Archive for the ‘Mike Pyle’ Category

In under two minutes, Xtreme Couture fighter Mike Pyle forced referee Mario Yamasaki to step in and call the fight.

The knee that Pyle threw to Ricardo Funch’s midsection that caused Funch to drop to the ground and the decisive manner in which Pyle dispatched Funch with the flurry of punches to end the fight was incredible.

Pyle then played up the villain angle and got the Rio de Janeiro crowd vigorously booing him after the stoppage.



by Erik Fontanez  via MMAWeekly

The last time UFC welterweight Mike Pyle was in Brazil, he wasn’t there to fight. The cornerman role was his responsibility, backing Forrest Griffin at UFC 134 for the light heavyweight’s bout against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

Come Saturday, Jan. 14, he’ll be in Rio de Janeiro again, only this time he’ll enter the HSBC arena for  UFC 142, looking to get back on the winning track through Ricardo Funch. He hopes to get the same intensity from the Brazilian crowd that resonated before at UFC 134.

“The crowd was great,” Pyle told MMAWeekly Radio. “I look forward to that intensity.”

In his last fight, Pyle succumbed to strikes from a strong up-and-comer in Rory MacDonald. Reasonably, Pyle wasn’t happy about it, and who could blame him?

But being a veteran of the MMA game makes Pyle wise, which allows him to look back on the source of his unhappiness to take away things he can learn from it. Watching tape of a loss, as much as it may sting, provides lessons in what not to do, and he’s all for it. That being said, Pyle went back to the drawing board, talked with coaches, and is ready to move forward.

“You learn a lot more in a loss than you do in a win a lot of times,” he said.

And the man who awaits a forward-moving Pyle at UFC 142 in Brazil is Ricardo Funch. The Brazilian is making his return to the UFC after getting back in the win column, which was preceded by two consecutive UFC losses. Fortunately for him, he’s getting his second shot at the big show due to a Paulo Thiago injury. Thiago was originally scheduled to face Pyle.

No worries, according to the Xtreme Couture fighter. The change in opponent from Thiago to Funch was made with enough advance notice for Pyle to plan accordingly. And while he was looking forward to the challenge from someone with a name like Thiago, Pyle isn’t taking his new opposition any lighter.

“I’m treating Ricardo as just as much of a threat,” he said. “The name’s not there like I would’ve hope for with the Thiago fight, but it is what it is and I’m ready to move forward and get it on with Funch now.”

Pyle is confident. “I don’t see him beating me,” he said. Perhaps the fact he’s so upset from his last loss is a motivating factor when approaching UFC 142. No one enjoys being on the receiving end of a stoppage, and Pyle is surely looking to prevent that from happening two times in a row.

“I wanted be back in there ASAP,” he said.

“You (have to) be smart about it, but at the same time you (have to) be eager to balance that out.”

One of the things that stands out most about Pyle is his work ethic in the gym. Over the years, he’s put in his time there and proven again and again that hard work pays off. But as he’s gotten older, training has changed. He trains smarter, not harder, he said, and switches things up from time to time to keep things new and prevent redundancy.

This is the kind of approach that makes one competitive, even after more than 12 years of fighting.

“You have to keep your mind fresh and open to new things.”


Fresh off a highly impressive victory over Nate Diaz at UFC 129, Rory MacDonald will get right back into action this summer, as the UFC announced on Monday that he’ll meet Xtreme Couture fighter Mike Pyle at UFC 133 in August.

The 21-year-old will fight for just the second time outside of his home country of Canada, having previously fought in the United States in his UFC debut last January. MacDonald brings an 11-1 record into his fourth UFC appearance, with his sole career loss coming against Carlos Condit in a fantastic 2010 fight, where he won the first two rounds before being overwhelmed and stopped with seconds remaining in the third.

Pyle is riding a three fight win streak, and brings a 4-2 mark in his six UFC appearances. Though he was stopped in two of his first three fights in the organization – by Brock Larson on short notice and later by Jake Ellenberger – Pyle has impressed greatly in his last two outings. The 35-year-old halted the hype train of John Hathaway in England last October before sending veteran Ricardo Almeida into retirement with a hard fought decision victory at UFC 128 in March.

UFC 133 takes place from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Penn. on August 6, headlined by the light heavyweight bout between Rashad Evans and Phil Davis.

Mike Pyle – Victorious!

Posted: March 21, 2011 by Xtreme Couture MMA in Mike Pyle, xtreme couture
Tags: , , , , ,

 Congratulations to Xtreme Couture’s Mike Pyle who this past Saturday at UFC 128 went three full rounds with Ricardo Almeida earning himself a third consecutive victory under the UFC badge.

McNeil By Franklin McNeil

Not much attention is being paid to Ricardo Almeida and Xtreme Couture’s Mike Pyle heading into their welterweight showdown on Saturday night at UFC 128 in Newark, N.J. However, the winner will take a giant step toward significance in the 170-pound division.

 This fight is significant for another reason, though: Because of the fighters’ styles — and the men who helped instill them — the match could offer a preview of what fans will see at UFC 130 on May 28, when lightweight champion Frankie Edgar puts his title on the line for the second time in a row against Gray Maynard.

Miguel Almeida & Frankie Edgar

Saturday’s Ricardo Almeida-Mike Pyle fight could be just a prelude to what fans will see when Frankie Edgar, pictured, faces Gray Maynard at UFC 130.

 Like their lightweight counterparts, Almeida and Pyle are gifted ground fighters who have put in hours of work to improve their stand-up games. Perhaps not coincidentally, the men most responsible for making Almeida and Pyle comfortable on their feet are the very same who helped Edgar and Maynard take their stand-up skills to greater heights: boxing trainers Mark Henry and Gil Martinez.

 Although they are familiar with each others’ coaching style — the trainers previously matched boxing wits during the first two Edgar-Maynard battles — Henry (who trains Almeida) and Martinez (who works with Pyle) know the key to victory in Newark will be to make adjustments without moving too far from what has brought their fighters recent success.

 “I make adjustments to each person that I train, because everybody is different,” Martinez told “I have to work with the style that each fighter has and implement a game plan for their style of fighting.”  Henry also adjusts his game plan to a fighter’s strengths. But that wasn’t always the case. The stand-up improvements Almeida (13-4-0) and Edgar have made are directly tied to Henry’s altering his boxing training style to fit MMA fighting. “When I’m dealing with those guys, I’m trying not to be strictly a stand-up coach anymore,” Henry told “I really wanted to get myself away from that.

“I used to be so ultra-stand-up that I made them too one-dimensional. I was hurting them instead of helping them. But I’ve learned that Frankie and Ricardo are great athletes; I now blend all their skills.” Adjusting to their individual fighters is only part of the puzzle Henry and Martinez must solve Saturday night at Prudential Center; they must also figure out each other. Henry might have the greater adjustment to make. Almeida’s boxing style looks very much like that of Edgar. The similarity isn’t lost on Martinez. “Yes, we’ve noticed,” Martinez said. “We’ve seen some of their fights, and they have similar moves that they do in their stand-up.

 “But they’re totally opposite, different fighters, so we have to be ready for just Almeida [on Saturday].” Henry says it would be a mistake to surmise that Almeida and Edgar possess the exact same stand-up style. He is quick to point out that his star pupils have shown something new inside the cage with each passing fight, although he concedes there are some similarities. “In Ricardo’s last fight, [UFC cageside commentator] Joe Rogan even said ‘Ricardo is moving just like Frankie Edgar,'” Henry said. “Sometimes they’re moving a little bit alike, but they’re definitely different fighters. Frankie is shorter; he has to work a different type of game. Ricardo is taller and has a long range. They have to fight different because of their body types.

 “But in some ways, they are the same. They both have fast feet and quick hands. In that respect, you can say some of their style is the same.”

Mike Pyle
Mike Pyle, a skilled ground fighter, has seen his stand-up game improve significantly under the tutelage of Gil Martinez.

Pyle (20-7-1) has made tremendous strides in his boxing game under Martinez, much like his teammate Maynard. In his most recent fight, a unanimous decision over John Hathaway, Pyle displayed some of the same aggressive striking Maynard exhibited in his Jan. 1 title bout with Edgar. Martinez won’t stray too far from his aggressive boxing approach, but he vows that there will be several adjustments to Pyle’s stand-up game plan against Almeida. He doesn’t have much choice: Martinez believes Almeida-Pyle will be decided on the feet. “The stand-up is going to be very important, because they’re both great fighters on the ground,” Martinez said. “They’re probably going to even themselves out as far as the ground game goes. “Their stand-up is going to have to be on point for one of them to pull out the fight.”

 The same can be said of Edgar-Maynard III. Both lightweights are solid wrestlers who have become more comfortable standing. Henry and Martinez know this better than anyone. So is Almeida-Pyle just a preview of what’s to come on May 28 in Las Vegas? “It could be,” Martinez said. “We want to win, and I know their camp wants to win. I definitely look forward to the challenge and will try to figure out their game plan while executing our game plan. “But we can’t focus too much on them, because Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard are two totally different fighters than Mike Pyle and Ricardo Almeida. This is going to be an exciting fight also, but different from Edgar-Maynard III.”

 For his part, Almeida wants to deliver Henry a win over his Las Vegas-based counterpart. Henry, who is based in New Jersey, is 0-1-1 against Martinez thus far. I look forward to being a part of their essence of competition,” Almeida said. “This fight will be determined by what goes on inside the Octagon as well as outside.”

LONDON – While a cursory examination of Mike Pyle’s impressive UFC 120 win over the previously undefeated John Hathaway on Saturday night in London might suggest his impressive head movement and superior grappling were the keys to the biggest victory of his 11 year career, “Quicksand” would beg to differ.

For Pyle (20-7-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC), the long-awaited transition from “best fighter not in the UFC” to “UFC welterweight contender” is due entirely to one thing.

His mind.

“You train yourself on the focus mitts, right?” Pyle asked ( “Well, you’ve got to train yourself mentally, and there’s mental preparations for being inside of something this big.

“This is the biggest, best sport that’s going right now, and it doesn’t get any better. You have to do everything you can to prepare yourself physically and mentally. That’s what I did when I got the call. I stepped up and took care of business.”

Pyle has long been considered a gym superstar, and his reputation among his Xtreme Couture teammates has long been top notch. But despite brief runs with Affliction, EliteXC, the IFL, Sengoku and Strikeforce, Pyle never earned the reputation of a fighter that could deliver under pressure.

While Pyle appeared guarded when pressed to reveal exactly what steps he had taken to shore up his mental approach to fighting, he did admit the change was the key to his win over Hathaway, as well as a June victory over Jesse Lennox.

“It’s just a matter of stepping up your game,” Pyle said. “I took the right steps and saw the right people. It’s helped tremendously, and it’s something I’ll never neglect again.

“It just took me a little bit longer to get over the UFC jitters. Like I said, this is the big show. It’s a lot bigger than any other show I’ve ever fought on. I have to train myself for that, and I’m taking all the proper steps.”

A huge underdog in the fight with Hathaway, Pyle never played the part. He was almost strangely confident in the weeks leading up to the contest, and he wasn’t afraid to voice his plans to shock the world.

While many MMA observers had tagged Hathaway as Britain’s next big thing, Pyle said he always knew he could win. It wasn’t so much any flaws that he observed in Hathaway’s game but simply that he began fighting professionally before “The Hitman” was even a freshman.

“I just knew I could beat the kid,” Pyle said. “I’ve been fighting since 1998. I think he was probably doing homework in high school at the time – maybe even middle school.

“I’m seasoned. I train with the best. I feel that it’s out there, and I just knew that I would be able to outwork the kid, 100 percent. In my heart, I knew that I could beat him.”

And beat him, he did. Soundly, in fact, with the unanimous decision only coming because Hathaway somehow lasted through a tight inverted triangle in the second round that was accompanied by a seemingly never-ending barrage of punches to the face.

Whether it was his boxing, his wrestling or simply his mental approach, Pyle’s UFC 120 win was undoubtedly one of the best – and certainly most important – performances of his career.

And while the 35-year-old has long flown low on most MMA fans’ radar, that will likely no longer be the case.

“When [UFC officials] called, and they gave me this opportunity to take and this fight and be on this card, I was very thankful,” Pyle said. “I rose to the occasion; I beat the kid.

“(I was) a severe underdog coming out here. I loved it. I loved the crowd. I loved that they didn’t like me as much, but maybe I captured a few fans afterward.”

By ( – Gareth Davies

Dan Hardy considers Mike Pyle to be a step up from Diego Sanchez for British prospect and fellow welterweight John Hathaway at UFC 120.

Hardy has no doubt that Pyle is a tougher opponent for the 23-year-old former rugby player than former lightweight title contender Sanchez.

Hathaway was named in the FO World Mixed Martial Arts awards on Friday on the shortlist for Breakthrough Fighter of the Year, and Overseas Fighter of the Year. But Pyle, says Hardy, has the skills to de-rail Hathaway’s ascent in the 170lb division.

Hathaway, undefeated with 14-0 in his MMA career, was to face Dong-Hyun Kim, but after the South Korean pulled out through injury he was replaced by Pyle – a former WEC champion.

Hardy has spent several weeks training with and around Pyle, and he predicts the submission expert could trouble any of the top fighters in the division.

“No one beats Pyle up in the gym. He’s very very strong, skilled, and what I’ve seen of him, he could be a challenge for an contender in the world welterweight division.”

“He’s legitimately a tough guy. I trained with him at Xtreme Couture and he is an extremely talented fighter. He’s underestimated because people haven’t heard much about him,” Hardy explained to The Telegraph.

“It’s gonna be a great test for John, and at this stage of his career he needs it. This is the toughest fight of his career. Certainly with the other fighters he will get massive credit for winning. Beating Pyle would certainly turn heads in the division.”

“But career-wise, he won’t get so much credit because Sanchez is more well known. But in the hardcore community of MMA, people know how good Mike Pyle is.

“I think Pyle could be a serious contender. I’d be interested to see him fight Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck and Thiago Alves. I really think he’d trouble them. I was massively impressed with him in the gym. It’s just unfortunate that in his fights he’s had a few poor performances, but now he’s in the UFC he’s developing some speed.”

Twenty-three-year-old British welterweight John Hathaway has made a big splash in the welterweight division. But Mike Pyle is not impressed.

Pyle, who meets Hathaway (14-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) at UFC 120 as a replacement for injured Dong Hyun Kim, says his young opponent is in over his head this time.

“I will beat the [expletive] out of John Hathaway,” Pyle (20-7-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) recently told Radio (

The undefeated Hathaway earned a fourth consecutive octagon victory and took a huge step in his career when he routed former lightweight contender Diego Sanchez at UFC 114. But the deck was stacked in his favor, according to Pyle. The Brit had advantages in height, reach and weight.

“Let’s face it; the fight that he had with Diego wasn’t an awesome, back-and-forth fight,” the 34-year-old Pyle said. “Diego’s a small, somewhat average (sized) [155-pound fighter].”

There won’t be any such advantages when Pyle gets his hands on the youngster.

“I’m a big welterweight, (and) I’m a long welterweight,” he said. “[Hathaway has] fought a lot of shorter opponents. He’s had a reach advantage, and he’s been able to use that really well. He stayed away from actually having to get in a fight with [Diego].

“That’s all going to change. He will be tested – 100 percent guaranteed.”

If Pyle sounds a little more fired up for this fight than others, it’s for good reason. He’s been in the fight game for 11 years and faced many who went on to become huge stars in MMA. Some he beat, and others he didn’t. But the respect he garners from those who have trained with him is almost universal. They speak of a guy who’s a beast. A guy with amazing submission skills. A guy who chews up and spits out training partners without regard to size.

And also, a guy who has a hard time putting it all together when the chips are down.

Pyle delivered in his most recent performance when he submitted Jesse Lennox with a triangle choke at UFC 115, a move that appeared destined for a performance bonus before Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic rained on the parade by tapping out Pat Barry in the co-main event. But he’s still trying to find traction in the ocean-deep welterweight division; Pyle’s current UFC win percentage stands at .500 with wins over Lennox and Chris Wilson and losses to Jake Ellenberger and Brock Larson.

Naturally, Pyle says he’s going to be better fighter come Oct. 16, when the two meet at The 02 in London, and he’s going to show fans what they’ve been missing.

If Hathaway wants to stand and trade, he says, no problem.

“I don’t really care. It’s not an, ‘Oh my god, if I don’t get this kid down, there’s nothing I can do (situation),'” Pyle said. “I could knock the kid out. I almost knocked out the last dude.

“This kid’s going to be in for hell. I ain’t Diego Sanchez. [Hathaway’s] last fight was a good and easy fight. This time, he’s in for the fight of his life.”

That doesn’t mean that Pyle won’t have a little fun in London. He’s looking forward to the boos that are likely to welcome his arrival as an American on British soil, and he’s planning something special for his turn as a heel. He won’t say what it is, but he hints at something patriotic.

“You’ll just have to see, man,” he said. “I can’t wait for them to boo me. I’m going to suck it all up and spit it right back out at all them crooked-teethed Englishmen.”

That attitude will surely make a splash across the pond.

From MMA Junkie

Martin Kampmann’s total domination of Paulo Thiago, epic fight by teammates Evan Dunham and Tyson Griffin and  perhaps one of his best performances by Mike Pyle against Jesse Lennox.

Congratulations to all the guys for their great performances!

1. Deep, wet sand that you sink into if you try to walk on it. 2. A treacherous situation that tends to entrap and destroy.

Mike “Quicksand” Pyle is the former WEC Welterweight champion, and an experienced veteran in the sport of mixed martial arts. This Saturday, Mike will take on Jessie “The Ox” Lennox at UFC 115.

Bleacher Report recently had the opportunity to talk with Mike about his MMA career and his upcoming fight.

[Kevin Sampson] Mike, first of all, I want to thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me today. I really do appreciate it.

[Mike Pyle] You’re welcome.

[Kevin Sampson] Just a little bit of background: What originally got you involved in martial arts and competitively in Mixed Martial Arts?

[Mike Pyle] The UFC did. I watched the old films. This guy who was training Tae Kwon Do with me was like, “Man, you gotta check this cage fighter stuff they got going on. There’s this guy that lays around on the ground and breaks people’s arms and s—t.” And I was like “Okay, let’s check it out.” And of course, it was Royce [Gracie] who was going around breaking everyone’s arms and choking the s—t out of ‘em. So I was like, “I’m interested in that.” So, I started looking for grappling schools and things like that.

[Kevin Sampson] Your very first professional fight was against Quinton Jackson. Apparently that is the first mixed martial arts fight of record for both you, and for “Rampage” Jackson. What can you tell me about that fight?

[Mike Pyle] I was 175 pounds soaking wet. And he was like 200 pounds or so. I agreed to it. I wasn’t thrown in there. I learned that I needed to get better at striking, not just rely on Jiu Jitsu only because that’s all I was trying to do, and he was able to counter that easily with his brute strength. Picked me up, throwing me around. Throwing me out of the ring. It opened up my eyes up that I needed to get more well-rounded.

[Kevin Sampson] What would you say is your proudest achievement in your Mixed Martial Arts career?

[Mike Pyle] I’m gonna have to say making it to the UFC. And just being able to be professional. Those two things are the chief things for me. Just being able to do what I love for a living and being able to do it in the UFC, the UFC, from what I’ve experienced, they just take better care of you. It’s more on top of things and more well-organized.

[Kevin Sampson] When I was looking over your record, the thing that really jumps out at me is this: Mike Pyle, the only fighter who has ever made Jon Fitch submit. What can you tell me about that fight?

[Mike Pyle] Oh, it was earlier in both of our careers and I think I was just a bit more advanced than him at the time. I believe he and I spoke after and I believe that was his first or second fight. He hadn’t been training in a lot of Jiu Jitsu and, of course, that was my background. And he wanted, as a wrestler, to go to the ground, so when it did go to the ground, I just had a bit more of an advantage and experience on the ground than he did at the time. We’ve both come a long ways since then. I was just a better man that night, that’s all. I’m sure he went back to the drawing board and began to learn how to stay out of a rear naked choke or to learn it.

[Kevin Sampson] Another of the big names on your record a little later on in your career in the WEC: Shonie Carter. Once again, you got the win by submission. Can you tell me a bit about that fight?

[Mike Pyle] Yeah. So you know it was a little nerve-wracking or whatever. But I was defending my title [Mike was WEC Welterweight Champion at the time] and there was no way I was going to let anybody come in and take it. I went after him right off, cracked his nose real good, he started bleeding everywhere. He took me down, and he slowly sunk in Quicksand. I caught him in a triangle.

[Kevin Sampson] Upcoming fight: Next Saturday, you’re going to be fighting Jessie “The Ox” Lennox. What can you tell me about your opponent?

[Mike Pyle] Well, he a tough kid. He had a tough fight with Rick Story. So he had a good, tough fight there. He was getting hit with some tough shots and he was able to stay in there and go the whole fight. From that I can tell, he’s a tough kid. That’s about it, I’m just going to go in there and give him the business.

[Kevin Sampson] How do you think you match up with him?

[Mike Pyle] I think I match up well with him. I’m a bit longer than him, so striking might play a role more in the favor for me. I feel that I have the competition advantage as well.

[Kevin Sampson] Something I’d noticed. As I was reading through your biography online, it said that you picked up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by watching videos and more or less teaching yourself.

[Mike Pyle] Yeah I’ve never had any instructor in grappling.

[Kevin Sampson] So no formal teaching?

[Mike Pyle] Nuh uh. Completely self-taught.

[Kevin Sampson] It’s crazy, because without any formal training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and yet you have 16 of your 19 wins by submission. That’s really impressive.

[Mike Pyle] Yeah, thanks. Yeah, I’m completely self-taught, for the most part, in mixed martial arts. The first half of my fighting career was just me and that was it.

[Kevin Sampson] What’s your favorite submissions move, anyway?

[Mike Pyle] I would have to say that it would be any type of strangulation.

[Kevin Sampson] So rear naked or guillotine or darce choke?

[Mike Pyle] Yeah, as long it’s a choke. Back in the day, when the warriors would fight. Okay, you get the guy in the arm bar, he can still stab you or kill you with the other arm. He’s not done, you know what I mean? But, you get him in a choke and that’s it. That’s as good as done.

[Kevin Sampson] Outside of submissions, where would you say you are most dangerous and most effective?

[Mike Pyle] Well, I don’t know. I knocked out Gustavo Machado. My hands are a lot more lethal than people think—my striking and my knees and things. A bit more lethal than they show on record. Hopefully, in this fight, that’ll show because I’ll have the advantage in the striking, I think, in this fight. Competition-wise, I think I’ve got it. I’ve got the advantage. I’ve gone against bigger, tougher guys. I’ve finished bigger, tougher guys in fights. I’ve been in knock-down-drag-out fights. I’ve been there and I’ve done that in pretty much all of the organizations out there, including the UFC.

[Kevin Sampson] You have yourself, Martin Kampmann, Tyson Griffin, and Mac Danzig all on the same card. What’s that like at Xtreme Couture with so many people getting ready for their next fight on all the same day?

[Mike Pyle] Gets you amped, man! Gets you on your toes! Gets you ready to go! It helps a lot.

[Kevin Sampson] In the main event Saturday, who do you have, Rich Franklin or Chuck Liddell?

[Mike Pyle] It is a tough one to call, but I’d almost bet my truck on Liddell.

[Kevin Sampson] Brock Lesnar or Shane Carwin?

[Mike Pyle] I’d like to see Carwin take it.

[Kevin Sampson] Philadelphia Flyers or Chicago Blackhawks?

[Mike Pyle] Philly.

[Kevin Sampson] Lakers or Celtics?

[Mike Pyle] Lakers, baby!

[Kevin Sampson] Any piece of advice you’d give to anyone getting into Mixed Martial Arts?

[Mike Pyle] Anybody who’s looking to get into Mixed Martial Arts, you’d better be ready to work hard and be 100% dedicated, because this is the hardest job an athlete has in the world today, hands down. So, it’s not a walk in the park. It’s not as easy as it looks on TV. It’s hard, it takes dedication, it takes emotion, it takes sacrifice, you better believe it. Learn to give up all those things and work hard. Cuz it’s hard. Nothing easy about it all.

[Kevin Sampson] I appreciate you talking to me today, and good luck in your fight Mike!

[Mike Pyle] Thanks a lot.

by Kevin Sampson – Bleacher Report