His name is Ovince Saint Preux. Many announcers have butchered his name, and for the record, he prefers “Saint” Preux, over “St.” Preux. Expectedly, he has been dubbed “OSP”, a nickname that he anticipated would be appointed to him.
“My little brother actually played football at UNLV, and they called him “RSP” out there,” Saint Preux told ProMMAnow.com. “I knew that when everything started, with the name Ovince Saint Preux, that the ‘OSP’ was going to stick.”
With “OSP” there is no entourage, no dancing girls or dance moves on his way to the cage. That space and time is reserved for himself and his national heritage. That heritage is represented by a flag.
A Haitian flag to be exact, and it not only represents his identity as a proud Haitian-American, but it also represents his family. His mother and father in Florida, immigrants from Haiti that worked themselves to the bone to provide for their children. His grandmother that still resides in Haiti to this day. His other relatives in Port-au-prince that are still picking up pieces from the devastating earthquake that shook Haiti to it’s core.
“When I heard about the earthquake, I just kind of put my head down,” said Saint Preux. “It hurt when I heard about it, I was just thinking to myself and wondering if Haiti would ever catch a break.”
That memory touches his mind as he continues his walk to the cage. All of his friends and family are represented in that flag that is draped on his back. He is alone, yet in spirit, everybody is with him. It is part of who he is. It is why he fights.
It is nearly impossible to figure out what Saint Preux is thinking at any given time. He doesn’t show it on his face whether he is weighing in, staring down an opponent, or about to engage in battle. The looks is always the same. The look is pure focus. The look is quiet confidence.
It wasn’t always that way. After a tough start to his MMA career, Saint Preux found himself with a 3-4 record, and he doubted himself, but only for a moment. He tried to figure out what went wrong, and apparently he found it.
Since that moment, Saint Preux (9-4 MMA, 3-0 SF) has went 6-0, winning all six of those fights in 2010, and his bout with Ron “Abongo” Humphrey will mark a record 3 straight Strikeforce card appearances for the rising star.
Saint Preux, who trains at Knoxville Martial Arts Academy, spent some time with ProMMAnow.com to talk about his Haitian-American roots, his family, and his upcoming bout with Ron “Abongo” Humphrey.