209: Western Sydney's Tyson Pedro set for the big
time - 24th February 2017
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star: Tyson Pedro celebrates his win in Melbourne
at UFC Fight Night. Photo: Darrian Traynor
by Matt Bungard
starting his mixed martial arts career with a run
of victories, Australian Tyson Pedro faces his biggest
test under the biggest spotlight, at UFC 209 in Las
pretty pumped for this one it's a massive card,
I'm thankful to be on it," the 25-year-old from
Sydney's west said.
making his debut in Australia in 2013, Pedro has had
five fights and won them all with a stoppage in the
first round. He put himself on the map with his 2016
win at UFC Fight Night in Melbourne over American
Khalil Rountree. Pedro heads to Las Vegas to take
on another undefeated light-heavyweight, Scotland's
can't wait to put on a show," Pedro said. "There's
going to be a lot of eyes watching ... I'll try to
finish it in the first round."
a 29-year-old from Airdrie, comes in with a 9-0-0
record and a very similar resume to Pedro. Both racked
up a string of wins in local promotions before making
one UFC appearance apiece, and both won "performance
of the night" for their respective wins.
asked about his adversary, Pedro is confident he'll
pretty good at figuring out an opponent in the cage,"
he said. "You can watch as much footage as you
want and they could come up with a completely different
fight next time."
two will clash on March 4 in what will be the featured
bout on UFC
Fight Pass the organisation's streaming
service before throwing the broadcast over
to Fox and then Main Event.
just keeps getting better and better; I'm ticking
stuff off the bucket list," Pedro said. "Being
in Vegas on such a big card and now the featured bout
it doesn't get any better than this."
being hunkered down in a training camp in Albuquerque,
New Mexico, for the past few weeks, he travels to
Vegas to prepare seven days before UFC 209, which
also features two other Australians on the card, Mark
Hunt and Dan Kelly.
is very much in the family for Pedro, whose father
has been heavily involved in the rise of MMA in Australia.
been fighting for 17 years," Pedro said. "My
Dad owns King of the Cage [one of the first cage fighting
organisations] in Australia and has taught me out
of our garage since we were young. I've been around
martial arts my entire life."
keeps a goals book of his aspirations in the sport.
Making the UFC and fighting in Vegas have been ticked
off, but he has his eye on breaking into the top-15
rankings in the super-competitive light-heavyweight
want to try and get out at least three fights a year,
stay as active as possible and keep climbing that
ladder," Pedro said. "It's gonna be a hard
one to crack ... but I'm pumped. It's all happening
so quick and it's just going to keep going.
will take whoever I want it looks like it works
to call people out!"
he says he's a Penrith Panthers fan and chuckles as
he names Dallin Watene-Zelezniak as a "fob cousin",
his biggest hope for the sport in Australia is that
the UFC continues to grow in popularity, and Aussies
take to their stars much like the Republic of Ireland
have done for their biggest name.
still in its infancy [in Australia]," Pedro said.
"Once it gets bigger, I can't wait until it gets
massive where you've got the whole country behind
you, similar to how Irish fans back Conor McGregor
no matter what."
209 kicks off mid-morning on Sunday, March 5 (AEDT).
Sydney Morning Herald)