Ovince Saint Preux successfully weighed in for his planned bout last August 22, but found out he wouldn’t be allowed to compete just three hours before the event started. He tested positive for COVID-19, and was part of numerous removals and bout cancellations on that seemingly cursed UFC card.
According to OSP, he alternated negative and positive tests throughout fight week, and was eventually not allowed to compete. He says he didn’t get compensated for the late removal, and just hopes the same thing doesn’t happen again this weekend.
“I wasn’t compensated, but given the fight was two weeks later, that’s the only thing I was happy about,” Saint Preux told MMA Fighting. “Was I upset? A little bit, yeah, but it was a thing where I had a fight two weeks later. I think about it as, if it happened this week again I’d definitely like to be compensated.”
Saint Preux says that instead of getting any form of payment, the UFC instead tried to rebook him immediately, but was worried about cutting weight again that quickly.
“They wanted to push it back the following week and I was like, ‘Look, I just carb loaded, had all this sodium back in me, there’s no way I’m gonna try and cut all that out when this was supposed to be my water load week,’” he said. “We got it figured out, pushed it back two more weeks and everything, right now, is working out.”
Many fighters have been testing positive and seemingly catching the coronavirus during fight camp, and Saint Preux thinks it’s just the nature of the game at this point.
“It’s difficult to tell a fighter that you have a fight to prepare for, but you have to stay quarantined at the same time,” Saint Preux said. “A fighter is going to look at you and say, ‘That’s not gonna happen.’ You need to push yourself, you’re gonna have to do strength and conditioning, training, and you’re gonna need partners for that.
“As fighters, having that six feet of distance is damn near impossible. When you have a fight to get ready for, all you can do is bust my ass during the training camp and hope I don’t catch this. To be honest, the way it was going over the summer, I was like, ‘Man, I hope I can just catch COVID and get it out of the way.’ Mine was just too late.”
If everything goes according to plan this time around, Saint Preux will finally fight Alonzo Menifield on Saturday night at UFC Vegas 9.