As was the case in his last two wins, Ryan Bader used superior wrestling to earn a unanimous decision victory, his third successive decision win, in the main event against Ovince St. Preux at UFC Fight Night 47.
St. Preux showed glimmers of hope and had success on the feet, though once the fight hit the ground, it was mostly dominated by Bader. ‘Darth’ will go on to bigger things, potentially setting up a fight with Rashad Evans, Rumble Johnson or Alexander Gustafsson in the light heavyweight division. Bader is now 11-4 inside the Octagon, taking his overall record to 18-4.
While St. Preux was hardly outclassed, he did show holes in his overall MMA game. He will need a couple more wins to get into the title picture, though a fight with Jimi Manuwa would be a fun affair.
Here is how the main event played out.
A crucial bout in the light heavyweight division between Ryan Bader, who has won his last two, and Ovince St. Preux, who has gone 4-0 since joining the UFC. Winner could get a fight with the likes of Evans, Rumble or Gustafsson.
Bader has been criticised for going the distance in his last two bouts, and he has five rounds to try and get a finish here.
Round 1 - St. Preux is having a lot of fun and seems very confident. He’s got his hands low and he’s trying to bullrush Bader. Left hook and a right from Darth. St. Preux lands, but Bader gets the takedown right into side control. Shoulder strikes from Bader, and now some short softening shots. St. Preux trying to buck him off but having little success, and Bader staying in this dominant position, now landing short elbows and trying to pin the arm of OSP. OSP gives up the back now and Bader tries to roll. But OSP explodes to his feet, well done there. High kick attempted by OSP then a left. St. Preux pushing forward but Bader with a counter to back him up. Left by Bader. OSP gets caught coming in sloppy. Huge left lands from St. Preux, that caught Bader’s attention. Bader rushes in to get the clinch but avoiding from St. Preux. Head kick misses from OSP, who is comfortable trying unorthodox combinations. Bader with a counter as OSP is caught with his hands down. Huge right hook coming in from Bader but a counter right staggers him. Nice combo from OSP. 30 seconds left in a closely contested first round. Straight right by Bader, who drags St. Preux down straight into side control and ends the round in that position.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Bader.
Round 2 - OSP faking the left kick and the spin. Bader gets caught coming in but OSP missing with some wild techniques. OSP with a kick then misses an overhand left. Good kick by OSP as Bader charges forward. Both land a left there. OSP with a left as Bader comes in with the jab. OSP with the body kick, that was huge. Bader got hurt by that, but OSP isn’t following up. Good combination from St. Preux. OSP with two wild lefts, both way off the mark. He avoids Bader’s bullrush, but misses his counter. Bader misses the combination, and unable to get the fight to the mat on that occasion. St. Preux doing a great job of timing Bader, who seems to be getting frustrated. Left from OSP, who avoids the right of Bader. Huge overhand left misses from OSP, who then lands a straight left. Big combination by OSP, who lands a left hook before exiting the clinch. Bader’s output has decreased a ton in this second round, possibly due to it being a five round fight. OSP lands a nice shot to the body, which hurt Bader. Bader shoots in and OSP counters, getting on top. Nice ground and pound and St. Preux charges forward, landing a couple of lefts before eating a right counter from Bader. 10 seconds. Stiff jab from Bader. The hook misses. St. Preux misses a hook and Bader times it, dragging him to the ground to end the round.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 St. Preux (19-19).
Round 3 - OSP goes up high with that kick, but checked by Bader. Bader catches OSP coming in. Body kick from Bader. OSP with unorthodox movement, charging in with a couple of big lefts. Bader with a right, then shoots in and lands the takedown, getting into half guard before OSP gets right back to the feet, giving up his back in the process. He’s up but Bader drags him right back down, now into side control. This is where Bader has had the most success. Short shots from Bader. OSP regaining guard, now half guard and OSP explodes to his feet. Big right by Bader, then a shot in for the takedown and he slams OSP to the mat! OSP gains guard and seems to be working on the rubber guard. Unsucessful. Bader into half guard. He’s landing at will and softening St. Preux up with these punches. OSP works his way back to the feet and tries to hit the switch, Bader recognising and dragging him to the ground momentarily. OSP is struggling in the grappling aspect. He turns around but Bader still has a hold of him. They separate and Bader lands a short blow. The round ends.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Bader (29-28 Bader).
Round 4 - Nice combination from St. Preux. He will want to keep it standing this round. Front kick from OSP. He charges forward with a 1-2-1, but Bader gets the takedown with the momentum. OSP straight back up and escapes the clinch. Leg kick then a right hand by OSP, who stuffs Bader’s shot. Stiff left by St. Preux. OSP misses the left hook then pushes Bader off him. Uppercut from St. Preux. Great sprawl from OSP, but Bader has a hold of him in the clinch and lands a knee to the body. Bader shoots in and drags him down. He’s got the mount! Now possibly the back. He does. No hooks in. Short shots by Bader, who doesn’t look bothered about advancing his position. OSP wall walks once again, but Bader keeping hold of him. Darth tries the duplex but unable to. But he gets it on his second attempt, with OSP giving up his back as he tries to get to his feet. Bader overwhelming him, in half guard now and should advance to mount. Bader’s wrestling is overwhelming OSP now.
Cooper scores round 4 10-9 Bader (39-37 Bader).
Round 5 - OSP’s corner trying to pump him in, but he doesn’t look pumped at all. Body kick from OSP. Left hook is blocked. OSP looks very tired and his attacks are predictable now. He lands a nice left straight though. Bader with a left of his own. OSP blitzing forward but unsuccessful. OSP now gets a takedown! Half guard! This could be big! 3:30 remaining in the fifth and final round, and this is huge. Bader now in the sprawled position, OSP may attempt a choke now. But no, he lets Bader up and that’s a big opportunity wasted. Bader gets the trip and is now on top, in half guard. Bader now trying to get the kimura, but OSP recognises. Great reversal by OSP, who gets back to his feet. Bader shoots in straight away and eats some elbows which have bloodied him up. OSP trying for a takedown of his own, Bader against the cage now. Less than 90 seconds left. They’re back to their feet. Bader shooting in almost immediately, OSP greeting him with elbows. Bader has the clinch, getting the back of St. Preux and trying to get the fight down for the dozenth time. 30 seconds. More elbows from St. Preux, who fails on the switch attempt. This fight will go the distance. Bader failing on the shot at the end of the round. Not the greatest fight ever.
Cooper scores round 5 10-9 Bader (49-46 Bader).
Result: Bader via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46 x2).
Bader gets his third win in a row, handing OSP his first UFC loss. He’ll likely get a high calibre opponent next.
Here are the results for the full event, you can catch up on the coverage of the full card here.
Ryan Bader def. Ovince St. Preux via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46 x2).
Ross Pearson def. Gray Maynard via TKO (punches) at 1:35 in second round.
Tim Boetsch def. Brad Tavares via TKO (punches) at 3:18 in second round.
Alan Jouban def. Seth Baczynski via KO (punch) at 4:23 in first round.
Shawn Jordan def. Jack May via TKO (punches) at 2:03 in third round.
Thiago Tavares def. Robbie Peralta via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:27 in first round.
Jussier Formiga def. Zach Makovsky via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).
Sara McMann def. Lauren Murphy via split decision (29-28 x3, 28-29).
Tom Watson def. Sam Alvey via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).
Frankie Saenz def. Nolan Ticman via unanimous decision (30-27 x3).