Tyson Pedro is another name that pops up when we talk about the heavily tattooed artist in MMA. Tyson is an Australian Mixed Martial Artist who competes for UFC’s lightweight division. Tyson started learning Japanese Jiu-Jitsu at the mere age of 4. It began from there top the time when he progressed his learning to boxing then, to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and ultimately to MMA. He is the son of well-renowned components of MMA and fighters who fought in the first cage fight in Australia. Another amazing thing that you’d be surprised to know is that Tyson has been named after the former heavyweight boxing champion, Mike Tyson. Pedro has got multiple inks that cover his body from top to bottom. Let us see what tattoos he has and the meanings they hold for him.
I’ve got “BHS” which stands for Blacktown Hit Squad and is for my very first fight in amateur boxing. I’ve got a few drunken tattoos as well. I’ve got “odds against me” and “I can’t break me” on my wrists. They’re sayings that I use to get me through every day in training.
“My left side is Japanese, just because of martial arts, which is the same as my dad. The right side is the Samoan side.”
1. ‘Samoan Culture’ Tattoo
Tattoo: On his right arm, Tyson has got the Samoan culture design inked. The Samoan culture tattoo is named Tatau.
Meaning: Samoan tattoos or tatau have been regarded as the most precious thing in Samoan culture for ages. Tatau, as it is specifically named, represents the wearer’s heritage, culture, history, and hope for a prosperous future. Tatau is instead used as the token to make the tattoo wearer in close connection to his family and community and the culture they belong to!
It is a known tradition to get the Samoan tattoo in a pair. The reason behind getting the tattoo in a pair is to divide the pain between two. This is the reason that Tyson got it done with his father, John at the age of 18 years.
“On my right arm, I got the full sleeve done when I was 18. The sleeve is just what we call the tatau, but then I’ve got the legs as well, which is the pe’a. It’s probably one of the highest honors in Samoan culture and I got it done with my dad.”
2. Back Tattoo
Tattoo: Covering the complete portion of his lower back is another tribal tattoo that forms part of his Samoan culture body tattoos. He also agreed that the back tattoo includes the tiny name tattoos of his family members towards the right side.
“I’ve also got the names of all my family down my back on my right side.”
3. Portrait on Left Arm
4. ‘Family’ Tattoo
Tattoo: On the inner side of his left bicep, Tyson has got the word tattoo dedicated to his ‘Family’. His family includes his father, John Pedro, his mother, Karran Pedro. Tyson is married to Rosie.
This is not the first body tattoo that Tyson has dedicated to his family, we now know how close he is to his family members.
5. Left Forearm Tattoo
6. Portrait on the arm
7. Portrait on Left Pec
Tattoo: On his left pec, Tyson has got a portrait of a man, who is none other than his cousin, Brian.
Meaning: Tyson revealed in an interview that he has got a few tattoos dedicated to his brother, who was killed in 2010 while serving the American Armed Forces in Afghanistan. The hat can be seen in the tattoo portrait too as Brian was wearing the same hat when he was in his service.
“My cousin who was killed in Afghanistan, his Mum sent me his Boonie cap and that’s the hat that I wear out. People say that it’s a fishing hat, but yeah, that’s his hat. [His mother] sent them to me and my Dad and I walk out to every fight with it,” Pedro explained.
8. Arm Tattoos
This is another tattoo that Tyson has dedicated to his late brother, Brian, who had died while his service in American Armed Forces, on the field in Afghanistan.
9. Left Thigh Tattoo
Tattoo: Tyson’s left thigh is covered with another Samoan culture design.
10. Leg Tattoos
Tattoo: Tyson’s legs are covered in American Samoan designs. He claimed it to be a proud moment for his family as when he got these tattoos because getting such designs is more like accepting the responsibilities of our lives.
“These are the designs from American Samoans. It is really a proud moment when I told my father that I wanted to get it, he was not sure, he really asked me twice. it was a big proud moment for both of us. It was really painful I was literally teary-eyed when I was getting it done. Taking the responsibility and thus getting this tattoo is the biggest responsibility in our culture.”
11. Thigh Tattoos
12. Tattoo on the navel
13. Neck Writing
14. Left Arm Portrait
Tattoo: There is a face inked on Pedros’s left upper arm, and on its top, there is a tiny name ink that says, ‘PEDRO.’
“I’ve got my cousin — he passed away in Afghanistan — so I’ve got three images of him.”
15. Portrait on Shoulder
Tattoo: On his upper left arm, there is a portrait of a young man tattooed. The portrait is speculated to be of his cousin brother, who shared a very close bond with Tyson.
16. Inner Thigh Tattoo
Tattoo: Dark-colored tattoo ink on his upper thighs.
17. Tribal Design on Stomach
18. ‘Toa Tama’ Tattoo
Tattoo: Across his left shoulder, there is a writing that goes all towards his back and says, “o lo’u toa tama”. It is the transcript in Samoan language.
Meaning: The Samoan writing stands for ‘my father is a warrior’. This is Tyson’s very first body tattoo which he got at the age of 16. Tyson is the son of John Pedro, who was one of the exponent MMA and the fighters who fought in the fage cage fight in Australia.
“I got my first when I was 16. It’s some writing across my shoulder, saying “o lo’u toa tama,” which means “my father is a warrior.”
19. Right Body Tattoo
Tattoo: The right side of Tyson’s body is totally dedicated to the Samoan culture.
Tyson is highly concerned when it comes to his Samoan culture. He is of Samoan and Spanish ancestry but was born and brought up in Australia. But, neither he nor his father speaks Samoan. He revealed that he is working hard to learn the language though, he is way too proud of his culture and feels it as an honor to represent his rich heritage in the UFC.
“But dad doesn’t really speak it either anymore. He used to be able to, but when he moved with his parents to Oceanside in California, it was really racist – they were one of the first brown families in that area – and his mum didn’t let any of the kids speak it.”
That’s part of the reason I got it done. That, and to do it with my dad. It was an honor to do it with him, and that’s why it meant so much.”
20. Wedding Ring Tattoo
Tattoo: On his ring finger, Tyson has got the permanent ring inked in the form of his wedding ring tattoo. Tyson is married to Rosie.