The UFC heads to Singapore Saturday, June 23 for Fight Night 132. While the main event is sure to draw fireworks, the co-main has explosive potential with staple light heavyweight Ovince Saint Preux facing off against submission specialist Tyson Pedro.

Saint Pruex is well known in UFC circles and has lethal knockout power with wickedly fast feet (especially for a guy his size). Having seen the gamut of UFC competition, Saint Preux is never one to be underestimated, and his southpaw striking can end a fight with one blow. This match, however, offers some interesting possibilities in the relative UFC newcomer, Tyson Pedro.

Pedro, with a UFC record of 3-1, brings a solid submission game and a rabid Australian fan base to Singapore. Both fighters are among the more athletic in the division, which lends itself to an exciting fight, but Pedro will have to be careful not to underestimate the veteran he’s facing. While both fighters claim solid ground games, Pedro will definitely have the advantage on the ground. . . as long as he can keep OSP there and not lose position. Saint Preux will have to be cautious that his game plan doesn’t fall apart, ensure that he controls where the fight takes place, and utilize his vicious left kick. If Pedro pulls out a win here, he’ll likely be vaulted into the top 5, and he’s just not ready for that level of competition.

Let’s take a look at several factors that could impact the end result.

Striking

Both fighters can both take and deliver a punch, but OSP has the slightly longer reach, and with 11 KO victories under his belt, knows how to let his hands fly to his advantage. Pedro has only one KO victory on his record but absolutely has knockout power. Saint Preux’s southpaw stance may cause the Australian issues, particularly as he’s more comfortable on the ground, but Pedro has put serious work into improving his footwork and feints.

Advantage: Ovince Saint Preux

Ground Game

Pedro is a submission specialist, with experience in both Japanese and Brazilian jiu jitsu. He’s happy on the floor, and works the mount better than OSP. Pedro has strong grappling skills, and smoothly passes guard on many opponents. However, Saint Preux is an incredibly difficult fighter to hold down and has put significant work into his wrestling. Will it be enough? We’ll see.

Advantage: Tyson Pedro

Clinch

Clinch work is likely to be the deciding factor in this bout. Both men can knock their opponent out. Saint Preux is the better wrestler, Pedro the stronger submission artist, but on the feet? This isn’t going to be a boxing match. The fight may well come down to who utilizes the clinch to their advantage, and who has better takedown defense. Pedro has serviceable skills going from clinch to the ground, but OSP’s superior wrestling abilities will make the takedown that much harder to obtain. OSP has continually improved his grappling, and that aforementioned athleticism makes him incredibly difficult to take down, much less keep down. And even though Pedro holds the advantage on the ground, OSP isn’t going to be easy to submit.

Advantage: Ovince Saint Preux

Pedro is the current favorite, with oddsmakers putting him at -130. And while the Australian certainly could take home the W, don’t count Saint Preux out too quickly. This fight may well come down to experience, and OSP has more of it. OSP’s athleticism, brute strength, and comfort in the octagon will give him an advantage, and his speed is truly remarkable for a man his size. Pedro is just too inexperienced in the UFC octagon to be able to take on a well-established vet like OSP. This matchup is a huge step up in competition for Pedro, and will likely prove to be too much, too soon. The younger fighter has tremendous potential in a division that, frankly, can use all the help it can get, but the leap from his prior competition to Saint Preux will be too much for Pedro to handle. Unless Pedro has been maxing out on Australian supplements, OSP takes this one in what should be an entertaining fight for all.

 

 

 

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