At 36-years of age, Mike Pyle doesn’t think he’s in the twilight of his fighting career…he’s just getting started.
The crafty veteran out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas has looked great lately winning four out of his last five fights, and heading into UFC on FX 3 on Friday night he was facing another tough test as Josh Neer stood in front of him as his opposition.
Throughout his career, Pyle has been praised as one of the best teammates, best sparring partners and best coaches in the gym, but there have been times in his career where he’s struggled at the biggest moments.
Whatever those struggles were, Pyle seems to have left them behind because he came in focused and determined as he faced Neer.
Pyle kicked off the fight with a slick takedown and worked his ground game, but Neer was able to slip away and get the fight back to the feet, where he loves to stand and bang.
Following one brief exchange and scramble, Pyle pulled away from a takedown attempt from Neer, and somehow looked like he was on wobbly legs despite not actually being hit. The Las Vegas area fighter who has had roles in several films was apparently trying out his acting on Friday as he was trying to see what Neer had to offer and sucker him into a bad position.
“I’m not going to try to be macho, but I wasn’t dazed. I just seriously wanted to see what he could give me,” said Pyle. “He was hitting me pretty hard, he hit me in the liver, that hurt pretty good. At one point he did sting me, but I was never hurt.”
With the time winding down in the first round, Pyle and Neer began trading shots near the cage, but just when it looked like we would move to a second stanza, one punch ended the fight. Pyle connected with a short right hand that crushed Neer’s jaw and sent him crashing like a tree in a forest down to the mat.
It was clear that Neer was out and Pyle knew it too and stopped from causing anymore damage to his downed opponent.
“You know his style he wants to bring it, get in your face. He got me with a couple good ones over here and I had enough,” Pyle said about the knockout.
Don’t call Pyle an old dog learning new tricks. He’s a disciple of the great Randy Couture, so if anything Pyle is just showing that he’s like a fine wine….he’s getting better with age.
“I feel better than I ever have,” Pyle said in closing.
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