Music City will be rockin’ as 11 area fighters, including former University of Tennessee linebacker Ovince St. Preux, will join Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal of Murfreesboro, Tenn., in mixed martial arts (MMA) competition at the Strikeforce Nashville: Henderson vs. Shields event Saturday, April 17, at Bridgestone Arena.
The first MMA fight card in Nashville history that will be televised on network television (CBS) will include nine athletes from Nashville, one from Knoxville (St. Preux) and one from Memphis. They will be featured on the non-televised portion of the fight card.
St. Preux (4-4), who will take on Chris Hawk (3-3) of Memphis, is a 6-foot-3, 26-year-old who played for the Vols from 2001-2004. After graduating with a degree in Sociology in ’04, he became heavily involved in MMA, competing in Tennessee’s first sanctioned MMA event on Feb. 20, 2009, and has since utilized his impressive wrestling skills and natural athletic abilities.
In a 2009 Sports Illustrated poll, St. Preux, who fights out of Knoxville MMA, finished second for best submission of the year after making Ombey Mobley surrender from a slick pressure submission known as a “calf-slicer” on April 25 in Knoxville.
Hawk, a 6-foot-1, 24-year-old member of Memphis Judo & Jiu-Jitsu, specializes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai. An all-around athlete, he played baseball, basketball, football and soccer in school.
Four of the undercard bouts will pit Nashville area fighters against one another: Justin “The Punisher” Pennington (debut) vs. Dustin Ortiz (1-0) at 125 pounds; Hunter “The Future” Worsham (5-1) vs. Zach “Thunderwood” Underwood (5-2) at 185; Thomas Campbell (3-0) vs. Cody Floyd (3-0) at 145; and Andy “Stunner” Uhrich (4-0) vs. Dustin West (2-2) at 170.
Another Nashville fighter, Josh “The Warhammer” Shockman (6-2), will take on Cale “Aquaman” Yarbrough (6-1) of Atlanta.