Mixed martial arts: Ovince Saint Preux believes age no barrier to success for fight in S'pore

UFC fighter Ovince Saint Preux has three wins and three losses in his last six fights.
UFC fighter Ovince Saint Preux has three wins and three losses in his last six fights.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/OVINCE ST PREUX

SINGAPORE - At 35, Ovince Saint Preux is nearly a decade older than Tyson Pedro and will count on age and experience to trump youth when the pair face off at next month's Ultimate Fighting Championship live show in Singapore.

OSP, as he is known in the ring, has also endured an indifferent run since losing a light heavyweight (93kg) title fight to Jon Jones by unanimous decision in 2016.

The American has three wins and three losses in his last six fights. His last contest ended with a first-round defeat by Ilir Latifi via a standing guillotine choke in February.

But the seventh-ranked OSP dismissed the notion that he is a spent force, a big name trotted out as a stepping stone for Pedro. The 26-year-old Australian has finished his opponents by knockout or submission in all his seven victories to go with one loss.

"Pedro is one of those young and hungry fighters you've got to watch out for. But you can't really judge a fighter by his fights. You've got to see the way I train. The crazy thing is, I'm 35 but I feel I'm moving better than at 25, 26 years old," said OSP in a conference call with the regional media on Monday night.

The Florida native added: "The difference is I wasn't fighting top-five, top-10 guys on a consistent basis in my younger days. And at this level, the margin of error is very slim.

"I'm not trying to knock Pedro, but a lot of the guys he fought looked like they were at 185 pounds (84kg). I'm one of the biggest guys out there and I hit like a brick too."

The 1.91m, 93kg Saint Preux has a reputation as a powerful and entertaining fighter who can be counted upon to deliver the performance of the night at any event.

Of his 22 career victories, 11 were via knockouts.

He won his first fight in Asia by a spectacular Von Flue choke last September over Yushin Okami, and is relishing a second opportunity to showcase his skills to Asian fans.

"I expect to put on a good show and leave with even more fans. The Asian market for mixed martial arts is ridiculous. Whatever martial arts you do can always be traced back to Asia," said Saint Preux, whose bout is one of 11 on the fight card at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

"The main event (between welterweights Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone and Leon Edwards) should be good but personally I don't think they're gonna take the show away from me."

It was clear he wants to make his first visit to the Republic a memorable one.

"I'm gonna see that jungle that's inside a building, I heard that's pretty interesting," he said, referring to Gardens by the Bay.

"And of course, I want to check out the nightlife too."