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This weekend Tyson Pedro will have his second crack at a top-ten opponent.
The 26-year-old light heavyweight will face Ovince Saint Preux in the co-main event of UFC Singapore on Saturday night (AU).
In what will be his fifth appearance for the UFC, #7 ranked OSP is an enormous step in Pedro’s journey to the title.
Perhaps expedited by a shallow division, Pedro (7-1) has only about a third of the fights that most top-ten competitors have – or a quarter in the case of OSP. However, that’s not to say Pedro hasn’t earned his place amongst the light heavyweight’s elite.
In less than four years, Tyson Pedro made his pro-debut and became the #13 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC. He obliterated his first six opponents, stopping all of them in the first round.
Last September, the Aussie was matched-up with a game, wrecking-ball in Ilir Latifi. Pedro suffered his first defeat to the Swedish Sledgehammer, losing by unanimous decision. The veteran experience of Latifi proved too much for the 25-year-old. But, despite enduring a grueling three-round battle, Pedro never lost heart.
If that first loss was a blow to his confidence, there was no evidence of it in his next fight. Pedro took on Dagestani Saparbek Safarov at UFC 221 on home soil in Perth earlier this year. Once again, Pedro made quick work of his opponent and rebounded with a first-round submission; his first by kimura.
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With 33 fights and a catalogue of impressive wins, OSP poses a considerable challenge to the young Aussie. In his five-year UFC career, he’s fought almost the entire division. He’s remarkably accrued three Von Flue chokes; a rare submission only successfully pulled off five times in UFC history. Two years ago, OSP fought Jon Jones for the interim light heavyweight title. He went five rounds with one of MMA’s pound-for-pound greats with a broken arm.
Pedro is yet another Australian MMA prospect featured this month. UFC 225 and UFC Singapore have made June a particularly strong showcasing of Australian talent. Other Aussies on the card include flyweight Jessica-Rose Clark and welterweight Jake Matthews.
This morning all UFC Singapore fighters weighed-in successfully; Pedro came in at 205lbs and OSP at the 206lb limit.
In attendance will be Pedro’s brother-in-law and UFC heavyweight Tai Tuivasa who picked up a huge win over veteran Andre Arlovksi at UFC 225 two weeks ago.
UFC Singapore (or UFC Fight Night 132) will be held this Saturday, June 23 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. The preliminary card will air live at 4:30 pm (AWST) and the main card at 8 pm on UFC Fight Pass.