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UFC Vegas 9’s Ovince Saint Preux ‘upset’ after not getting paid for last month’s COVID-19 withdrawal

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UFC Fight Night Rothwell v Saint Preux Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Ovince Saint Preux will be back in action later tonight (Sat., Sept. 5, 2020) at UFC Vegas 9 live on ESPN+ from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, but the former light heavyweight title challenger is still trying to get paid for his UFC on ESPN 15 removal just a few weeks ago.

Saint Preux, who will meet rising contender Alonzo Menifield in the co-main event later this evening, was originally scheduled to meet Menifield at UFC on ESPN 15 back on Aug. 22. However, “OSP” tested positive for COVID-19 just hours before their matchup and the light heavyweight affair was moved to UFC Vegas 9.

While the promotion wasn’t going to let Saint Preux compete at UFC on ESPN 15 after testing for coronavirus the veteran fighter was hoping to at least get compensated. After all, “OSP” had gone through a training camp, successful weight cut, and media obligations leading up to his last-second withdrawal.

“I wasn’t compensated, but given the fight was two weeks later, that’s the only thing I was happy about,” Saint Preux told MMA Fighting. “Was I upset? A little bit, yeah, but it was a thing where I had a fight two weeks later. I think about it as, if it happened this week again I’d definitely like to be compensated.”

According to Saint Preux, UFC wanted to re-book the light heavyweight bout for UFC Vegas 8 last weekend. “OSP” didn’t believe that was best considering he had just cut weight and was already packing on the pounds, which led to this weekend’s booking.

“They wanted to push it back the following week and I was like, ‘Look, I just carb loaded, had all this sodium back in me, there’s no way I’m gonna try and cut all that out when this was supposed to be my water load week,’” he said. “We got it figured out, pushed it back two more weeks and everything, right now, is working out.”

While UFC has led the way with its return to action amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the MMA promotion has not been perfect. Various coronavirus cases have popped over the past few months, whether it’s been fighters about to travel to a location or others just hours away from making their walk to the cage. The complete list, which includes Saint Preux, can be seen HERE.

The promotion has implemented some stringent COVID-19 testing and protocol along the way, but Saint Preux believes it’s almost impossible to limit a fighter’s exposure to others when preparing for battle.

“It’s difficult to tell a fighter that you have a fight to prepare for, but you have to stay quarantined at the same time,” Saint Preux said. “A fighter is going to look at you and say, ‘That’s not gonna happen.’ You need to push yourself, you’re gonna have to do strength and conditioning, training, and you’re gonna need partners for that.

“As fighters, having that six feet of distance is damn near impossible. When you have a fight to get ready for, all you can do is bust my ass during the training camp and hope I don’t catch this. To be honest, the way it was going over the summer, I was like, ‘Man, I hope I can just catch COVID and get it out of the way.’ Mine was just too late.”

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 9 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the main card portion that also streams on ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 9: “Overeem vs. Sakai” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For even more upcoming UFC events click here.