Momentum is imperative to any fighter and Ovince Saint Preux, UFC light-heavyweight contender, has a good deal of amount of it going into a confirmed fight with Ilir Latifi on January 29 at UFC on FOX 27.
Two weeks ago, Saint Preux kicked Cory Anderson in the head for a third round knockout victory, a knockout so brutal it threatened to steal the show at UFC 217 (well, prior to the main card starting). That picture-perfect KO win followed back-to-back Von Flue choke finishes of Marcos Rogério de Lima and then Yushin Okami.
Not bad for a year’s work; and all the more admirable when one considers the fact Saint Preux had previous lost three fights in a row – to top light-heavyweights Jon Jones, Jimi Manuwa and Volkan Oezdemir – and appeared finished as a major force in the 205-pound division.
His next fight, announced today, matches him with Latifi, a rugged Swede who has been calling for the fight for some time now. “I didn’t pick him, he picked me,” Saint Preux, 22-10, said after knocking out Anderson at Madison Square Garden. “He called me out a while back and I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ When this situation came up, I jumped on it. And I’m jumping right back on it. December 30, we can make it happen.”
That date was always likely to be a tad ambitious. A month’s wait, however, won’t hurt either man.
Besides, Latifi, 13-5, is used to hanging around. Before an impressive win against Tyson Pedro in September, the Swede had been out of action for twelve months. Which is why he now looks to get busy, stay busy, and string together some wins over fellow light-heavyweight contenders, starting, on January 29, with Saint Preux.