Look, Ovince, all I’m saying is that maybe Lane Kiffin is slightly underrated and doesn’t deserve so much hatred. Props: fightinginsider.com
You could make the argument that Strikeforce has been more relevant since its demise in January than it was during its final year of existence. With Gilbert Melendez earning an immediate title shot against Ben Henderson and Strikeforce veterans pulling off massive upsets at UFC 156, it seems like we’re spending more time talking about it now than we were when it was still in business.
It is now being reported by Long Island Newsday that two of Strikeforce’s best light heavyweights, Ovince St. Preux and Gian Villante, will fight each other at UFC 159 in Newark, New Jersey.
A former college football player for the University of Tennessee, Ovince St. Preux went 4-4 before being signed to fight on the undercard of Strikeforce: Nashville in 2010. St. Preux provided more than just a cheap pop for the organization, as he would defeat Chris Hawk in only forty-seven seconds. OSP would win his next six fights before dropping a unanimous decision to Gegard Mousasi at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal in December of 2011. St. Preux’s most recent fight was a knockout over TJ Cook at Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman in August.
Meanwhile, Gian Villante made his Strikeforce debut as part of the promotion’s Heavyweight Grand Prix, losing to Chad Griggs in the first round. Villante then dropped down to light heavyweight, and despite losing a unanimous decision to Lorenz Larkin in his first effort as a Strikeforce light heavyweight, Villante quickly turned things around. He has won three fights in a row since losing to Larkin, but has remained inactive since May due to Strikeforce cancelling events once everyone stopped caring.
With two of Strikeforce’s most promising light heavyweight prospects looking to make a statement in their UFC debuts, this should be an entertaining scrap. Don’t expect this fight to go the distance – both fighters have heavy hands and like to bang, bro.
UFC 159 will take place on April 27 from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. It will be headlined by the TUF 17 coaches clash between light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen. We’ll keep you up to date as this card continues to fill out.