Ovince Saint Preux says heavyweight move is "Definitely not permanent"

Ovince Saint Preux celebrates a win in a previous fight. He will be out of tonight's co-main event after positive COVID-19 test.

Ovince Saint Preux says heavyweight move is “Definitely not permanent”

Ovince Saint Preux’s move to heavyweight is only temporary. 

With the second-most light heavyweight bouts in UFC history, Saint Preux is going up a weight class to fight Ben Rothwell in Jacksonville, Florida on May 13. The 37-year-old told Nolan King off MMA Junkie his move to heavyweight is not forever.

“It’s definitely not permanent,” Saint Preux said. 

“If there’s an opportunity for me to bounce up and down, I’ll definitely do that.”

In one of the few times during his career, Saint Preux is going into the bout as the smaller fighter. The Tennessee native told King he currently weighs around 230 lbs. 

He plans to weigh around 236 come fight day. 

It will definitely be a different experience just for the simple fact of the size and stuff. Typically when I enter the cage, I’m usually the bigger fighter. There were only a couple occasions where I wasn’t,” Saint Preux said. “If I’m not the bigger fighter, I usually feel like the stronger fighter. It’s just going to be a lot different this time. With him [Rothwell] cutting down to 265, the next day he might be 275 or almost 280. I’m going to have to stay on my wheels. … If I avoid the big shots, I think I’ll be OK.”

Trying something new

Saint Preux fought all of his fights inside the octagon at 205 lbs. He recently ended a two-fight skid by submitting Michal Oleksiejczuk at UFC on ESPN+ 18 in September 2019. 

The Tennessee native was previously scheduled to fight Ion Cutelaba in a light-heavyweight bout on April 25. The fight was scratched due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saint Preux may still consider himself a light heavyweight, but he always saw a heavyweight bout in his future. 

“For some reason, I was thinking to myself that I knew for some reason they were going to call me for a heavyweight fight,” Saint Preux said. “My head trainer, Eric Turner, always chooses the fights. He does more of the contact with my manager Oren (Hodak). Oren told him, ‘Hey, look: (Ben) Rothwell lost his opponent.’ Eric was like, ‘Yeah that’s a good matchup for us.’”

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