PETALING JAYA, May 25 — Light-heavyweight prospect Tyson Pedro rarely makes it past round one of a fight simply because he’s knocked out or submitted every opponent he has defeated in his career.
Come Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Fight Night: Cowboy vs Edwards in Singapore on June 23, Pedro promised the mixed martial arts (MMA) faithful that he will be aiming for a similar situation against Ovince Saint Preux.
“Whichever window opens, I’ll go for it.
“But I’m aiming for a first-round finish because that’s what I do,” said the 26-year-old.
The Sydney-born fighter bounced back from his first defeat against Ilir Latifi in September last year with an impressive kimura submission against Saparbek Safarov at UFC 221 in Perth.
Pedro, riding on a 7-1 record said he’s ready for whatever Saint Preux has to offer him in the octagon.
“I’m more than ready for this battle. Saint Preux is one fighter you don’t want to get hit by. In my division, it only takes one hit to knock someone out.
“I really want to stand up against him and take every fight as it is. I know he’s a hard hitter but I just got to stay away from that left hand and his Von Flue choke,” he said.
A win against seventh-ranked Saint Preux would see Pedro improve on his No 12 ranking and he said 2018 will be an interesting year in the light-heavyweight division.
“A win will definitely move me up the chart but the rankings are open for taking. Three of the top five guys train together and it’ll be interesting to see if Daniel Cormier remains in the heavyweight division after his title fight,” he said.
His opponent, however, is no pushover.
Saint Preux, 35, has fought 33 times in the octagon with 22 wins and 11 defeats along with impressive wins over Corey Anderson, Yushin Okami, Mauricio Rua and Patrick Cummins.
22 of his wins were via knockout or technical knockout
Pedro said the fans in Singapore Indoor stadium can expect a much-improved version of himself.
“If there was something about my defeat to Latifi that I’ve learned is that I was too excited it was really a normal fight but I made it a bigger fight then what it was.
“At present, I’m not thinking about much, I only have him (Saint Preux) in my head. I will take small strides to avoid the same mistakes I’ve made.”
The former Australian Fighting Championship fighter’s training camp has been going well and will end in Thailand a week before fight night.
“I’ve been working on my overall game and bits of explosiveness. I want to bring this to the division as we don’t see many fast movements.
“I might head to Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand to train with ‘Cowboy’ (Donald Cerrone) before the show,” he said.
He hopes his first fight in South East Asia will be the first of more to come.
“I want to continue fighting in Asia, US and Australia and I hope I get a huge reaction at the venue.
“I’m fighting on the biggest stage of the world and a top 10 fighter. It’s just a crazy experience and I can’t wait.
Tickets for Fight Night: Cowboy vs Pedro is available here.