Mike Pyle vs. T.J. Waldburger
Round 1: Both fighters careful early. Waldburger lands a leg kick. Pyle steps in with an outside leg kick. He paws with his jab and delivers another outside leg kick. Pyle continues to land leg kicks. Waldburger answers with one of his own. Waldburger initiates the clinch. He presses Pyle against the cage. Pyle circles out and away. Waldburger throws a high kick that’s blocked, and he slips. He gets back to his feet before Pyle could seize the opportunity. Waldburger lands a solid left hand. He lands a right hand. They clinch. Pyle delivers a knee to the body and trips Waldburger to the canvas. Pyle moves to side control. He delivers a knee to the body. Pyle lands short left hands and shoulder strikes. Waldburger gets to his feet and they work for position along the cage. He lands a knee to the body. Pyle applies the Thai clinch and delivers a knee. Pyle secures a takedown in the closing seconds. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Pyle.
Round 2: Pyle delivers an outside leg kick followed by a jab. Waldburger presses forward. He throws a high kick. Pyle covers and blocks it. Waldburger lands an outside leg kick. He lands another. Pyle presses forward. Waldburger trips to the canvas. Waldburger works to isolate a leg. Pyle gets it free. He works in Waldburger’s half guard. Pyle moves to side control. Waldburger scrambles back to his feet. They exchange jabs. Pyle lands a lazy back kick to the body. Waldburger lands a left hook over the hands of Pyle. They clinch. Pyle lands to the body. Waldburger looks to get the fight to the ground. Pyle shakes off the attempt. Pyle takes Waldburger down. Waldburger quickly scrambles back to his feet. They separate. Waldburger lands a right hand over the top. Waldburger goes to the body with a kick. The round ends. MMAWeekly scores it 10-9 for Pyle.
Round 3: Waldburger’s corner tells him that he’s winning the stand up exchanges. They advised him to look for a takedown if it’s there. Waldburger steps in with a jab followed by an outside leg kick. Pyle answers with a combination. Waldburger resounds with a front kick to the body. Waldburger lands a hard leg kick. Pyle answers with a right hand. Waldburger lands a left hand as Pyle threw a leg kick. Pyle lands a right hand. He lands another. Waldburger looks for a takedown. Pyle stuffs the attempt. Waldburger threw a kick and Pyle caught it and landed a spinning back elbow that knocked Waldburger down. Waldburger bounces back to his feet. The battle for position along the fence. Waldburger delivers two knees to the body. Pyle lands a hard elbow on the inside followed by another. Waldburger changes levels and Pyle hits him with a knee. Pyle gains top position. He lands a couple of hard elbows. Waldburger rolls. Pyle takes his back and lands hard shots. Pyle flattens Waldburger out. He continues to pound away with punches. Referee Herb Dean steps in and stops it.
The official time of the technical knockout was 4:03 of the third round.
“I felt like I was just barely winning. My coach told me I needed to win round three so I had to dig down deep, gut it out and finish. I didn’t swarm him. I really tried to take my time, pick and choose my punches and ended up getting it done. I’m very sore. He was kicking my legs pretty good. I’ve got a lot of fight left in me – I’m a late bloomer.”
“I tried to keep fighting but he’s smart and he took me down at the exact right moment. I couldn’t get anything going on the ground or capitalize on my striking tonight. I really need to work harder on my ground game in order to be more successful out there. Mike had a great showing and he deserved the win tonight. Hats off.”