Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight finishers Ovince Saint Preux and Marcos Rogerio de Lima will brawl this Saturday (April 22, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 108 inside Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
After a solid rise through the ranks that saw him win seven of his first nine UFC fights, Saint Preux has run into a well. “OSP” has come up short in his previous three fights and shown little improvement, making this bout a must-win affair. Throughout both the regional scene and his UFC competition, Rogerio de Lima has been remarkably consistent. That’s not to say he’s been winning every time, but de Lima walks into the cage with an absolute kill-or-be-killed mentality, and his fights usually end within a round.
Let’s take a look at the keys to victory for both men:
Ovince Saint Preux
Key Wins: Mauricio Rua (UFC Fight Night 56), Patrick Cummins (UFC on FOX 15), Ryan Jimmo (UFC 174)
Key Losses: Jon Jones (UFC 197), Jimi Manuwa (UFC 204), Glover Teixeira (UFC Fight Night 73), Volkan Oezdemir (UFC Fight Night 104)
Keys to Victory: Saint Preux is an impressive physical force. He may be a somewhat limited technician, but Saint Preux’s core weapons of the left kick and left hand are still devastating, which have helped led him to scoring 10 knockout wins.
On the whole, Saint Preux tends to fight best on the counter. He’s not always great in boxing exchanges, but if he has an opponent chasing after him, Saint Preux’s sense of timing is pretty great.
There’s zero chance that “Pezao” will hang back and wait — he’s going to swing early.
When he does, Saint Preux has three really great options. He can either find his moment to counter with a massive left hand, similar to the “Shogun” knockout. He could also interrupt his foe’s forward pressure with a painful body kick. Or, perhaps in his best interest, Saint Preux could duck down and make use of all that physical strength by throwing his foe to the mat.
Either way, this is a fight that Saint Preux should dominate if he has anything left in the tank.
Marcos Rogerio de Lima
Key Wins: Igor Pokrajac (UFC Fight Night 58), Clint Hester (UFC 197), Jeremy Kimball (UFC on FOX 23)
Key Losses: Nikita Krylov (UFC Fight Night 74), Gadzhimurad Antigulov (UFC Fight Night 100)
Keys to Victory: Rogerio de Lima is an absolute savage. The former Heavyweight tends to waste little time in attempting to lay waste to his opponents, firing massive, looping shots and hard kicks at them from the first bell.
He’s stopped 14 of his past opponents.
Rogerio de Lima has a limited amount of flurries, so he must use them wisely. If he immediately walks into the center of the cage swinging, there may be a chance that he lands the knockout shot, but it’s far more likely that he runs into something or gets tired.
Instead, Rogerio de Lima must wait for opportune moments to let loose. In his last two fights, “OSP” has shown a bad habit of being walked into the fence and staying there. If Lima can trap him in such a position, it’s the perfect time to unleash a furious assault.
Bottom Line: It should be a fun fight that’s quite important for both men.
Saint Preux is in an absolute must-win position. Just two fights back, he impressed by giving Jon Jones a tougher challenge than expected (in a loss). Since then, he was knocked out violently and defeated by an unheralded debuting fighter. If he’s to regain some of his past momentum, it’s pivotal that he performs here.
If not, “OSP” may be done inside the Octagon.
As for Rogerio de Lima, this is a huge opportunity. Decline or no, a knockout of Saint Preux would be far and away the biggest victory of his career. Rogerio de Lima certainly has an entertaining and marketable style — violence — so a big win like this could lead to another high-level foe next.
Alternatively, Rogerio de Lima is not going to be released with a loss. He’s carved out a position for himself in the middle of the division and won his last fight. He may not move forward, but he’s definitely safe for the immediate future.
At UFC Fight Night 108, Ovince St. Preux and Marcos Rogerio de Lima will throw down. Which man will be named the victor?