UFC 174 Fight Breakdown: Ovince St-Preux (-140) vs. Ryan Jimmo (+120)

Ryan Jimmo The opening main card bout at UFC 174 is a light heavyweight fight between Ovince “OSP” St-Preux and Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists OSP as a -140 favorite (bet $140 to win $100) while Jimmo is a +120 underdog (bet $100 to win $120). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up OSP at -170 and Jimmo at +130, and so far there has been slight acton on the dog Jimmo as the lines have tightened. I disagree with the action in Jimmo’s favor as I see OSP winning this fight. Here’s why. OSP (15-5) has looked great as of late, going 3-0 since joining the UFC with wins over Nikita Krylov, Gian Villante, and Cody Donovan. The 31-year-old Haitian-American has won four-straight bouts and has won 12 of his last 13 fights with the only loss over that time period coming to top-ranked Gegard Mousasi. With 11 wins by T/KO or submission in his career, it’s clear OSP likes to finish fights and with another devastating stoppage at UFC 174 he could be in line for a top-10 opponent in his next bout. Armed with knockout power, a solid submission game, and good wrestling sills, OSP is a very strong 205er who is constantly improving and who could be a threat to the top guys at light heavyweight in the near future. Coming off of a “Performance of the Night” victory over Krylov at UFC 171, the UFC is giving OSP another main card bout at UFC 174 against Jimmo and it’s a major opportunity for him, one that he should be prepared for and one that he should win. Jimmo (19-3) is 3-2 so far in the UFC with wins over Anthony Perosh, Igor Pokrajac, and Sean O’Connell and losses to Jimi Manuwa and James Te Huna. The 32-year-old Jimmo is a very solid striker with excellent karate skills and underrated knockout power. He also has solid takedown defence and is hard to get down to the mat. However, the problem with Jimmo is that he’s too patient to a fault, and his fights have often caused fans to fall asleep and be bored to tears. Although he has definitely been more exciting as of late, overall his career has been marked by numerous dud fights and most of his victories have come by decision. Still, he’s a solid fighter and he can’t be counted out, but without that aggressiveness it’s going to be difficult for him to take out the top guy at 205lbs in the Octagon. The UFC is giving him a tough matchup this weekend at UFC 174 against a very aggressive opponent in OSP, so unless Jimmo changes his ways, this is going to be a very tough fight for him to win and that’s why he’s the underdog going into it. I believe that OSP will use his strength advantage here to push Jimmo against the fence, land some takedowns on “The Big Deal,” and grind his opponent out to a decision win on the scorecards or possibly even snare a sweet submission on the ground. At -140, I do think there’s value in OSP here and I like him for a bet as I believe he should be priced closer to -200. Although Jimmo isn’t a bad fighter by any means, I believe OSP has a much bigger upside and I really think the UFC is trying to give him a showcase fight here on a big stage. As for props, I would just stay away from all of them and just play OSP straight at the current line instead as I could see him winning in a few different ways.

Written by Adam Martin.

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