A Quick Chat With Tyson Pedro On The Eve Of The Fight Of His Life: UFC Fight Night 101
"Opportunities like this, you gotta take 'em by the balls man and just go for it," says Aussie MMA star, Tyson Pedro.
Tyson Pedro. Image: Youtube
In theory, taking the fight of your life on three weeks notice seems like a bad idea. It's roughly a quarter of the time required for any big-time bout but Australia's newest MMA star 23-year-old, Tyson Pedro, doesn't look at it like that.
"When I take this win, imagine what I can do with a full camp," he says.
The son of John Pedro, the man who fought in Australia's first ever cage match and who is largely credited with bringing the sport to Australia, Tyson got his chance in the Ultimate Fighting Championship following his shock demolition of the revered and considerably more experienced Steven 'Warzone' Warby.
Moments after the win, Tyson used the opportunity to personally call out UFC President Dana White, asking to be added to the upcoming bill at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne should anyone pull out. So when American middleweight Luke Rockhold was forced to withdraw, causing a reshuffle of the cards, Tyson got his chance. He will confront powerful American southpaw Khalil Rountree in what signals a major step up for Tyson, but then he was born for this. Or at least born into this.
Vice Sports: How you feeling, Tyson?
Tyson Pedro: Amazing. Absolutely awesome. I'm pumped.
Vice Sports: What will it mean to win this fight?
Tyson Pedro: Bigger opportunities. If I take this fight on three weeks and I win it's just a taste of what's to come. When I take this win, imagine what I can do with a full camp.
Vice Sports: Three weeks to prepare for the fight of your life seems a little short...
Tyson Pedro: Yeah, yeah, I like it as a good test for me. The three weeks isn't too bad for me 'cos I'm coming off the back end of a fight just before that. I had a fight two weeks before I got the call up so the turn around hasn't been too bad. I had two weeks off, I was already about to start training and I got into that first week so it's not too bad. I feel fitter and stronger than I did for my last fight, so it's all been a perfect camp for me anyway.
Tyson Pedro: They're more pumped for me than I am for myself. It's awesome having them on board especially now with Tai signing as well it's so good going through these motions alongside him and I can't wait to be on the same card with him.
Vice Sports: You've got a hell of a support crew. Any words of advice from the great man, James Te Huna or Tai Tuivasa leading into it?
Vice Sports: Your father John is also an MMA legend. What does he bring to the table?
Tyson Pedro: He's always been to all of my fights and just being around the game so long it makes a massive difference. Now that we've been lifelong martial artists it's just surreal now we're at the highest level of what we dreamed of, and of where we thought we were gonna be.
Vice Sports: What do you know of your opponent Khalil Rountree?
Tyson Pedro: Big strong southpaw striker, not too much. I know its a good fight for me. I've seen a couple of his fights on the Ultimate Fighter. He's a bigger name so we got bumped up to the main card. That was a massive surprise for me and I'm so happy that I get that opportunity. Everything has just fallen into place for me to get signed, get the fight, be on the main card. Opportunities like this you gotta take 'em by the balls man and just go for it.
Vice Sports: Where are you gonna win this fight?
Tyson Pedro: I don't mind standing or on the ground, it doesn't matter where this fight goes, I like to finish fights. I don't like trying to go with decisions. I'll be happy to stand with him or go to ground. I'm happy wherever it goes.
Vice Sports: When you win are you gonna call out Dana White again?
Tyson Pedro: When I win I'll be calling out Dana White for that fifty gees! I'm looking for that 'fight of the night bonus.'
Vice Sports: Great to talk to you, good luck.
Tyson Pedro: Awesome, thank you very much for the call.
UFC Fight Night 101 takes place at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne on Sunday, November 27, from 10.30am