In mixed martial arts, momentum can be a tricky mistress, here one instant and gone the next. Right now, Ovince St. Preux has it in his corner.
The fast-rising 28-year-old light heavyweight will carry an impressive seven-fight winning streak into his featured bout with Roufusport product Joe Cason at Strikeforce Challengers 17 on Friday at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. St. Preux (Pictured; file photo) wants to keep moving forward, putting up one victory after another.
“If I want to get anywhere in this sport, then I have to keep winning, no matter what,” he told Sherdog.com. “So that’s what I plan to do. I plan to keep on rolling.”
St. Preux (10-4, 4-0 SF) attributes his recent run of success, which includes one-sided wins over UFC veterans Benji Radach and Jason Day, to good old-fashioned hard work.
“Nothing more, nothing less,” he said. “I keep training, learning and adapting.”
In Cason, he faces a relative unknown with knockout power. He has finished all eight of his opponents, five of them in less than a minute. Cason last fought under the North American Fighting Championship banner in May, when he stopped UFC castaway Sean Salmon on strikes in just 74 seconds. The 23-year-old trains under former world kickboxing champion Duke Roufus in Milwaukee. He has St. Preux’s attention.
“I think any fighter can pose a lot of threats from every angle,” St. Preux said. “I don’t underestimate anyone, so I see Joe as a serious threat, especially with his hands. He’s got Chuck Liddell-like power in his hands, so I have to make sure I don’t let either of them hit me. Brain damage sucks.”
St. Preux, who sports seven first-round finishes on his resume, has not competed since he outpointed Ron Humphrey by unanimous decision at Strikeforce Challengers 13 in January. His last three fights have reached the judges -- a trend he wants to change.
“I’ve let too many of them go to decisions,” he said, “so I need to push harder to finish my opponent.”
Like virtually any mixed martial artist, St. Preux has designs on someday landing in the UFC. Zuffa LLC’s purchase of Strikeforce in March brought that move one step closer to reality for the former University of Tennessee linebacker.
“I hope it provides me the opportunity to get into the UFC, if I deserve it,” St. Preux said. “Like I was saying before about keeping the wins rolling, if I can do that, then I hope I earn the right to be in the Octagon with the best fighters in the world.”