Mauricio Rua and Ovince Saint Preux squared off in a Light Heavyweight contest earlier tonight (Sat., May 7, 2022) from Footprint Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. After a competitive kickboxing match, Saint Preux scored the decision nod.
Both fighters opened with kicks at distance. Saint Preux targeted the body, whereas Rua worked the lead leg. “Shogun” seemed to have learned his lesson from the first fight, because he was fighting patiently. Rua connected with a long left hook as “OSP” circled near the fence. Saint Preux began finding consistent success with the front snap kick. Rua continued to stalk, picking his moments to time big swings on the counter. Rua’s power low kick to the thigh was also landing often, resulting in a close opening round overall.
The second round saw each man continue to attack with their kicks. It was difficult to tell what was more effective: Saint Preux’s snap kicks to the belly or Rua’s inside low kick? Either way, Rua was landing a bit more often with his hands, though boxing exchanges were infrequent. The pair fought at a fairly slow pace, and neither man really took over, which made for another close round.
Fans started booing and shining lights in the crowd in the third — a disgrace given Mauricio Rua’s legendary status. Meanwhile, the general exchange of front kick vs. low kick continued, but “OSP” started upping the pressure a bit. A Saint Preux left hand cut “Shogun.” Rua answered with a nice right hand, but momentum had left his corner. Saint Preux came close to timing a high kick, and he was definitely looking for that shot. The pace really slowed in the final minute, and the bout came to an uneventful close.
It wasn’t a ton of fun, but both these athletes will be sore tomorrow! At the end of their kick-heavy fight, the judges named Ovince Saint Preux the victor, seemingly due to a strong third round and touch more activity overall.
Result: Ovince Saint Preux defeats Mauricio Rua via split-decision
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