Strikeforce: St. Preux vs. Cook Saturday, August 18 – 10:00 p.m. ET
Valley View Casino Center – San Diego, CA
Ovince St. Preux (11-5) vs. TJ Cook (15-4) Light heavyweight bout
Line: St. Preux -450, Cook +300
Ovince St. Preux and TJ Cook will both look to avenge losses in their last bouts when they come to blows on Saturday’s Strikeforce card.
St. Preux is a heavy favorite here, winners of five of his six Strikeforce bouts. He lost his last time out to Gegard Mousasi, but won his eight fights prior to that. Cook lost his most recent bout to Trevor Smith, but prior to that had won five in a row. He is just 1-1 in Strikeforce, however. Cook has undeniable power, with three knockouts in those five wins. But he has not fought close to the class of opponents that St. Preux has, and has not demonstrated the ability to win a fight like this. Play on ST. PREUX as the chalk here.
St. Preux towers over his opponent in this one. Standing at 6-foot-3, he owns a three-inch height advantage. Despite losing his last time out, he owns some quality wins to his name. He submitted Joe Cason quickly in his last win, just 1:12 into the fight, while also earning recent decisions over Abongo Humphrey and Benji Radach. This fight should be a good opportunity for him to bounce back against an easier foe.
All of Cook’s past three bouts have ended in the first round, a span in which he is 2-1. His loss was via submission to Trevor Smith, while he earned a TKO over Lionel Lanham and a submission over Aaron Johnson. St. Preux will be his toughest opponent yet, though, and he’ll have to show a tenacity that he has yet to demonstrate at this level to pull off the upset here.