BANGOR, Maine — A clash of ranked light heavyweight contenders was confirmed Tuesday evening as the main event of the UFC Fight Night mixed martial arts show to be held Aug. 16 at the Cross Insurance Center.
Eighth-ranked Ryan “Darth” Bader of Tempe, Arizona, will face No. 10 Ovince “OSP” Saint Preux of Knoxville, Tennessee, in a five-round matchup, according to Ultimate Fighting Championship officials. It’s the fourth fight to be announced for the promotion’s first Maine show, which will be televised by Fox Sports 1.
Both 31-year-old main-event combatants are riding recent hot streaks.
Bader (18-4) is a former All-American wrestler at Arizona State University who was crowned winner of season eight of The Ultimate Fighter in 2008.
He has won three of his last four bouts, most recently scoring a unanimous decision over Rafael Cavalcante on June 14 at UFC 174 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Bader’s only loss in his last four fights was to fourth-ranked light heavyweight Glover Teixeira in the main event of a UFC Fight Night card in Texeira’s native Brazil last Sept. 4.
Bader has three victories by submission and seven via knockout, with eight of his wins ending in the first round.
Saint Preux (16-5) is a former University of Tennessee football standout who has won his last five MMA fights — including all four of his previous UFC encounters. He has won 13 of his last 14 fights overall to move into the top 10 of the light heavyweight division.
Saint Preux has secured eight wins by knockout and four by submission, with 10 first-round finishes.
Saint Preux is coming off a second-round technical knockout of Ryan Jimmo at UFC 174.
Fights previously announced for Bangor’s UFC Fight Night card include a homecoming bout for Lincolnville native Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch, the former four-time state wrestling champion from Camden-Rockport High School in Rockport.
Currently ranked 13th in the UFC’s middleweight division with a 17-7 MMA record, Boetsch is scheduled to fight 14th-ranked Brad Tavares (12-3), while fellow middleweights “Smilin’” Sam Alvey (24-5) and Tom “Kong” Watson (16-7) also will square off in a three-round bout and Jack “The Outlaw” May (7-1) and Shawn “The Savage” Jordan (15-6) are slated for a heavyweight clash.
The Aug. 16 appearance in Maine by the world’s top MMA promotion stems in large part from UFC president Dana White’s connections to the Bangor area. White is a 1987 graduate of Hermon High School and owns a home in Levant that he and his family visit several times each year.