by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
Over the last few years Mike Pyle has been on the threshold of breaking through to being one of the top welterweight fighters in the world on many occasions. Unfortunately, losses at critical junctions have kept him from doing so.
Forced to bounce around from promotion to promotion during that same time period, Pyle’s drive to make it to the top has yet to diminish in the least as he continues to strive towards his goal.
After two impressive performances earlier this year in Canada and Japan, Pyle returns stateside for the first ever Affliction show as part of one of the most stacked cards of the year on July 19 in Anaheim, Calif. Scheduled to take on up and comer JJ Ambrose, he is excited to be back, working on his ever present quest for greatness.
“I’m feeling great,” he said. “I’m in great shape and I’m ready to go out there and kick some ass.”
As enthusiastic as he is, Pyle is also cautious to avoid pitfalls from earlier in his career by taking Ambrose as serious as possible.
“I just try to think that my opponent’s going to go out there and try to rip my head off,” he stated. “I need to protect myself and keep my eyes open, and on him, and be prepared for whatever this guy has to offer.
“I’ve not always taken this route towards a fight, that is correct, but I’ve matured and coming up through the game I’ve learned a lot – don’t ever underestimate anyone. I’ve made mistakes like that in the past and I learned from them.”
Still, Pyle and his training camp at Xtreme Couture feel there are areas of opportunity for him to exploit weaknesses in Ambrose’s game.
“We’ve looked at some tape and have noticed some things; and we’re going to try to concentrate on that and fight to the best of our abilities that night,” he commented. “I’ve knocked people out, I’ve tapped people out and I’ve won decisions. I’ll take the game anywhere.”
Currently Pyle is signed to both Affliction and World Victory Road’s Sengoku, and he intends to stay busy with both throughout the remainder of the year.
“All these organizations are coming up with a little bit more respectable money for fighters, so we’ll see how it goes,” he said.
“I’m sure I’ll see myself in Japan again hopefully fighting a good name over there, look forward to coming back here fighting someone else, and heading back to Japan.”
Wherever the action is, he intends to just keep doing what he’s doing in pursuit of bigger fights, better paydays and championship opportunities.
“I’m just looking forward to moving forward in this game and being the best fighter I can be,” he commented. “(Just) keep winning, train hard, work hard and have the hard work pay off.”
An impressive win at Affliction on July 19 could very well be the catalyst to bring together all the aspects of his game, both inside and outside the ring, and make the absolute mark he’s been anxious to achieve in the welterweight division.
“Everybody come out check out the Affliction card, live or on PPV on the 19th when I go and smash JJ Ambrose,” closed out Pyle. “Thanks to all my training partners for all their help in getting me ready for this fight; and Xtreme Couture for providing me housing, giving me a place to kick ass.”