This Saturday, the UFC goes to Bangor, Maine, for UFC Fight Night 47: Bader vs. St. Preux. The main event features a light heavyweight bout between The Ultimate Fighter season eight winner, Ryan Bader, and the former Strikeforce standout, Ovince St. Preux.
Bader comes into the fight on a two-fight win streak, having earned unanimous decision victories over Anthony Perosh back in December and Rafael Cavalcante in June. In his last six fights, Bader is 4-2 with one Submission of the Night, but both losses by (T)KO.
St. Preux is on a five-fight win streak, dating back to his final fight in Strikeforce and all four of his fights in the UFC. Four of his wins on this streak have been finishes, two knockouts and two submissions. Since 2010, St. Preux is 13-1, with the lone loss having come against the No. 7 ranked middleweight, Gegard Mousasi.
Bader and St. Preux are two tough opponents, and it's not going to be an easy night for either one. Let's check out their keys to victory.
Ryan Bader: Utilize his Wrestling and Avoid Big Shots
St. Preux has finished his opponent in 12 of 16 wins. Five have come by submission—one to punches—and the other seven by (T)KO. Bader has lost four times in the UFC, twice by knockout and twice by submission. His chin is considered weak by many people, and a submission loss to Tito Ortiz will likely hang over his head for a long time.
St. Preux being effective with both his striking and submissions makes him a dangerous opponent anywhere—except on his back. In St. Preux's loss to Mousasi, Mousasi won every round by getting St. Preux down and controlling him on the ground. Ryan Bader, being a former Division I wrestler, should have the ability to do the same.
Bader just has to be sure not to get too aggressive going for takedowns, because if his chin really is weak, St. Preux could easily take advantage on a missed shot.
Ovince St. Preux: Avoid the Takedown
St. Preux could very easily win this fight, as long as he doesn't end up with his back on the canvas. Bader has shown in the past that he can be both submitted and knocked out, and St. Preux has shown that he can do both of those things to almost anyone.
In Bader's last fight, he was able to beat Rafael Cavalcante by controlling him in the clinch and on the ground. There was a moment in the third round where Bader may have been rocked, but Cavalcante was unable to follow up. If St. Preux is able to rock Bader, he could easily score the finish.
If he doesn't go for the knockout, then simply avoiding a Bader takedown could open up an opportunity for St. Preux to score a submission. Bader has been submitted with guillotine chokes twice, and St. Preux is sure to be aware of that and is likely to have been working on his guillotine.
As long as St. Preux can stay on his feet, he's got a good shot in this fight.