The Roman philosopher and politician Lucius Annaeus Seneca said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
Rising Strikeforce light heavyweight force Ovince St. Preux is prepared, and he just got the biggest opportunity of his career. The former University of Tennessee linebacker, currently riding a five-fight win streak, will face talented MMA veteran Benji “Razor” Radach at this Saturday’s “Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu” in St. Louis.
St. Preux (8-4) and Radach (21-5, 1 NC) will be part of the main card which is headlined by Dan Henderson vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral and will air live on Showtime starting at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on West Coast).
St. Preux made his Strikeforce debut in April when he knocked out Memphis fighter Chris Hawk in just 47 seconds. Most recently, he got the unanimous nod in a three round war with Antwain Britt which took place Nov. 19 in Jackson, Miss.
It is a bit surprising to imagine St. Preux will be stepping back in the cage in what will be just 15 days after the tough and grueling fight he went through with Britt earlier this month. However, when opportunity knocks, whaddaya gonna do, just sit there and wait for the doorbell?
St. Preux’s manager, Joey Zonar, told ProMMAnow.com this afternoon,
“We are grateful for the opportunity and that Strikeforce is keeping Ovince active. This is the toughest fight thus far in his career and the biggest show.”
Strikeforce is definitely keeping him active. It will be his third fight for the promotion this year. Strikeforce commentator Mauro Ranallo asked St. Preux after his win over Britt if he was ready for Strikeforce’s main stage or if he felt he needed another fight or two on their Challengers Series cards. St. Preux said he was ready for the main stage now and ready for any opponent they put in front of him.
Strikeforce apparently believed him because Radach is by far the most notable and toughest match-up yet for St. Preux. When people talk about taking that next step up in level of competition, this is it.
Radach boasts an 81% knockout ratio, having dispatched 17 of his 21 victims via (T)KO. He is also an IFL and UFC veteran. He is, however, coming off a third round knockout loss to Scott Smith in his last fight which took place in April of last year.
Despite the obvious experience advantage Radach possesses, St. Preux does have a few things going for him. Although they are both taking the fight on short notice, St. Preux has fought eight times since Radach was last in the cage. And as long as St. Preux is relatively injury free from the Britt fight, which he seems to be, he will be riding a ton of momentum into this fight.
Another factor in St. Preux’s favor is that he will likely be the much bigger fighter. He is a tall strong and long light heavyweight whereas Radach is about five inches shorter and normally fights at middleweight. With the long layoff and having just had Thanksgiving, it will be interesting to see what weight Radach comes in at.
The match-up is intriguing and with both fighters possessing high knockout percentages and great striking, there is a slim chance this one is going to the judges.
Other fights on the “Henderson vs. Babalu” Showtime televised card include Paul Daley vs. Scott Smith, Robbie Lawler vs. Matt Lindland and Antonio Silva vs. Mike Kyle.