After big knockout win, Ovince Saint Preux reflects on nerve-racking lead-up to UFC on ESPN+ 34

LAS VEGAS – Before, during, and after he was infected with the disease, Ovince Saint Preux wasn’t afraid of COVID-19 itself. It was the ramifications of the illness that he feared most.

After his massive, bonus-earning second-round knockout over Alonzo Menifield (9-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) at UFC on ESPN+ 34, Saint Preux (25-14 MMA, 13-9 UFC) explained the most mentally challenging parts of dealing with the disease caused by coronavirus.

After Saint Preux tested positive ahead of a previously scheduled matchup against Menifield on Aug. 22, the fight was canceled. The bout was rebooked for Saturday, which made OSP nervous he’d encounter the same issue all over again ahead of UFC on ESPN+ 34.

“I’m telling you,” Saint Preux said at the post-fight news conference. “The whole panic thing is (crazy). When I did the at-home COVID test, I was like, ‘OK, cool. I didn’t hear nothing. It’s a negative result.’ I got here Tuesday. I didn’t hear nothing. Negative result. During weigh-ins, same thing: negative result. When I was cleared and was good, I was like, ‘Thank you.’

“Now, I’m trying to look at my trainers and be like, ‘OK, look.’ I had negatives. Pretty much, I know my trainers had negatives. I was like, ‘The last thing I need is for me to be walking out there by myself if all my trainers test positive or something.’ But everything worked out. Everything worked out perfectly.”

Everything worked out well for Saint Preux indeed. The finish was vicious – an easy addition to Saint Preux’s lengthy highlight reel. Midway through the fight, Menifield rushed in on an attack and Saint Preux made him pay.

“Alonzo is a power puncher,” Saint Preux said. “He overcommitted. When he overcommitted, he left himself open and his chin was staring right at me. I just landed perfectly. It was kind of the same thing that happened when I fought ‘Shogun’ (Rua).”

UFC on ESPN+ 34 took place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The event streamed on ESPN+.

Check out Ovince Saint Preux’s full UFC on ESPN+ 34 post-fight news conference in the video above.

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