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UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. St. Preux


After a three-week absence, the Ultimate Fighting Championship returns this Saturday with the latest installment of UFC Fight Night.

UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. St. Preux comes live from Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine, marking the first time the organization has hosted an event in the Pine Tree State.

The event will be headlined by a light heavyweight showdown between UFC veteran Ryan Bader and Ovince St. Preux.

The main card will air live on Fox Sports 1 from 10:00 p.m. ET., with the preliminary card being broadcast of Fox Sports 2 from 8:00 p.m. ET.

Bader vs. St. Preux

Season 8 winner of The Ultimate Fighter, No. 8 Ryan Bader (18-4-0, 11-4-0 UFC) seems to have navigated some choppy waters to return to form.

After dropping four of seven fights over a stretch that included losses to some of the UFC’s elite talent (Jon Jones, Tito Ortiz, Lyoto Machida, and Glover Teixeria), Bader has put together back-to-back wins over Anthony Perosh and Rafael Cavalcante. While they may not be marquee wins, the success at least has the Reno, Nev., native pointed in the right direction.

A win over a top 10 opponent on Saturday would almost certainly see the 31-year-old climb the ladder once more. A win on Saturday will be hard to come by though.

Unbeaten in his UFC career, No. 10 Ovince St. Preux (16-5-0, 4-0-0 UFC) rides a five-fight win streak into Stephen King country, and will be looking to ride his own ranking upwards.

St. Preux has finished all four of his UFC bouts, most recently recording a verbal submission over Ryan Jimmo back in June. Jimmo suffered a broken arm mid-fight before submitting to a kimura in the second round.

The Miami native will enter the Octagon on Saturday with a lot of hype and expectation on his shoulders, but the knowledge that a win over Bader will elevate the 31-year-old into the title conversation will spur the fighter on.

Both fighters possess striking and submission abilities, which makes for an even more intriguing bout. St. Preux has never submitted and it’s likely Bader will try to fight this one on his feet. Meanwhile, St. Preux has won two straight by submission and would gain major style points if her were to submit Bader, something only Jones and Ortiz have ever done before.

Current odds: Bader (-185) is favored to win the bout over St. Preux (+150)

Maynard vs. Pearson

In the co-main event of the evening, lightweights Gray Maynard and Ross Pearson will do battle.

Pearson (17-7-0, 1NC, 9-4-0, 1NC UFC) had originally been slated to square off against Abel Trujillo in Maine, but the latter was forced out of the fight with an injury two weeks ago. No. 12 Maynard (12-4-1, 1NC, 10-4-1, 1NC UFC) stepped in as a late replacement.

Pearson was involved in a controversial bout last time out (UFC Fight Night, June 7), losing on a split decision to Diego Sanchez, a bout the media almost unanimously assigned 30-27 to Pearson. The decision was scoffed at by UFC president Dana White.

Prior to that, Pearson fought a no contest with Melvin Guillard in Manchester, England, (UFC Fight Night, Oct. 26, 2013), a bout that was stopped after Pearson was gashed open by an accidental knee.

With two peculiar results in a row, the Sunderland, England, native will be looking for a fight with a definitive finish, one he hopes goes his way. A win over a top 10 opponent will likely see Pearson enter the top contender standings.

Maynard hasn’t entered the Octagon since being knocked out in the first round by Nate Diaz last November. That result came as part of a stretch that saw the 35-year-old win just once in five fights, with losses to TJ Grant and Frankie Edgar and a draw against Edgar.

Right now Maynard needs a win to stay relevant in the lightweight division or else they’ll be calls from certain quarters for his to hang the gloves up.

Not known for his finishing ability, nine of Maynard’s 12 wins have come via decision. Pearson meanwhile is an equal opportunist, having won six by knockout, five by submission, and six by decision.

Current odds: Pearson (-145) is favored to win the bout over Maynard (-115)

Bet on UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. St. Preux

The UFC returns with a double dose of action next weekend.

UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Le is scheduled to take place at CotaiArena in Macau, China, on Saturday (6:00 p.m. local / 8:00 a.m. ET).

UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. dos Anjos is then scheduled to take place at BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., on Saturday evening (6:00 p.m. ET).

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