Saint Preux believes short notice suits him well against Jones

In his third UFC fight -- on March 15, 2014 -- Ovince Saint Preux rendered Nikita Krylov unconscious in the first round with a Von Flue choke.

The finish appeared to catch veteran referee Dan Miragliotta slightly off guard. On the broadcast, commentator Joe Rogan admitted he wasn't even aware Saint Preux was working on a choke when Krylov went out. Spectators in attendance were slow to react. Surely, more than a handful had no idea what just happened.

Saint Preux has had a couple of moments like this in the Octagon -- he even has a name for them.

"There's usually a 'WTF' moment at the end of my fights," Saint Preux told ESPN.com. "If you go back and watch the fights I've had in the UFC, at the end, it's almost like, WTF?

"And moments like that are why I can beat Jon Jones."

The biggest fight of Saint Preux's (19-7) career will take place at UFC 197 on April 23 in Las Vegas, where he meets former light heavyweight champion Jones (21-1) in an interim title fight. The 32-year-old from Knoxville, Tennessee, accepted the fight on three weeks' notice, when Jones' original opponent, Daniel Cormier, withdrew due to injury.

Saint Preux has picked up seven wins in the UFC since making his debut in 2013. In June 2014, he broke Ryan Jimmo's arm with a kick in the second round. Jimmo hid it well initially, but Saint Preux finished the fight moments later with a modified kimura, which he later referred to as a "chicken wing."

And the greatest example of Saint Preux's lightning finishing ability came in November 2014, when he knocked out former champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua with a counter right hand as he was backpedaling away from him.

"I knock people out from the guard," Saint Preux said. "I have unorthodox submissions. I've thrown high kicks that break people's arms. Apparently, I knock people out while moving backwards. What I did to Shogun -- he'd been beat before, but never in that fashion."

A former collegiate football player at the University of Tennessee, Saint Preux likely will need one of those signature moments against Jones, who is returning from a yearlong absence due to legal issues outside the cage. Despite the layoff, Jones had been training for a five-round fight and, oh yeah, is arguably the greatest fighter in the world.

Oddsmakers opened Jones a near 7-1 betting favorite when the fight was announced. Saint Preux says he's not affected by those numbers. His last fight took place on Feb. 6, but Saint Preux claims he was close to fighting shape when he agreed to fill in for Cormier.

"I was pretty much in the gym every day," Saint Preux said. "There are times I've let myself go in between fights, we're all human, but I usually try to keep myself in good shape.

"I'm going to be extremely, extremely dangerous in this fight because I can loosen up a little bit and just be myself. If you want to implement a game plan, you need three or four months to get ready for it. When I freestyle, I tend to do a lot better. So, this fight, you'll see me relaxed and just being myself."