Gegard Mousasi proved that he was the better fighter tonight, stopping the eight-fight win streak of top prospect Ovince Saint Preux, as he edged out a unanimous decision victory at “Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal”.
“OSP” immediately landed kicks to start the bout, but was hesitant to throw his hands in engaging Mousasi in the first round, and throughout the bout. Mousasi came back with a series of chopping leg kicks and pinpoint accurate strikes before taking the fight to the ground and landing a barrage of ground-and-pound strikes.
He then very nearly ended the fight with a very tight kimura, but Saint Preux fought it off, rolling to defend and free his trapped arm. After a scramble that briefly saw “OSP” on top, Mousasi regained top control and then moved to the crucifix position, feeding Saint Preux more damage from the top to end the round.
Saint Preux came out in the second looking to take the fight to the ground, but Mousasi stuffed the takedown attempt, and then got one of his own. Mousasi punished Saint Preux with more short elbows and effective ground-and-pound and looked to be cruising to a dominating victory.
After an inexplicable restart with Mousasi in a dominating position, “OSP” finally got the fight to the ground with top position, and managed to score with elbows and a flurry of strikes, but was unable to keep Mousasi on his back as the round came to a close.
After dominating two rounds, Mousasi earned yet another takedown early in the final stanza. As he looked to take the back of Saint Preux, he was reversed and ended up on his back. “OSP” came to life, firing off multiple right hands from the top after moving to a dominant full mount position. Ensuing scrambles saw both fighters take turns on top, but it was Saint Preux that did the late damage with elbows, and a submission attempt at the end of the fight.
In the end it was not enough to overcome the first two rounds dominated by Mousasi (32-3-2 MMA, 3-1-1 SF), who won the bout with scores of 29-28 from all three judges.
Afterwards, Mousasi was unimpressed with his own performance.
“I was sick before this fight,” he said. “It took a lot of my conditioning away, but I think I did enough to win.”
Saint Preux (11-5 MMA, 5-1 SF) believes that too much thinking is what cost him the fight.
“I just couldn’t pull the trigger,” Saint Preux explained. “Typically when I fight, I just pull the trigger. My coaches kept telling my ‘don’t think, don’t think.’ And that’s exactly what I did out there – think.”