The UFC Returns to the Land of the Rising Sun!

By: Brandon JM Kaplan

Ovince ‘OSP’ St. Preux:
OSP is the long and dangerous Tennessee fighter representing ‘Knoxville MMA’. Ovince has always lurked around the top 10 of the light heavyweight division, but his technical skill hasn’t evolved as other contenders in the division. He always possesses one punch ko power in that left hand, and his top pressure and submission acumen is quite vicious. OSP has become a veteran on the UFC platform, he has great wins and a few stifling losses, but all among-st high caliber light heavyweights. Rising star and fearsome knockout artist Volan Oezdimir arguable lost to OSP in his UFC debut, and took more damage in that fight than any other in his career. Just two years ago St. Preux also filled in as number one contender to welcome Jon Jones back to the ring, and he lasted five rounds with the former champ landing some good shots throughout. This fight in Japan was to reconcile a losing streak for both him and Shogun, although I believed the result would have been the same as the first fight. OSP surely has something to prove, and I expect him in top form Saturday night!
Yushin ‘Thunder’ Okami:
One of the few Japanese staples within the world of North American mixed martial arts; Okami’s career began in Pancrase during the early 2000s. His high level judo carried him through lower tier fight organizations in Japan, but he was eventually noticed and signed to bigger fight leagues like ‘K-1’ and ‘Rumble on the Rocks’. Yushin actually holds a win over the legend Anderson Silva, unfortunately it was due to getting barraged and kicked in the head illegally…but a win is a win! Okami is an absolute terror to take down, and he is impossible to hold down. His striking is a bit juvenile, but his clinch and inside game is quite powerful. He beat a prime Nate Marquardt, Mark Munoz, Alan Belcher, the fearsome Hector Lombard in his prime, and had Tim Boetch nearly finished multiple times through their fight. Okami is somewhat under rated all around, and although he is 36, he has never looked better!
Breakdown and Prediction:
I make this prediction post weigh in, but take this with a grain of salt as travel, food and weight cutting all play an immense factor in Asian countries. When fighters have to travel across the globe, they are not always acclimated correctly. At first glance, OSP should take this by some type of technical knock out finish. Yushin has always struggled with bigger guys who can deliver punishment inside the clinch; Yushin was on his way to a lopsided decision when Boetch decided to turn on the uppercuts and deliver hellfire within the clinch Okami initiated. OSP has a lethal uppercut and left hook, he is also very poised and patient overall. Okami depends on grappler invitingthe exchanges, and countering them with his judo…I just don’t see OSP being there for that, nor weak enough to control.
Japan does bring strange fortune, so don’t say I didn’t warn you…
OSP by TKO Round 4
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