UFC Adelaide could be Tyson Pedro’s last, best chance to reclaim his hot prospect title, with aging legend Shogun Rua standing in his way.
Almost a year ago Tyson Pedro was one of the brightest prospects in the light heavyweight division, and was being dubbed the next big thing. However, UFC Adelaide, when he enters the octagon to lock horns against former UFC light heavyweight champion Shogun Rua, he enters a must-win situation. Pedro has gone 1-2 in his last three fights. When pitted against quality opposition, Pedro has failed to replicate the amazing skillset he displayed early on. If he wants to keep the tag of hot prospect on him he needs to win, and win in decisive fashion against Mauricio Rua.
Pedro started his career with an impressive 6-0 run before being thrown in against long-time division gatekeeper Ilir Latifi. For the first time in his career, Pedro’s fight went to the judges and he ended up on the wrong side of the score-cards. After a bounce-back win over Russian Saparbek Safarov, the Australian again ended up on the losing side when he faced former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Ovince Saint Preux. These losses against longtime 205lb fighters don’t look good on Pedro’s record.
Despite being very exciting Pedro has lost a lot of momentum, and defeating Rua might be his only chance to regain it. The MMA world has a short memory, after all. Rua is currently 3-1 in his last three bouts and is entering the fight on a low note as he lost his last fight via knockout. If Shogun himself wants to stay relevant he needs a win here. Plus Rua is getting up there, and years of fighting have taken a heavy toll on his body. If he were to lose now, it’s doubtful he can bounce back.
Pedro brings freshness into the division, and his charging in fighting style makes him very likable. As the division grows older and aging fighters fade out, the sport needs fighters like Pedro to keep the division active. Though many divisions at times are known for going into a dormant stage, the light heavyweight division is looking particularly bad in terms of fresh stars. Making a win for Pedro all the more important.
UFC Fight Night 142 takes place on Sunday, December 2 at the Adelaide Entertainment Center in Adelaide, Australia. The card airs exclusively on FOX Sports 1 and The Fight Network in North America, and on BT Sport in the UK. In India, the card airs live on SONY ESPN and SONY ESPN HD.