UFC Fight Night 47: Bader v. St. Preux – Main Card Preview


It would hardly be a mortal sin to look at the line-up for the UFC’s first trip to the state of Maine, and be pretty underwhelmed by what’s on offer, particularly in light of what we’ve been treated to over the summer months.

However, there are some potential gems that, if all goes according to plan, just might temporarily numb the pain of Jon Jones’ withdrawal from UFC 178, and help cap off what should be a great night of fights on both sides of the Atlantic.

Ryan Bader has been a perennial contender at light heavyweight for so long now that he could be considered a hot favourite to inherit Vladimir Matyushenko’s mantle as the division’s gatekeeper. Prior to a 2011 loss to Jon Jones’, in what proved a number one contender bout, he was unbeaten, but in the interim he has faltered whenever faced with top competition.

He will arrive at Bangor’s Cross Insurance Centre on a two-fight win streak, but also likely to condemned to career purgatory if he is unable to turn over the fast-rising Ovince St. Preux, who is 4-0 since joining the UFC ranks, and has finished his last three opponents.

Bader’s wrestling remains his strong point, while his stand-up is still developing, albeit gradually. St. Preux was an accomplished high school wrestler and came close to playing in the NFL, so getting him to the mat will not be not be easy. If it stays on the feet, given the power and bulk of both men, it might be a case of who connects first.

In the co-main event, former title challenger Gray Maynard faces Ross Pearson, in what will be his first bout in close to a year. Maynard has only one win in his last four outings and could well be pink-slipped from the stacked lightweight division if he cannot get the better of the Brit.

Pearson fell victim to some of the worst judging in sport’s history in his most recent fight against Diego Sanchez and, before that, his match with Melvin Guillard ended in a no contest, after he sustained a cut from an accidental knee. Subsequently, he’ll no doubt be desperate to get his career back on track.
Brad Tavares had strung together five consecutive wins before being thoroughly manhandled by Yoel Romero en route to a unanimous decision loss at UFC on Fox 11. The Hawaiian can begin his ascent back up the rungs of the middleweight ladder by taking out stalwart Tim Boetsch.

Boetsch enjoyed a four fight win-streak before being decisioned by Costas Philippou at UFC 155, and now has only one victory in his last four. So, like Maynard, his job could well be on the line. Tavares is the more technical striker, but the Barbarian’s KO power is undeniable. Could be fight of the night.

Opening up the main card is a featherweight battle between Thiago Tavares and Robbie Peralta, before heavyweights Shawn Jordan and Jack May square off, with Seth Baczynski and Alan Jouban rounding things up at 170lbs.

Main card starts on BT Sports at 3am.



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