Ovince Saint Preux is a rare breed of athletic talent. He went from collegiate football in the University of Tennessee to throwing strikes and hitting opponents in the ring. He is an American professional mixed martial artist who competes in the light heavyweight division of the UFC. Since he went pro in 2008, he has competed for Strikeforce, the Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC), as well as Shark Fights and ranks #7 in the official UFC light heavyweight rankings. Among other things, he is prominent for his use of the rare Von Flue choke submission to win several fights.
Who Is Ovince Saint Preux? Bio
The fighter was born on April 8, 1983, in Immokalee, Florida to Haitian immigrant parents. Born with an uncanny athletic ability, he developed an interest in sports from an early age and focused on developing his skills. During his high school days in Immokalee High School, he wrestled and compiled a record of 26-1 as a wrestler and was the state’s 1A runner-up in his weight class although wrestling wasn’t his mainstay. Additionally, he competed in the 110-meter hurdles, the 300-meter hurdles, the discus throw, and the 4×400 relay.
His prowess was, however, not only evident in the ring and on the track and field. While he excelled in these sports, it was football that had his heart. Saint Preux played defensive end/linebacker for the football team. As a senior, he recorded 75 tackles including a school-record 18 sacks, and was in turn, named All-State as well as the Naples Daily News Defensive Player of the Year.
Coming out of high school, Saint Preux was a massive prospect. He was recruited by the University of Tennessee where he played for the Tennessee Volunteers from 2001 to 2004. In Tennessee, Saint Preux was a teammate with Jason Witten, John Henderson and Travis Henry as well as was a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity. He redshirted in his freshman year and played primarily as a reserve at both defensive end and linebacker, appearing in only 17 games throughout his college career. In 2004, he graduated with a degree in sociology after which he began his training in kickboxing and grappling.
Although he wouldn’t be exactly described as a star in his collegiate career, he was still a serious prospect. However, after several unsuccessful attempts to make it into the league, he changed his potential career choice to mixed martial arts. With his wrestling background, he took the suggestion of his coach and began to fight professionally. He turned pro in 2008 after compiling an undefeated amateur MMA record of 5-0.
Ovince Saint Preux may not be in the NFL today, but the Haitian American is still an elite professional athlete. Just in a completely different sport — MMA. While there are many factors he has attributed his success in the ring to like his membership in the Omega Psi Phi fraternity which he credits for his confidence, football seemingly stood out among them.
His athleticism, just like he had in football, gave him a strong start in MMA. He has competed for Strikeforce, the XFC, and Shark Fights. Just like playing in the NFL is the dream of most football players coming out of college, fighting in the UFC is the real deal for pro fighters. Ovince Saint Preux debuted in the sphere in 2013 and with a spark of talent and confidence, he has been able to dominate the light heavyweight division of the UFC.
His last fight was on June 23, 2018, against Tyson Pedro at UFC Fight Night 132 which he won via submission in the first round. He is scheduled to face Dominick Reyes on October 6, 2018, at UFC 229. He trains at Knoxville Martial Arts Academy in Knoxville, Tennessee. His favorite grappling technique is the guillotine while the high kick and superman punch remain his favorite striking techniques.
Since he debuted, he has won 11 times (the most in the category) in the competition and has an MMA record of 23-11-0 (win-loss-draw). Ovince has gained notoriety for having won multiple fights using the rare Von Flue choke submission – three, two in a row (the only fighter in UFC history to finish 3 times). Saint Preux has won the Performance of the Night award five times and the Fight of the Night once. He is ranked number 7 in the official UFC light heavyweight rankings as of July 26, 2018, and hopes to hold the title of world champion in front of his name in the future.
As earlier mentioned, Ovince Saint Preux was born to Haitian immigrants in a close-knit Haitian-American community. He is one of seven children born to Markinsie St. Preux who was a construction worker cum farmer and Mercilia who worked as a maid. His folks moved to Immokalee when he was young to provide a better life for their children. Although uneducated, they committed to training their kids in college. In the long run, their commitment has paid off, giving them more than five graduates in their pack with Ovince being the first.
For all his parents’ sacrifices in forming who he is today, Ovince utilizes every opportunity he gets to give back to, as well as care for them.
Height, Weight, Body Stats
His years of training as an athlete paid off not only in providing him with a platform for fame but also in giving him a ripped physique. He has a height of 6′ 2″ (1.90 m) and a matching bodyweight of 205 lb (93 kg). His other body measurements include:
Reach: 80 inches
Leg Reach: 45 inches.