Ryan Bader vs. Ovince St. Preux:
Mike Drahota: This fight presents an interesting dynamic of a seasoned light heavyweight who never rose to the top and an up-and-coming prospect who may be set for a breakout. While Bader is a powerful striker and awesome wrestler, I think that as an accomplished former NCAA football player, St. Preux has the athleticism to contend with “Darth’s” forward pressure.
Bader has left himself open a few too many times against elite opposition, and I think “OSP” is knocking on the door of that status. He’ll also have a sizeable range advantage on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 8 winner as well, and Bader has shown a weakness to chokes. That should play right into “OSP’s” hands. I’m picking St. Preux by submission in the second.
Rory Kernaghan: Really didn’t have too much trouble making my prediction this week, as I feel that Ovince St. Preux is a clear favorite against Ryan Bader. Although ‘Darth’ has had some very good fights for the UFC, I just can’t see him stopping OSP from getting to 5-0 for the UFC. Unbeaten since a 2011 Strikeforce loss to Gegard Mousasi, I expect St. Preux to have evolved even more since his win over Ryan Jimmo, and my feeling is he will look to keep this fight standing. Bader is no slouch, but I expect his chin to give way early on; OSP by TKO in round one.
Buster Evans: Ovince St. Preux has the opportunity to certify himself as a legitimate contender in the light-heavyweight division tomorrow night when he takes on TUF 8 winner Ryan Bader in the main event of UFC Fight Night 47. Bader is probably the stronger wrestler of the two and the harder striker.
However, OSP has a very well-rounded game and all the skills it takes to get the win. He’s the better striker of the two with his unorthodox kickboxing and I think he has the better ground game to go with it. St. Preux will make a statement tomorrow in a violent fashion. OSP via KO (head kick) round one – 2:32.
Mike Henken: Although Bader has stayed relevant in the light heavyweight division for quite some time now, he has always struggled to get over the hump against the division’s elite.
He’s known as an outstanding wrestler with extraordinary power and devastating ground and pound. “OSP” is a former college football player with great athletic ability and a well-rounded submission that’s he used to win his last two bouts. An interesting stat for “OSP” is that he has stuffed 100% of the takedowns attempted against him, but he has never fought a wrestler of Bader’s caliber.
Bader is much more experienced against top-level competition, and I think that will play a role in this fight. I see Bader using his strong wrestling and experience to overpower “OSP” and get him to the ground. Bader will have to watch out for the submission, but I don’t believe he will fall into any traps. I think Bader will finish St. Preux on the matt with his vicious ground and pound to score a second round TKO.
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