UFC News: Latest Comments from Ovince Saint Preux About Move to Heavyweight

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 1, 2020

Ovince Saint Preux, left, fights Dominick Reyes during a light heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 229 in Las Vegas, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Ovince Saint Preux has a rather noteworthy way of choosing his fights—or rather, not choosing them. The decision is left up to his head trainer, Eric Turner, in consultation with Saint Preux's manager, Oren Hodak.

Together, the duo survey the field and pick the matchups they think provide the best opportunities for the 37-year-old out of Knoxville, Tennessee. That is how Saint Preux found himself bulking up for a move to heavyweight as he prepares to face Ben Rothwell on UFC's yet-to-be-named May 13 card in Jacksonville, Florida.

Speaking with MMA Junkie's Nolan King, Saint Preux said he's toyed with the idea of moving to heavyweight before, but it wasn't until Rothwell needed an opponent that the switch became a reality.

"It's definitely not permanent," Saint Preux said. "If there's an opportunity for me to bounce up and down, I'll definitely do that."

Saint Preux (24-13 MMA, 13-8 UFC), last entered the octagon against Michal Oleksiejczuk during UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs. Cannonier in September, coming away with a submission victory in the second round.

But there's a massive difference between facing Oleksiejczuk and Rothwell. About 60 pounds of difference, actually.

At 6'4" and 265 pounds, Rothwell sizes up as one of the biggest fighters in UFC, and Saint Preux isn't fooling himself into believing he can make that up just by adding weight, saying:

"In the beginning of April, I was walking around 227 or 226. The weight cut was going to be no problem. Now, I'm probably sitting around 230, 232. When fight time comes around, if I carb load, I might be around 235, 236.

"... It will definitely be a different experience just for the simple fact of the size and stuff. Typically when I enter the cage, I'm usually the bigger fighter. There were only a couple occasions where I wasn't. If I'm not the bigger fighter, I usually feel like the stronger fighter. It's just going to be a lot different this time. With him cutting down to 265, the next day he might be 275 or almost 280. I'm going to have to stay on my wheels. ... If I avoid the big shots, I think I'll be OK."

Saint Preux already has his game plan in mind to level the playing field. Rather than go for the chokeholds that have made him famous, he will be looking for a knockout, fulfilling a lifelong dream of taking down the biggest and baddest the sport has to offer.