A heavyweight bout between Ovince Saint Preux and Ben Rothwell serves as the co-headliner of tonight’s UFC event in Jacksonville.
Saint Preux (24-13 MMA) will be making his heavyweight debut this evening in Florida. ‘OSP’ was most recently seen in action at September’s UFC event in Denmark, where he scored a submission victory over Michal Oleksiejczuk.
Meanwhile, Ben Rothwell (37-12 MMA) returned from a near three-year layoff in March of 2019. Since then ‘Big Ben’ has gone 1-2, scoring a TKO victory over Stefan Struve in his most recent Octagon appearance this past December.
Round one of the UFC Jacksonville co-main event begins and Ovince Saint Preux starts things off with a pair of kicks. Rothwell comes forward but eats a front kick. He continues to press and lands a right hand. Preux with a body kick. He goes low with a kick. Ben Rothwell counters with a right hand. ‘OSP’ once again goes to the body with a kick but Rothwell lands another good counter right hand. Ovince Saint Preux circles along the cage. Ben cuts him off and lands a combination. ‘OSP’ with a straight left up the middle. He circles away from the cage. Rothwell with a right hand that misses. Saint Preux with a body kick. Rothwell lunges in and grabs a hold of ‘OSP’. He immediately looks for a go-go choke. Ovince is doing a good job of defending thus far. One minute remains in the round. ‘OSP’ breaks free of the hold and scrambles up to his feet. He misses with a body kick and the horn sounds to end round one.
Round two of the UFC Jacksonville co-main event begins and Saint Preux is utilizing a lot of movement early. He lands a nice body kick as Ben pressures forward. ‘OSP’ snaps a jab. Rothwell replies with a flurry that ends in a good right hand. He lands an uppercut now. The fighters clinch against the cage. Ovince Saint Preux explodes and breaks free from the position. He lands a good body kick and then a left hand. Rothwell responds with a hard kick of his own. ‘OSP’ snaps a jab. Ben Rothwell lands a nice overhand right followed by an uppercut. He clinches up with ‘OSP’ and lands a knee. Ovince breaks free and circles off the fence. He lands a left hook as Ben comes forward. Saint Preux is breathing very heavy now. Still, he manages to land a good shot. Rothwell eats it and presses ‘OSP’ back up against the cage. He shoots for a takedown but Ovince denies the attempt. ‘OSP’ breaks free and lands a good left hook that drops Rothwell to a knee. He is back up and appears to be ok but that was a good moment for ‘OSP’ to end round two.
Round three begins and Ben Rothwell is pressing forward early. Ovince Saint Preux lands a nice left hand. He misses with a punch and is forced to run from Rothwell as his back was turned. ‘OSP’ with a hard low kick. Rothwell clinches up and lands a knee. ‘OSP’ connects with a uppercut and forces Ben to break the clinch. Ovince is throwing shots now. Rothwell answers with a flurry of his own. He connects with a hard body shot. Both men with combination. Rothwell initiates the clinch and lands another good knee. He lands some short shots to the thigh and body of Saint Preux. The referee is telling the men to work. Two minutes remain now in the final round. The fighters break and Ovince Saint Preux rocks Ben Rothwell with a left hand. He follows that up with an uppercut. Rothwell pushes forward but eats a combination. ‘OSP’ looks exhausted now. Rothwell pushes him up against the fence and begins to work some short knees. Ovince breaks free with twenty seconds remaining. He lands a left and then a right. Rothwell answers with an uppercut. Big shots from ‘OSP’ and Rothwell hits the deck just as the horn sounds.
Official UFC Jacksonville Result: Ben Rothwell def. Ovince Saint Preux by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Who would you like to see Rothwell fight next following his split decision victory over Saint Preux this evening in Florida? Share your thoughts in the comments section PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on May 13, 2020