Ovince St. Preux enjoyed the biggest win of his MMA career last night, defeating the legendary Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in a first round knockout at UFC Fight Night 56.
It wasn’t what many expected.
St. Preux, former University of Tennessee football standout was a late replacement in the bout, which was contested in his opponent’s home country of Brazil.
But he sent “Shogun” crashing to the canvas a matter of seconds into the bout, earning the TKO win at just 0:34 of the first round.
Was it a case of an old legend slowing down?
Not according to St. Preux.
“I don’t think he was slow at all,” St. Preux said in the press conference after the fight. “I can take you to the ground super quickly. I think he mistook my reach, so I was able to catch him. I don’t think he’s slow. He still has it. He hit me with a couple of good leg kicks.”
Rua, of Curitiba, Brazil, had lost to Dan Henderson in his last Octagon appearance — but had been dominant in the bout before getting caught. A former UFC light heavweight champion and PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix champion, he has now lost four of his last five bouts to bring his career MMA record to 22-10.
But he didn’t explain the loss as a result of diminishing skills, or a bad night. Simply put, says Rua: “The punch landed clean, and that’s when the knockout happens.”
Ovince St Preux is now 17-6 in his MMA career.