The main event for UFC Fight Night 47 will see Ovince St. Preux getting the first major test of his UFC career against perennial top 10-ranked fighter Ryan Bader. Thus far, St. Preux has looked phenomenal in his UFC run. Since his December 2011 loss to Gegard Mousasi in Strikeforce, Ovince St. Preux has been on a tear, winning five fights in a row. Four of those wins happened in his Octagon run. Now, St. Preux will finally be tested, and Bader is the perfect fight to see how far St. Preux can go in his UFC career.
Since winning The Ultimate Fighter season 8 in 2008, Bader has been a solid, if unspectacular, performer. Bader started his Octagon career at 5-0. However, ever since he lost to Jon Jones at UFC 126, he has been unable to win more than two fights in a row. Bader has 10 wins in his UFC career, but since the Jones fight, he has remained as a perpetual gatekeeper to higher-ranked fighters or future title contenders. Bader has always been good enough to hang around in the top 10, but he has always failed to break into the top-five and be considered in the mix for a title shot. Currently, Bader sits at No. 8.
For Bader, this is not a fight that will give him a higher spot in the rankings. However, a win would give him his first three-fight winning streak in quite some time. It would also give him a win over an exciting, up-and-coming light heavyweight prospect.
For St. Preux, this is the first time he has faced a tough, grinding wrestler and a fighter solidly ranked in the top 10 of the division. St. Preux is a fighter who has been out-wrestled and out-grappled before in the Mousasi fight. It will be an area in which he has to show marked improvement if he ever wants to make it higher up the ranks. This is also an interesting matchup because of his punching power. In Bader’s losses, he tends to get dropped when he is hit with a solid shot.
The intrigue of this fight will be if St. Preux can pass a big test in his career and break into the higher level of light heavyweights in the UFC or if Bader can maintain his momentum and shake off the label of light heavyweight gatekeeper. UFC Fight Night 47 goes down on Aug. 16.