Tyson Pedro has gone on to become one of the most talked about light heavyweight fighters, courtesy his back-to-back first-round finishes in the UFC, most recently knocking out Paul Craig at UFC 209 in early March. The 6-foot 3-inch tall Australian titan holds an undefeated record of 6-0, with all 6 being finishes in the very first round. Pedro took some time to answer a few of our questions in this week’s Pro MMA Now Spotlight.
What got you into MMA? Who was your influence and what is your combat sport background?
My father got me into MMA, I have been training in martial arts since the age of 3. I started in Japanese Jiu Jitsu and Kempo Karate. Around 13 I started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and at 16 I moved into amateur boxing.
Did people around you support the decision of taking this sport as a career? What are the biggest challenges that you have faced?
My mother has always hated combat sports as she wanted me to study however, seeing how much I love the sport now she has started accepting it. I severely broke my leg in 2013 which put me out of MMA for 2 years.
You hold a perfect record. Does being undefeated boost your confidence or add more pressure? What is the most difficult part about holding an undefeated record?
There’s no pressure at all. The way I see it everyone loses, I’ve had many losses in my life so I’m not to worried if there was one on my fight record. Obviously I fight to win, but you can’t let the fear of losing drive you or I think it would come sooner than you expect.
You have finished all your opponents, that too in the very first round. What is your game plan? What is your emotional state as you enter the fight?
The person you see walking in to the cage is very different to the one in the cage, I am always looking to finish my opponents wherever the fight goes. You see too many bad decisions to leave it up to the judges.
In both your fights in the UFC you were the underdog. What is your take on this? Does the fact that people underestimate you affect you at all?
I don’t know why I’m underestimated. I have never underestimated an opponent in my life. This is a game where the other person can get put away at anytime, so it doesn’t really make sense to me.
What are your thought on your performance against Paul Craig? Are you satisfied by the way you finished him? Will you be returning soon? Who would you want to face?
Always happy to come away with a win, watching the footage back there’s a lot of areas to make improvements on. That’s why I love this sport, you can always get better.
Fighters taking steroids is one of the most talked about issue in the MMA world today. What is your take on the entire issue? What do you think is the best way to handle offenders?
I have no idea, there are people getting paid a lot more money than me to make those decisions. I haven’t come up against an opponent yet that has had that issue and I never want to. I think if I did I’d have a stronger stance on it. I do believe it is dangerous to put someone’s life at risk facing someone that is taking PED’s and they should be punished.
The UFC recently let go some of the biggest light-heavyweight prospects. The light heavyweight division is known as one of the shallow divisions in MMA today. What are your thoughts on these removals? Do you think light heavyweight division is shallow?
There are a lot of cuts being made in the UFC. It is definitely a thinner division at the moment but if you look at those top guys they are all killers. Light heavyweight and Heavyweight are divisions where no matter how good you are, no matter how hard you trained one connected punch and it’s lights out, they don’t even have to be clean shots.
One of the most discussed topic in MMA today is fighter pay. What are your thoughts on the pay made by an average MMA fighter?
It sucks, which is why I’m trying to entertain and put on a show every time so I can build a base and eventually make more. My camp for the fight against Craig put me in to the red massively. I was only able to cover it as I won the bonus in the first fight.
What is your message to everyone who wants to take MMA as a career?
Don’t take a fight because it’s there, find a good team and make sure you are ready. It’s a hard game so make sure you’ve covered everything you need to.
Thanks for your time.
Follow Tyson on Twitter at @tyson_pedro_
Check this highlight of Tyson Pedro’s finish of Paul Craig at UFC 209.