@003_OSP walkin' off in style tonight!
[ We're live NOW on #ESPNPlus ] pic.twitter.com/A7tqzYHSB9 — UFC (@ufc) September 6, 2020
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Ovince St. Preux’s second-round knockout of Alonzo Menifield in the UFC Fight Night 176 co-headliner was a thing of beauty.
The veteran light heavyweight waited patiently for his opportunity, and when Menifield recklessly rushed forward, “OSP” knocked him unconscious with a perfectly-time counter left hook.
“If you pressure me,” St. Preux said on the ESPN+ post-fight show, “I do really good going backwards and I connected really good.”
The former University of Tennessee football player set the stage for the highlight-reel finish by frustrating Menifield in the bout’s early stages, as he utilized his height and reach advantage well.
“The first round I think it was going back and forth, bult I think I edged it out … I think he wanted to [make a statement] in the second round,” St. Preux said. “He was waiting too much and he pressured me. That’s what I wanted. He came in, and I caught him with a good check hook.”
The connection left no doubt that the fight was over. Menifield faceplanted on the canvas instantly, and St. Preux had his first KO win since a head-kick finish of Corey Anderson in 2017. Come year’s end, St. Preux’s work figures to be at or near the top of many “Knockout of the Year” lists.
“When I’m in that position and I’m stepping off, I see everything coming,” St. Preux said. “He overcommitted on his punches. His coaches were telling him to actually ‘touch-touch’ and he was being too aggressive. That’s what happened, being too aggressive he left himself open, couldn’t come back. His chin was staring at me and I was like, ‘Thank you.’”
After a brief stop at heavyweight and a split-decision loss to Ben Rothwell in May, St. Preux looks to be back on track at his natural weight class. Though he seems to have settled into a role as one of the division’s most reliable gatekeepers, the 37-year-old has bigger goals in mind.
“My goals are never not on a title shot. I don’t have to rethink my goals,” he said. “I know what I’m going at. I need that belt across my waist. I’m making that run and making it happen real quick. As long as I keep myself where I’m keeping myself right now, healthy. There’s still a lot of other things I’m gonna work on – just fine tune things. But other than that, I’ll be good.”