Former WEC champion Mike Pyle, now 38 years of age, has been working hard during his most recent stint in the UFC to make a run at the title. But each time he gets close, he stumbles.
He most recently had a four-fight streak derailed when Matt Brown knocked him out last August. Pyle righted his ship at UFC 170 on Saturday night in Las Vegas, however, using his vast well of experience to dismantle 25-year-old TJ Waldburger.
Pyle didn’t do anything fancy, but he defended everything that Waldburger could muster, and then countered well.
Any time Waldburger put his punches and leg kicks in play, Pyle would answer with several of his own. Any time Waldburger would press him to the fence, Pyle would employ his Thai clinch and land knees that wore Waldburger down.
In the third round, Pyle opened up his striking another notch, landing a flurry that included a spinning elbow and several knees and punches before putting Waldburger on the mat, guillotine choke applied.
Waldburger slipped the guillotine choke, but Pyle unleashed a furious onslaught of ground and pound, looking like he knocked Waldburger out from top mount at one point.
“[The referee] took a good hard look, but TJ was trying to get out of there,” said Pyle after the fight. “But once I flattened him out, it was over.”
Waldburger turned and covered, but that’s when Pyle flattened him out, leaving the ref no choice but to stop the punishment to a bloodied Waldburger.
That victory put Pyle back on the winning track, and should inch him closer to a Top 10 ranking.
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