KNOXVILLE (WATE) - On June 14th, former Tennessee vol football player, Ovince Saint Preux will take on Ryan Jimmo in his 4th fight within the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Saint Preux is undefeated with the UFC and a top-15 ranked light heavyweight but that's just the beginning of Saint Preux's story.
"Vince is very intelligent and knows where his capabilities are," said fellow mma fighter and former opponent, Virgil Zwicker. "The only thing Vince needs is to believe in himself," said Saint Preux's coach and trainer, Eric Turner. Saint Preux himself said, "I've matured a lot. Every fight I'm getting better and better."
One of the fastest rising stars in the UFC lives and trains right here in Knoxville. Saint Preux has been training in mixed martial arts for ten years now and it's paying off. "He's not a football player anymore, he's an mma fighter," said Turner.
Nearly all football players dream of one day playing in the NFL and Saint preux, in a way, has achieved that in mma by fighting for the top organization, the UFC. Despite that he still finds time to hold down a part time job in Knoxville.
Turner said, " I don't know how he does it but those are his kids." Those kids are considered teens in crisis and live at the Florence Crittendon Center in Knoxville.
"A lot of the kids look up to me," said Saint Preux. "I want to be that positive role model."
And Saint Preux's reputation in the cage makes his job as a youth counselor a little easier. "Definitely a respect factor there," said Saint Preux. "I'll hear a yes, sir."
Respect earned for a young man fighting his way to the top of the mma world while still giving back in the city where he lives. "He's a really good guy," said Turner. "A guy that you'd want to cheer for."