Five Things You Might Not Know About Tyson Pedro

By Mark Raymundo Jun 22, 2018

Tyson Pedro was undefeated in mixed martial arts and 2-0 in the Ultimate Fighting Championship when he met Ilir Latifi at UFC 215 last September. A decision loss to the stocky Swede temporarily halted Pedro’s momentum, but he was back at UFC 221, submitting Saparbek Safarov in just one minute.

Now 3-1 inside the Octagon, he will see how he fares up against a true veteran in Ovince St. Preux. The two will collide at UFC Fight Night 132 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 23. The step up in competition is a crucial test in Pedro’s young UFC career. Before he sees action against “OSP,” here are five things you might not know about the 26 year-old Australian.

1. There’s a story behind his trademark walkout hat.

The camouflage-patterned, brimmed hat Pedro wears on his way to the Octagon is no simple fashion statement. The headwear, known as a boonie hat, belonged to his cousin Brian, who was killed in Afghanistan while serving in the United States Army. Pedro also sports tattoos that commemorate his fallen cousin.

2. His traditional tattoos aren’t too popular with some people.

Pedro laments that some people frown upon his tattoos. The traditional “tatau,” according to Pedro, is one of the highest honors in Samoan culture. The tattoos are traditionally done only on people who speak Samoan. Pedro, who is of Samoan and Spanish ancestry but was born and raised in Australia, does not; even his father doesn’t speak Samoan anymore. Pedro is now making an effort to learn the language of his ancestors, as he feels he is representing his heritage in the UFC.

3. He got the tatau together with his father.

It is customary to receive the tatau with a partner, as Samoan tradition holds that the two partners split the pain between them when getting inked. When he was 18, Pedro got the tatau with his dad, John. It was an experience he treasures and considers an honor. While others typically get the elaborate patterns done in two weeks, his took a lot longer because he had to train.

4. His father owned King of the Cage in Australia.

His father, a black belt in multiple disciplines, owned King of the Cage Australia, a pioneering fight organization in The land Down Under. Pedro has been surrounded by martial arts all his life. In fact, he grew up working the cage door for his dad and was amazed at all the fighters he saw. While he also played other sports like rugby, soccer, tennis and volleyball, MMA was always the one he is most passionate about.

5. His father knocked out his two front teeth during sparring.

When a teenaged Pedro told his dad that he wanted to quit school and do combat sports for a living, his father picked up a pair of gloves and invited him inside the ring for a father-and-son sparring session. Clearly, it wasn’t the career path John wanted for his son, but there they were inside the ring anyway. Needless to say, father gave son some tough love, but it apparently did not deter the younger Pedro for pursuing a fight career.


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