I understand you’re an avid outdoorsman. What’s your pleasure?
I love to fly fish. I’m going before I get into my training camp for my fight with Ricardo Almeida in March.
Is fly fishing a ritual for you?
It helps put me in a certain mindset. It’s been a tradition of mine for the last two years. Even during my camp, on Sundays, I’ll go fly fishing and just chill. It just kind of fell into a hobby.
As a decade-plus veteran, what have been the most significant changes you’ve seen in MMA?
The public’s education as far as learning about fighters, learning what MMA is about, and fighters getting respect as true athletes.
Where would you be without MMA?
I would probably still be a machinist, working in a dirty old machine shop in Sharon, Tennessee. There’s nothing wrong with being a dirty old machinist, working a 40-hour week, but it’s just not for me. I don’t have to punch a time card. I get to punch someone’s face.
There are a lot of tough guys training with you at Xtreme Couture. Who’s the guy you least like to spar with?
I never look forward to sparring with any of those cats. That’s my answer to that one. Those guys are hell.
Describe what it sounds like when Ray “Sugarfoot” Sefo kicks a pad.
Do you know what an atomic bomb sounds like?
What has being in Las Vegas done for your career?
Vegas is the fight capital, you gotta be here. It was the best move I ever made. All I had to my name was a big suitcase when I came here on September 7, 2004.
Is it pretty surreal looking back to that move in relation to where you are now?
It’s inspiring. I’ve always been inspired to do something with my life. Even when I was a machinist, I took pride in doing that the best that I could, being the most precise and accurate that I could be. I accomplished that. The more I trained martial arts and MMA, the better I became, and I decided to keep doing it.
How did you get the nickname “Quicksand?”
I was training in the gym with some guys that just struggled and struggled to getaway from me. The harder they tried, the worse off they’d get. It’s like being stuck in quicksand.
You were in Universal Solider with Jean-Claude Van Damme. What has the movie making experience been like?
It’s fun. I got to sit down with Van Damme in his trailer, listen to his stories. I just worked on a couple of other movies. I’m in a movie with Jason Statham called Safe. I just worked on Men in Black 3 with Will Smith. So I got to meet a lot of interesting people.
Does Randy Couture give you any tips on acting in Hollywood?
Be humble, man. I’m just a regular country boy trying to get by. I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had.
Any role that you’d like to try?
Westerns—I was just thinking that the other day after watching True Grit. Just take on a good ole Western-type character, who beats the hell out of people and shoots them with a scatter gun.
What food do you miss most during camp?
At The Cracked Egg in Vegas, they’ve got these hash browns that are loaded with butter. They’re so good. That’s the one thing I miss the most.
What do you want people to know about Mike Pyle?
Never underestimate me, that’s for sure. I think I was a little underestimated, thrown to the wolves in that [John] Hathaway fight, which I loved. I was all for that fight. I took it the second it was offered. I’m fighting Ricardo Almeida on March 19, so I plan on doing the same thing—put on a show like I did last time. I look forward to furthering my career with the UFC and making sure that I win every fight in an impressive fashion. That’s the way I want to keep it. Thanks to all my sponsors and teammates who have helped me achieve everything.