient demeanor which minimizes his mistakes.
The tricky element is if the fight goes to the ground, both guys have an arsenal of submissions. OSP’s wrestling is superior to Texieira so if he can control position and strike more on the ground, he will score with the judges. Another factor is cardio, Texieira lasted five rounds with “Bones” and OSP has never been into the championship rounds so if cardio plays a role, Texieira will have the advantage.
This is a close fight to call, but a win by Texieira may give him an opportunity to fight for the title so a victory is very important. A win by OSP could pose an opportunity to fight the winner of Bader-Evans or the loser of Cormier-Gustafsson title fight coming up at UFC 192. The wild card will be Jimi Manuwa, who fights Anthony Johnson at UFC 191 next month.
I will give the edge to Texieira because of his striking, cardio, and grappling arsenal. OSP could pull off the upset, if he uses his wrestling to control the action.

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