Ovince St. Preux (10-4) has been known as one of the busiest light heavyweights on the Strikeforce roster.
In 2009, the former linebacker from the University of Tennessee fought five times, three of which were in the same month. Then in a one-year span stretching from February 2010 to January 2011, he became even busier when he fought seven times, including three fights in a three-month span for Strikeforce.
For St. Preux, things have been different lately, as he has only seen action once this year before his bout at Strikeforce Challengers 17 on Friday night against Joe Cason (9-1). But the 28-year-old feels like the six-month layoff has been nothing but beneficial to his improvement as a fighter.
“It has been a little weird being off for this long, but at the same time, it’s definitely been beneficial too because I got a lot of stuff I’ve been working on,” St. Preux told MMAWeekly radio.
The Knoxville, Tenn., native’s breakout in Strikeforce was nothing short of spectacular. In the span of three months, St. Preux racked up unanimous decision victories over the likes of Benji Radach, Antwain Britt, and Abongo Humphrey, sending the 28-year-old’s confidence skyrocketing.
“I would say it was pretty crazy. I thought about it and I told myself, ‘would I do it again?’ If one of the fights would’ve ended in the first round, I would’ve been a little content with it, but with all three fights going all three rounds, it was definitely a handful.
“It’s one of those situations where you want to test your talent and stuff, and just going against those guys at that those levels and whatnot, it definitely gave me a lot of confidence in myself. That’s one of the biggest things about fighting is confidence, and I did really well against those guys. I was definitely happy about it.”
Despite the success St. Preux has had against the likes of Benji Radach and Antwain Britt, the young fighter is not taking Duke Roufus pupil and Strikeforce newcomer Joe Cason lightly. St. Preux is cognizant of the fact that Cason is an unorthodox and dangerous striker, but make no mistake about it, St. Preux wants to move on to the bigger shows with a spectacular performance.
“It’s definitely going to be a good match-up. Joe is one of them guys who just has cannons in his arms. He actually comes from a pretty good gym and the gym that he trains at is Duke Roufus’s gym. Those guys are the kind of guys you need to watch out for because they’re definitely unpredictable and they can do things that come out from nowhere. I’m definitely looking forward to the fight, but at the same time I’m not putting anything past the fight either.
“It’s one of those situations where you challenge yourself and hopefully I do what I need to do to win. If I do what I need to do to win, I should be pretty successful and end up being in the bigger show.”