By Rich Plunkett 21/06/2018
For the second time in just over a year, the UFC will make its way to Singapore this weekend to host Fight Night 132. Comprised of talent from Asia, Australia and around the globe, the card will include a few familiar faces and some of the best young talent hailing from this side of the world. The main event will be a clash between England and America, when fan favourite Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone collides with up and comer Leon Edwards. The co-main for the evening will see Australia’s Tyson Pedro take on the enigmatic Ovince Saint Preux, also known as OSP.
Without taking anything away from the main event, the co-main for me has fight of the night written all over it. Pedro and OSP are exciting light heavyweights that leave nothing to the imagination. They are both very well rounded and are known for finishing their fights, via KO or submission. Stylistically, they match up well against each other and I expect both of them will fancy their chances of ending their opponent’s evening.
Pedro has started his UFC campaign with a bang, finishing all of his wins in the first round. His only blip came against Ilir Latifi, where he lost via judge’s decision at UFC 215. Coincidentally, Pedro’s opponent this weekend also lost to Latifi in his last fight. What can be made of that remains to be seen. Latifi outwrestled the both of them but it was the way he finished OSP, by a standing guillotine choke, that had everyone talking. Choosing to nap rather than tap, OSP was choked out cold on his feet in one of the submissions of the year, back in February.
Pedro seems very comfortable at the highest level. He just oozes confidence and personality. You can see it when he walks out to the octagon. When the fight begins, he looks like somebody who has been around the UFC for a lot longer than four fights. He is patient and calm in the face of adversity and has a high fight I.Q, which helps him adapt well to any unforeseen circumstances on the way to finishing his opponent. His ground and pound is top class, while his stand up is certainly improving. Coming from a kempo background, his kicks are used both defensively and offensively. Pedro must keep his distance with these kicks and back OSP up to the cage where he can secure a takedown and go to work. Keeping out of his opponent’s range though, is not an easy thing to do, and many have suffered in vain.
OSP is about as dangerous as they come at 205 pounds. He can do just about everything well. He drops bombs with his hands, can knock you out with his feet and loves a good Von Flue choke. His wrestling is solid and his cardio is good for a man of his size. He is the prototype of what an MMA fighter in his division looks like today. After competing at a high level in other sporting codes, it is no surprise that he has done so well in MMA, after permanently crossing over.
OSP’s real advantage in this fight is his boxing. The longer the fight stays standing, the higher the chances are of him finding a finish. Pedro likes to take his opponents to the mat, pressing them up against the cage and beating down on them. This won’t be easy against OSP, as his takedown defence is well above par. Unlike Pedro’s previous loss to Latifi, I don’t see OSP going out there looking to grind out a decision victory. He’ll look to finish the fight, although I don’t think it will come via submission. His best chance at victory will be a KO courtesy of one of those big bombs he likes to throw. Pedro’s chin is solid but can it stand up to OSP’s power?
Trying to find a winner in this fight is a real coin toss. The bookies have Pedro as favourite but not by much. OSP is a higher ranked fighter and Pedro still hasn’t managed to find himself in the winner’s column against a big name, top ten opponent like OSP. Can Pedro take him down and keep him there long enough to finish him? Or will OSP finish the fight in the same way three out of his last four have played out?
Let’s rule out the possibility of OSP winning by decision. He is a guy that loves to look for the finish, and in doing so, gets finished himself or out pointed on the way to a judge’s decision defeat. Should he get the W this weekend, it will come via KO. Having seen Pedro’s chin in action and considering he has never been knocked out or even finished at all, I am going to put faith in that not happening, for now anyway. I see Pedro using body kicks and level changes as his go-to weapons on the night. Once he finds himself in top position, up against the cage, he will finish the fight.
Pedro inside the distance.