A light-heavyweight clash between Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira headlines the event at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. Ovince Saint Preux bounces up to heavyweight to take on Ben Rothwell in the co-main event.
In the co-main event, Ben Rothwell defeated Ovince St. Preux in a split decision. In a three-round war, OSP used a series of stick-and-move tactics. Rothwell waited for his time to catch a tired OSP and use his size to wear out his opponent. Both fighters used their strength early but Rothwell was able to outlast the heavyweight newcomer.
Rothwell starts around controlling the center of the ring just walking down saint preux. Saint Preux tries to establish distance with a plethora or kicks. OSP landed a good overhand left halfway through the round. OSP got caught throwing a high leg kick and Rothwell took him to the ground immediately. Rothwell is just gassing OSP with his weight and pressure. Rothwell has to take the first round with little action going on.
OSP starts with a big left head kick early this round. Rothwell has eaten a few big shots in the first minute before landing a few of his own. You wonder how much these OSP kicks are registering to a much larger Rothwell. Rothwell lands a few big knees in the clinch halfway through the round. OSP is starting to gas towards the end of the round. Rothwell has OSP against the Octagon trying to drain what is left of OSP’s gas tank. OSP hit Rothwell big a big counter left with 20 seconds left. That could win him the second round.
Much like the majority of this fight was Rothwell chasing a retreating OSP. Rothwell lands a few big shots before following with a body shot. A lot of action in the first two minutes. Both fighters are beyond tired at this point. They catch their breaths against the cage before OSP rocks Rothwell with some vicious overhands. With just over a minute left, it’s close to call. This could come down to most significant bursts of energy and damage done in that time. With the last few seconds both fighters stand in the center of the cage and unload on each other. Rothwell fell at the end and it’s hard to know if the judges are going to count that.
Ben Rothwell def. Ovince St. Preux via split decision (29-28; 28-29; 29-28)