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Ovince St. Preux Explains Move to Light Heavyweight


Ovince St.
Preux recently gave a breakdown of his drop to light
heavyweight and Jon Jones’
205-pound success translating to a move up to heavyweight.

St. Preux scored a closely-contested split decision win over
surging prospect Kennedy
Nzechukwu at
UFC Fight Night 239 on Saturday. While he has juggled between
the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions throughout his
career, “OSP” hasn’t competed at heavyweight in his last three
outings, since a knockout loss to Tanner
Boser in 2021. St. Preux has a simple explanation for his
decision to stick around at 205 pounds: heavyweights hit harder and
are harder to knock out.

“I mean they [are] big and they hit hard,” The 40-year-old told The
Schmo. “The heavyweights now [are] a little bit different than the
heavyweights back then because they’re a lot faster. Like a lot of
heavyweights now, they’re a lot smaller, but they’re still bigger;
they’re faster, stronger and of course heavyweights hit harder and
whatnot. And they’re harder to knock out too.”

St. Preux came up short against Jones in a short-notice interim
title matchup at UFC
197 in 2016. While St. Preux decided to come back down to 205
after dabbling at heavyweight, his former opponent moved up and
went on to win the heavyweight title.

“Bones” made quick work of interim champ Ciryl Gane
in his return to action after three years, scoring a submission
within two minutes at UFC
285 in March 2023. Asked about Jones’ light heavyweight success
translating to heavyweight, St. Preux mostly adheres to his former
opponent’s exceptional fight IQ.

“Jon’s been successful [because] his fight IQ is ridiculous man,”
said St. Preux. “It’s off the charts, he probably has the best
fight IQ in the game right now. And even when he fought Ciryl Gane,
Ciryl made one mistake and he capitalized on it. That’s the thing I
tell people a lot of times when whichever division you’re in,
either heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight
and whatnot – When you fight guys in the Top 15 everything is good;
you can still put people out in the Top 15. But when you fight guys
and you put them in the Top 5 to Top 3, like the margin of error
for you to put him out is very slim. Cause you get a guy like
Glover. How many times he’s been in trouble he came back and turned
around and beat people. Cause people don’t realize that margin of
error, he’s been there, he’s done that, he knows how to fix that.
And Jon’s IQ is a tad up too, he’s going to have you figured out
before you have yourself figured out.”

While Jones is currently sidelined, interim champ Tom
Aspinall is rallying hard for a future title unification bout
with “Bones.” If that does come to fruition, St. Preux believes it
will come down to whether Jones’ cardio holds up in the
championship rounds despite packing the extra pounds for the
heavyweight division.

“Man, I don’t know because Aspinall [is] like really tricky for a
heavyweight. He shouldn’t move like that. He has good shots, he has
good level changes, he has good boxing, his wrestling’s actually
pretty good. His movement’s actually like really, really good and
he has power. But then on top of that, you get Jon whose IQ is
extremely different. But Jon can give you everything, he can show
you one thing and basically set you up for something else.
Submission skills are off the charts, his wrestling’s always going
to be good and you got to watch out for his elbows.

“I know that the longer the fight goes on, Jon has a better chance
of winning. Because he’s one of those fighters, pretty much the
fourth and fifth rounds — he owns those rounds. But also too,
making that jump up to heavyweight, trying to move a big body like
that could be the difference. Cause somebody that weighs in at 205
and the next day they’re 220, they still relatively easy to move
but somebody that walks around at 245-250 on a consistent, they’re
pretty hard to move on a consistent cause that’ll get you tired a
little faster. So it depends how good his cardio can hold on within
the fourth and fifth round. But knowing him, he’ll have it figured
out anyway.”

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