Ovince St. Preux is a top 10 ranked light heavyweight right now, but he’s also in the midst of a two fight losing streak under the UFC banner. OSP has now made some changes to his MMA game, and one of the most important comes in the form of his mental preparation.
“I never really put anything behind me – there’s always something I can learn,” Saint Preux said to MMA Junkie. “When I fought Jon, it told me I belong in the top of the division. Even with the loss, it told me what I need to work on. If you have certain outside distractions, if you’re not mentally there, you have to some way learn how to channel that. That’s why my coach Eric is harping on mental skills training. I’m not going to lie: At times, it’s worse than actual physical training. I’d rather physically exhaust myself instead of doing the mental skills training. But the mental skills training, you have to do it because it’s going to make you that much better of a fighter… Everybody’s got their flaws, and as much as you want to, it’s not easy to just go out there and fight. You’ve got to put yourself in a zone. To be honest, you’ve got somebody across the octagon who’s going to try to take your head off. If you’re not there mentally, you’re broken already.”
OSP has also learned a lot from UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor, who he looks to when it comes to being confident inside of the Octagon.
“One of the guys that actually does it the best is Conor. It’s Conor,” he said. “You see a lot of guys come in (against him) and they’re beat before they even get in there. But he’s also the type of guy, he knows how to prepare himself mentally. When he does that, you can tell – you see him when he’s training, he’s meditating, or how he’s taking everything in, or how he’s breathing that mentally challenge you. You want to be confident within yourself, but you have to be a little cocky, you have to be a little arrogant, you have to be a little conceited because if you’re not, you don’t have the qualities of being confident. I try to be humble at times, and it’s good because I’m more reserved. But I’ve found out I’m better if I have that swag effect, and in order to have that, the cockiness comes out.”
UFC Fight Night 104 takes place on Saturday, February 4 from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas with Dennis Bermudez and Chan Sung Jung headlining.
View the discussion thread.