For a few moments, it looked as though Ovince St. Preux was going to serve as fodder for the rise of Australian prospect Tyson Pedro at UFC Fight Night 132 in Singapore.
Pedro stunned St. Preux with a right high kick during an initial exchange, then dropped his opponent with a right hand. Moments later, Pedro applied a standing guillotine choke, but was unable to find the right angle to secure the submission against his taller adversary. When that failed, the Sydney native attempted a bodylock takedown, but the failed attempt put St. Preux in top position.
From there, OSP went to work, landing ground-and-pound before isolating Pedro’s arm and locking in a straight armbar to get the tapout at the 2:54 mark of round one.
“I was just think I need to gain my composure early in the fight. I have a bad habit of starting slowly, so composure was the key,” St. Preux said. “The fight went to the ground and I landed perfectly. I landed in a position I wanted to. If I didn’t have the Von Flue choke, I knew I could get the armbar.”
Now 35 years old, St. Preux has been around the light heavyweight division long enough to reach some impressive milestones. His 11 205-pound triumphs are tied with Lyoto Machida for fifth most in the history of the division, while his nine finishes are tied with Jon Jones and Chuck Liddell for the most in the modern light heavyweight history.
The former University of Tennessee linebacker has won four of his last five bouts and is looking to stay active against a highly-ranked opponent for his next Octagon appearance.
“I would take anyone in the Top 5 basically,” he said. “There is nobody in the 205-pound division since I came to the UFC in 2013 that’s had more fights than I have or had more performance bonuses than I’ve had. I’ll take fights on short notice, I’ll do whatever it takes. Make sure it’s a Top 5 and I got it.”