Strikeforce's Ovince St. Preux: A Star in the making?

Ovince_saint_preux_vs_benji_radach_largePhoto by Esther Linn

Ovince St. Preux is either the best fighter you've never heard of or the most mediocre fighter you've heard too much about.

There's probably a third and better option though.

Ovince St. Preux (affectionately referred to as "OSP" by his fans) is a light heavyweight fighter for Strikeforce. He's 28 years old and currently holds a mixed martial arts (MMA) record of 11-4.

St. Preux is somewhat of a mystery right now. He has a ton of hype. He's won eight fights in a row and has not lost since 2009. The problem is that he hasn't exactly beaten a "who's-who" of fighters. 

It's clear that he's still a bit "green." His wrestling and ground-and-pound are both impressive for someone this new to the sport.

Just how good can he eventually be?

Before he was a professional fighter, St. Preux played defensive end for the University of Tennessee from 2001-2004.

Though he did wrestle in high school, St. Preux has only been training in MMA since 2004.

While he has defeated Jason Day, Antwain Britt and Benji Radach, he still has not fought a top contender. Strikeforce has been wary of moving him along too quickly.

On Friday night at Strikeforce Challengers 17, St. Preux destroyed Joe Cason in one minute and twelve seconds. The fight ended with Cason tapping to strikes. It was quick. It was savage. It was evident why there is a buzz about St. Preux.

Fighters (and athletes in general) have no control over what fans and critics say about them. St. Preux isn't hyping himself. Other people are doing that. In a recent interview with MMA Weekly, Ovince seemed to have a decent perspective on where he currently is as a fighter.

"I just want to tell the fans to keep their eyes out, because with me, you never know what’s going to happen, but you know it’s always going to be exciting. I’m on an eight-fight winning streak, and I don’t plan on going down anyway. Like I say, whether I win or lose, you’re never going to forget me – and my opponents will never forget me."

The tale remains to be told for "OSP." It will be interesting to see what goes down when he is truly tested by a top-tier opponent. 

What do you think, Maniacs? Is St. Preux deserving of the hype? Does he have the potential to be an elite fighter? Who would you like to see him fight next? Sound off!

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