UFC matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby are assimilating the Strikeforce roster as quickly as possible. The latest move is pitting two Strikeforce veterans against each other at UFC 159.
Ovince St. Preux and Gian Villante will make their Octagon debuts against one another when the UFC returns to Newark, N.J. on April 29. UFC officials on Friday confirmed verbal agreements are in place via a report by Long Island Newsday.
St. Preux (12-5) was Strikeforce’s 205-pound golden boy, rocketing towards title contention by winning his first five bouts for the promotion.
Former Strikeforce and Dream champion Gegard Mousasi put an end to his title run, but proving his moxie, St. Preux bounced back by knocking out T.J. Cook late last summer.
A former Ring of Combat champion, Villante had a rougher start to his Strikeforce tenure, losing his first two bouts to Chad Griggs and Lorenz Larkin.
Like St. Preux, he didn’t stay down for long. Villante returned with a vengeance, reeling off a trifecta of victories. He has been out of action since May of last year due to Strikeforce cancelling back-to-back events and then the promotion being rolled into the UFC.
Both men have knockout power and will be looking to make a splash in their promotional debuts. This bout has the potential to be one of the sleepers on the UFC 159 undercard.