Wednesday, July 09, 2008

theMMAcraze Exclusive: Mike Pyle "I'll Exploit His Face"

By Brian Holt, theMMAcraze

Mike Pyle (16-5-1) has had an interesting MMA career to say the least. Having fought in various organizations, weight classes and countries, there probably aren't many things he hasn't seen in the world of mixed martial arts. Currently Mike is in the midst of preparing for a bout with JJ Ambrose on the Affliction: Banned card. He was kind enough to give theMMAcraze a few minutes of his time to discuss his career, his upcoming fight and what it's like working with the fighter of Xtreme Couture on an everyday basis.

theMMAcraze: Your nickname is Quicksand, where did that come from?

Pyle: The harder that you fight against me the quicker you're going to sink, like quicksand. It's something that just kind of came about in the gym.

theMMAcraze: How did you get started in MMA?

Pyle: I got started in martial arts when I was 18 with Tae Kwon Do, got jiu jitsu video tapes and started training myself. From there I got a couple amateur fights and enjoyed it so I started pursuing professional fights and here I am.

theMMAcraze: I know you spent quite a bit of time teaching in Denmark and fighting in Europe. Can you tell me how that experience was?

Pyle: My time in Europe was great. I got to learn a different culture and a different style of fighting. It was a real eye opener, fighting some really tough guys. It was a great experience and I wouldn't change it for the world. I trained at Mikenta Thai Boxing Gym and was learning a lot and ended up going back and forth between there and the U.S. for a couple years. I was able to get fights in Lithuania, Russia and Denmark and got to visit a lot of places. It was fun.

theMMAcraze: How did you go from training and fighting in Europe to being at Xtreme Couture?

Pyle: I helped start Xtreme Couture, we were actually all training together for about a year and a half before that gym existed. I moved back from Europe to Las Vegas with a suitcase and a little bit of money and started training at John Lewis' school J-Sec. Some of the guys that were real fighters and wanted to be fighters trickled in and we started getting together to compete. It was me, Randy Couture, Jay Hieron, Forrest Griffin, Frank Trigg...we all kind of started coming in and training together. Then more people started coming like Alex Schoenauer, Gray Maynard, and Tyson Griffin all started coming. Randy decided that instead of jumping from gym to gym he would just start a gym so we had everything we needed in one place and here we are. The only difference is that now it has a name.

theMMAcraze: The guys you just mentioned are an incredible group of fighters to have in one gym.

Pyle: That's just half of them, those were some of the original guys that got it started. Now we've got Vitor Belfort, Stephan Bonner, Robert Drysdale, Wanderlei Silva.....

theMMAcraze: With that group of fighter is there anyone you would say is the toughest to spar or the one guy you work with the most to improve your skills?

Pyle: That's the thing, a lot of these fighters come from gyms where they were the big fish in the pond, but at this gym we don't have that. Every time you turn around you've got a dude standing in front of you that will kick the shit out of you. Either with stand up or wrestle the shit out of you and pound you when you get on the ground. The skill of the fighter is phenomenal. They're all big fish in this pond. You've got to compete with all of them.

theMMAcraze: You recently had a fight with Dan Hornbuckle at Sengoku. Was that your first fight in Japan? How was the experience?

Pyle: Yes it was my first fight in Japan. I loved it. The Japanese culture was great. They respect fighters and are educated on the techniques. It was a great time and I can't wait to go back.

theMMAcraze: Your next fight is coming up for Affliction on the 19th with JJ Ambrose. He's a 9-1 fighter, have you had a chance to learn much about him?

Pyle: I don't know so much about the guy, but I do know that I'm going to kick the living shit out of him. I don't think he's got enough experience and I don't think he trains with the caliber of guys I do so I don't think he's going to be able to confront me with anything threatening other than punching. I'm used to that, it's no big deal. My plan is the same as with anybody, go in there and wreck that guy. Come out without getting hurt so I can take a fight whenever I need to.

theMMAcraze: How has your training camp been going?

Pyle: It's been phenomenal.

theMMAcraze: There's been a lot of talk about the amount of money Affliction is spending on this card. What are your thoughts on how they are entering the sport?

Pyle: Well, you're going to have haters whatever you do. From a fighters perspective it's great that they are spending the money. It's up to the public to decide if they are going to be around. It's not up to the pencil pushers, it's up to the hard core fans. Which we are developing more and more every day. This sport's becoming main stream and certain organizations are not going to be able to monopolize everything for much longer.

theMMAcraze: Back to your fight with JJ. Do you have any predictions o how you see the fight ending? Do you see anything you think you could exploit with him?

Pyle: His face. I'll exploit his face. It's a fight, you never know what will happen. I'm going for the win, how I get it doesn't concern me. If it comes by knockout then it comes by knockout. If I have to choke his ass out I will. Whatever it takes. If I have to pound this guy into submission I will win this fight and I will beat JJ Ambrose.

theMMAcraze: In going back through your past fights, you have a win over Jon Fitch. Now he's getting ready for a title shot against Georges St. Pierre in the UFC. Do you ever wonder what could have been when you see things like that?

Pyle: Not really. The only thing I can say is congratulations to him. I can't really think about what could have been. He and I fought, the facts are I beat him. Now he's getting a title shot in the UFC. I've never fought in the UFC and I don't really care. It's all in the past.

theMMAcraze: You were the title holder in the WEC when you left the organization. Can you tell us what the circumstances were that led to you vacating the title?

Pyle: No circumstances. It just came down to money. I got paid better money. I'm not doing this so I can be on tv. I don't give a shit about that. I work extremely hard with some of the top guys in the world. They're beating my ass up...I want to get paid. Everyone trys to make it out like we're just in it for the money, well why does anyone do their job. Why do people go to college to further their make more money. It's not cool that I would drive around in a Honda Passport while the guys that I'm fighting are driving around in a fucking Ferrari. That shits got to change and it is, it is changing.

theMMAcraze: Is there anyone you would like to thank or any final comments you would like to share?

Pyle: I'd like to thank Xtreme Couture for giving me a place to train and all the guys for helping me get ready for my fight.

theMMAcraze: Thanks for your time Mike and best of luck in your fight with JJ Ambrose.



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