New Life in the Light Heavyweight Division: Tyson Pedro

Tyson Pedro | 7-1 | 6’3 205 lbs. | Age 27 | Reach 79” | Orthodox Stance |

After compiling a 7-1 record with seven first-round finishes, Tyson Pedro is poised to breath fresh air into the talent-strapped Light Heavyweight Division. The Pedro family has a strong background in fighting, Father John is a former pro who is famous for bringing MMA down Undah’. John named his son after Heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson and he trained him to fight since day one. Tyson also has a half-brother in the UFC, Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa (More on Tai).  They both train and co-host a podcast together from Western Sydney.  They collectively have just one loss in MMA combined.

Tyson is a connoisseur of both Japanese and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He learned the Japanese form, also called Jujutsu, at age four.   It’s derived from Samurai hand fighting used in battle, incorporating grappling, judo throws and striking. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu differs in that it adopted the core elements of Japanese Jiu Jitsu grappling and expanded on them tenfold into what we see today.   Pedro became a black belt in Japanese Jiu Jitsu, a brown belt in BJJ and turned pro at age 22.

Tyson won his first four fights on the domestic circuit in Australia, then moved into the shark-infested waters of the UFC. He looked right at home in the octagon in his first two fights, finishing two promising prospects within the first round.

Pedro then looked for a statement win by facing off against Light Heavyweight contender Ilir Latifi in 2017. Tyson had the advantage on the feet, landing leg kicks to the body throughout that hurt the giant Swede. However, the Aussie couldn’t find an opening for a finish and couldn’t buy any time away from the vice grip of Latifi. Pedro didn’t defend the takedowns and slams from his opponent and was unable to get the fight back standing.

After the three round decision loss to Latifi, Pedro went right back to business getting Saparbek Safarov to tap in the opening round. Safarov is a strong wrestler like Latifi, but not quite the same hulking body. Pedro stuffed the Russian when he shot for takedowns and out grappled him to find an impressive Kimura submission quickly.

Now Tyson Pedro will look to redeem himself against his second top contender in Ovince St. Preux Saturday, June 23rd at UFC Fight Night 132. St. Preux at 22-11 is a veteran in the UFC and is a highlight reel knockout artist and a scary submission grappler on the ground. Ovince’s last fight came against Ilir Latifi and he got starched in the first round. Tyson Pedro has 4 chokes on his record so I can see him winning this one, but it’s truly tough to bet against the KO power of St. Preux.

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