In the world of sports, a number of different types of athletes can be found. Some people never made it to the top of their profession despite showing tremendous promise, while others burned out. In contrast, a number of athletes do make it to the apex of their sport, shattering records and cementing themselves as the greatest to ever compete in any sort of athletic competition. Even in the case of those revered sports icons, though, we can easily see that while some lived up to their potential, others shocked much of the world by performing better than expected in big-game atmospheres.

UFC Fight Night 47 features one such individual in Ovince St. Preux, who faces The Ultimate Fighter season eight light-heavyweight winner Ryan Bader in the main event. Bader has long been tagged as a prospect to watch, even after losing to now-champion Jon Jones. However, losses to former UFC light-heavyweight champions Tito Ortiz and Lyoto Machida raised a number of questions about how well Bader can realistically hang with the best of the best at 205 pounds.

On paper, Bader should walk through “OSP.” After all, Bader has dealt with the likes of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Vladimir Matyushenko, and TUF 2 standout Keith Jardine; beating St. Preux sounds like a foregone conclusion. Could it be possible, though, that a number of people might be sleeping on St. Preux?

Much of the lack of attention given to St. Preux can be attributed to what his record shows, as four of his first seven bouts ended in defeat, and his most recent loss came to former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi. Still, it must be pointed out that St. Preux’s earlier losses, while coming against guys like Virgil Zwicker, Nik Fekete, and Rodney Wallace, still resulted in St. Preux going on to accumulate impressive winning streaks.

Also, consider the stylistic match-up. St. Preux shares a similar style with Bader, raising a number of questions. Sure, we can acknowledge every strong wrestler that Bader has beaten thus far, but for as long as Bader has been under UFC contract, guys like Jones and Ortiz have shown that a solid grappling game can help take Bader’s knockout power and ground game out of play. While St. Preux does not pack the most airtight submission game in the division, he does pack the kind of game that can give Bader fits and force him to tap.

How does that go? Think of it in one perspective, which recognizes Bader’s ability to find and secure a choke. He uses his wrestling to maintain dominant position until he creates an opportunity to either take his foe’s neck or take his foe’s back. It’s always cool to find a conventional choke like a rear naked choke or a guillotine, but like most conventional submissions, everyone at this level knows how to defend it backwards and forwards.

St. Preux’s game, in that aspect, seems less predictable than most UFC light heavyweights, save for perhaps the champion. Fans very rarely see the Von Flue choke because very few men know how to lock it up properly, but against Nikita Krylov, St. Preux found the hold and forced Krylov into unconsciousness before anyone in the audience realized that Preux had even attempted anything. Former MFC standout Ryan Jimmo learned how difficult St. Preux can be when he succumbed to St. Preux’s kimura at UFC 174.

At the bottom line, St. Preux presents an unpredictable threat for Bader, even if Bader is prepared for St. Preux’s wrestling and the power in his hands. St. Preux will present more of a challange than most would expect, and as much as Bader can find a way or two to win, so can St. Preux. Whether or not the Strikeforce alum can indeed find a way to topple Bader depends on how he approaches him come Saturday night, but rest assured, he will have something in store for Bader. Anyone that is not convinced of what St. Preux can do to some of the UFC’s true upper-tier at 205 pounds must stay awake, because St. Preux may find a way to shock the world just yet.