After the three of his four most recent employers – IFL, EliteXC and Affliction – folded, Mike Pyle decided he’d do what ever it took to break into the Ultimate Fighting Championship. So when he got the call to fight Brock Larson at UFC 98 in on a week’s notice he jumped at the offer.
“I said, ‘You’re damn right I will [take the fight]’”, said Pyle. “Short notice—so what?”
Twenty-three pounds overweight, out of shape and not having seen a gym for nearly two months thanks to shooting “Universal Soldier: A New Beginning” in Bulgaria, the veteran fighter known as “Quicksand” entered the Octagon for the first time against a bruising welterweight who had more time to prepare and 26-2 record.
“Hey, Brock [Larson] beat me fair and square. He was the better man that night,” said Pyle, noting that Larson is especially strong and that he himself was depleted by the rapid weight loss. “I wasn’t ready to face a high caliber guy like that.”
Despite being submitted mid-way through the first round, Pyle’s gung-ho attitude and the UFC’s practice of rewarding late-entry combatants with a second chance finds Pyle matched with Chris Wilson at UFC Fight Night 19 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on September 16.
“This one I’ll be fully prepared. I’ll probably in the best shape that I’ve ever been for any fight I’ve ever had,” said Pyle. “I’m ready to go back in and make a statement because of the performance last time due to the short notice and the heavy weight cut, I was unable to perform the way I would like to and kind of quite frankly, got embarrassed.”
“And that’s not ever gonna happen again.”
Wilson, a Team Quest fighter with solid kickboxing, is coming off of a loss too, but according to Pyle he’s still a “great challenge.”
“I plan on giving him hell in any area that it takes and I’m sure he’s gonna do the same,” he said. “I’m sure its gonna make for a great fight.”
“This fight right here is for me to test myself against UFC-caliber fighters and prove to myself that I do belong in there,” said Pyle.