Bout set Saturday at Bridgestone -
There's ALWAYS a connection to Lebanon.
When Knoxville-based light heavyweight Ovince Saint Preux squares off against Glover Teixeira Saturday night at the Bridgestone Arena, a former Blue Devil athlete will be in his corner.
Saint Preux, who played linebacker at Tennessee, counts Lebanon High graduate Nathan Hoffmeister as one of his closest advisors.
Hoffmeister, who played basketball for then-coach Randall Hutto at Lebanon, is the son of Cumberland University graduates Brian & Renee Ortengren Hoffmeister. Brian was a standout infielder for Cumberland while his mom was a CU cheerleader.
He is the head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) and also trains several UFC fighters out of the Knoxville Martial Arts Academy.
Saint Preux stands 1-2 since Hoffmeister began training him some six years ago.
"Ovince is ranked sixth in the light heavyweight division and I think he's on the brink of a title shot is we can win Saturday's fight," Hoffmeister said.
Saturday's bout is part of "UFC Fight Night" and will be broadcast on FOX Sports. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster beginning at $40 for upper level seats.
ABOUT THE FIGHTER --
Born in Miami, FL to Haitian immigrant, Sint Preux attended Immokalee High School in Immokalee, FL where he wrestled, was All-State in football and ran track.
Saint Preux played college football for the Tennessee Volunteers from 2001 to 2004. After redshirting in 2001, he played primarily as a reserve at both defensive end and linebacker.
He earned varsity letters in 2002 and 2004, appearing in 17 games during his college career and graduated in 2004 with a degree in sociology.
Saint Preux began to train in kickboxing and grappling. After two unsuccessful trys at pro football, Saint Preux gave up the sport and began to take an interest in martial arts as a form of training.