UFC Fight Night 171: Ovince St Preux vs Ben Rothwell

Wednesday night! Don’t forget! UFC Fight Night 171 from Jacksonville, Florida goes down this Wednesday night!

I can’t lie. I was pretty hungover most of the day Sunday, not so much from the Voodoo Ranger IPA’s but more because of how thrilling of a fight card UFC 249 was.

Sometimes an All-Star card like UFC 249 can disappoint because of the extra pressure on the fighters to succeed and also the expectations we put on every fight to blow us away.

It was a very successful night for us in the betting department. Including one blog I wrote on UFC 249, we were 10-4 on the night.

If you wagered 100.00 bucks on each bet, you finished the night with an extra 788.00 dollars to the good. That’s a 56% return on investment, which is great and all but I’m still kicking myself for some of the silly picks I made.

We did get lucky a couple of times but I’ll take it.

UFC Fight Night 171 is going to be a bit of a letdown if you’re looking for star power and by “a bit”, I mean drastically.

The main event of Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira is pretty interesting. The Brazilian still has a lot of power in his hands but Anthony is taller with a more diverse striking arsenal.

Ben Rothwell is in the co-main event if that tells you how weak this card really is.

Before you run off, though, weak in star power doesn’t necessarily translate to weak as far as betting value is concerned.

BetOnline.AG has the betting odds we need for this Wednesday’s event.

But first, let’s break down how our betting night went on Saturday at UFC 249 then we will predict the co-main event for Fight Night 171, Ben Rothwell vs Ovince St Preux.

UFC 249 Betting Recap

Ryan Spann:
  • Spann to get the TKO finish at (+170) and lost. He was nearly a 4 to 1 favorite to win so I thought we had some value considering his power and Alvey’s 2 TKO losses in his last 3 fights.
  • Spann hit him flush plenty of times but Alvey’s chin is still there.
  • #1 dumbest bet of the night from me was adding Fabricio Werdum to a parlay with Ryan Spann. Spann barely won himself and Werdum, having not competed for years off of a PED suspension, looked HORRIBLE.
  • This was only for a (-160) payout too. Just a terrible terrible bet.
  • I feel a lot better about our other two losses.
Jeremy Stephens:
  • Stephens by decision for a 4 to 1 payout. He won the first round but Kattar adjusted beautifully and “the boxer” threw a surprise elbow that sent Lil Heathen to temporary purgatory.
Henry Cejudo:
  • Cejudo to win a decision for (+170) instead of the (-220) odds he had to win.
  • Everything was going according to plan until Cejudo caught Cruz bending from the waist with a flying knee.
  • The stoppage was early especially considering there were only 2 seconds left in the round but it is what it is.
  • I fell a little too deep in love with all of the various betting options when I could have just gone with a winner.
The Rest:
  • Taking Carla to win a decision was a no brainer if you’re picking her anyways, though.
  • The Pettis/Cowboy fight was listed as a lightweight matchup on the UFC website but everyone makes mistakes. I thought 155 favored Pettis and 170 favored Cowboy but we got very lucky here as Pettis eeked out a split decision over Cerrone.
  • The Luque win came late in the third round and Niko Price’s eye shutting gifted us the win for Luque by TKO.
  • Bryce Thug Nasty Mitchell was the straight bet of the night as he CRUISED. One judge had it scored 30-24!
  • The rest of our wins were overs or unders: Luque/Price over 1.5, Gaethje/Ferguson over 2.5, Werdum/Oliniek over 1.5, and Ngannou/Rozenstruik under 1.5.
  • Lastly, the parlay of Esparza, Mitchell, and Pettis hit for (+355). Not bragging because we got lucky here but I’ll take it!

Ovince St Preux (-141) vs Ben Rothwell (+121)

Oh, Ben Rothwell… I can’t believe I bet on you to beat Andrei Arlovski. Speed kills. I think that may just be the difference in this fight.

Ovince St Preux is coming up from Light Heavyweight for the first time in his UFC career to test himself against the baddest men on the planet. Well, maybe not the very baddest.

At 37 years of age, I don’t think OSP is going to be fighting the Francis Ngannou’s of the UFC Heavyweight Division anytime soon. I like the move, though.

He has always been a big, albeit lean, Light Heavyweight fighter. The former Tennessee Volunteer football star has never left Knoxville and has had a successful MMA career in the UFC.

OSP won 7 of his first 8 fights with the promotion including wins over Nikita Krylov and Mauricio Shogun Rua and the loss was to current Bellator Heavyweight Champion Ryan Bader.

In his next 13 fights inside the Octagon, though, Ovince lost 7 of them.

  • Jon Jones (dec), Volkan Oezdemir (split dec), and Dominick Reyes (dec) are each top five fighters at 205.
  • He was subbed by Ilir Latifi and Nikita Krylov got some revenge and returned the tapout to OSP half a decade later.

Rothwell will be bigger but much of that weight is fat. OSP will be faster, well because…Rothwell moves like raw honey atop the Rocky Mountains.

Ben’s only hope here is connecting with a haymaker and/or winning points by way of wall n’ stall tactics.

St Preux has only been TKO’d twice in his career and once since 2010 and that was from Muay Thai specialist Jimi Manuwa. Rothwell is quite durable as well.

Ben has been fighting professionally since January of 2001! Ever since USADA drug testing has been implemented in the UFC, there have been many fighters whose performances fell off dramatically.

Everyone was on something it seemed or else it would be very hard for them to compete at that level. The guys who didn’t take good care of their bodies to begin with, and were also in their mid to late 30s, faded even faster.

I’m shocked Ben is still in the UFC at this point but he’s a recognizable name in a division with only a few stars.
He is tasked with a tough one this Wednesday.

OSP has always shown up to fight in phenomenal shape and I expect him to be even more powerful and last longer than before because of not having to cut 25+ pounds.

He has a great right hook from the southpaw position and an even better left body kick. The left-handed striker has an advantage. That is the liver of the righty being on his open side.

Sure, Rothwell has a significant amount of padding in that area but so does Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic completely changed the trajectory of that Heavyweight title fight with a shovel hook to the liver.

Reaction time tends to go around 38 and Ben is 38.5. OSP is 37 but he won’t be dealing with any kind of threatening speed.

It will behoove the native Tennessean to keep Rothwell at range. Proper footwork and the use of his legs to strike should do just that.

Rothwell did beat the lengthiest of all fighters, Stefan Struve, in his last fight but the Skyscraper is slower than he is. St Preux was a Division I football star and still has a good deal of that explosiveness to his strikes.

I am not going to say how or when but I feel confident about who wins this fight.

My Pick

In Conclusion

It’s very difficult to say OSP will win by decision because this is heavyweight and everyone has power. Ovince will actually have an increase in the power of his strikes since he isn’t cutting weight.

Conditioning was never much of an issue for him before but without that cut, he should be stronger for longer.

Ben Rothwell is a tough SOB but toughness only gets you so far in the UFC’s Heavyweight Division.

Everyone can knock out everyone so there’s always a chance… The door is quickly closing on the MMA career of Ben Rothwell. His speed is gone… Wait, did he ever have it?

Okay, maybe not but he has always had timing. I suppose that’s quite the natural progression.

I think his defensive timing is going to be a bit weaker than we have seen before and that, along with a vicious left body kick, will be the difference.

Get your bets in now, guys. I think OSP’s odds will be on the way up.

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.