Ovince Saint Preux has already had the chance to share the octagon with Jon Jones.
Now that the former, longtime light heavyweight champion has vacated his title, 205 is now a bit more compelling than it has been in the last several years.
“OSP” will look to take a step forward in the light heavyweight rankings when he faces Alonzo Menifield Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 9.
After spending 25-minutes with Jones over four years ago at UFC 197 – over 10 of those with a broken arm – Saint Preux believes Jones’ style could make things interesting in the heavyweight division.
“With his system of fighting, it works out for him,” Saint Preux told MMA Fighting while appearing on What the Heck. “In the earlier rounds, he actually does enough to win. When it gets to the late rounds, he takes it and runs away. His stand up game, he can hit you from anywhere: he switches stances with leg kicks, goes to the body. He’s versatile with all of that.
“I think with the heavyweight class, it should be good. I can’t tell because when you’re lighter and faster, in the heavyweight division those guys can take hits. When I fought Ben, those two shots that I gave him, if I had hit any 205er like that they would’ve been to sleep. It should be interesting seeing what he can do in that division.”
In regards to the fresh coat of paint 205 is set to experience, Saint Preux believes things will be relatively shaped out by the end of the year. As far as where he hopes to be in the future, Saint Preux is focusing on feeling as healthy and energetic as possible, which usually leads to success.
“In this weight class, we’ll find out (where things really stand) by the end of this year,” Saint Preux explained. “The belt will be on the line with Blachowicz and Dominick Reyes. But we’re gonna see a lot of change in the 205-pound division.
“Even from the first time I fought Jon, that fight was on two weeks’ notice. I broke my arm in the third round and still was able to finish the fight in a good fashion. Now, the way I’ve been feeling, I haven’t let myself go. When I let myself go and have to cut the weight down that’s when I get in trouble. But lately, things are on point.”
A new light heavyweight champion will be crowned in the co-main event of UFC 253 as Dominick Reyes – the last fighter to face Jones at 205 – will face Jan Blachowicz for the vacant title.
When asked for a prediction, “OSP” is leaning towards the man he’s already faced in his 38-fight career.
“Dominick Reyes is a southpaw and a counter fighter,” Saint Preux said. “Probably Reyes. He sticks and moves a lot. It’s gonna be a five-round fight. He’s gonna stick and move, and he don’t care. You can check his kicks and he’s still gonna kick. So I think probably Reyes (wins that fight.)”