Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Who Should You Know? - Mike Pyle (MMA: Edition One)

By: Frank Sanchez - BleacherReport.com

In my very first edition of 'Who You Should Know in MMA', I introduce to you Mike Pyle. The reason Mike Pyle was my first choice is simple. The headline fight this weekend is between UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre and contender Jon Fitch. GSP is 16-2 with his only losses being to Matt Serra and Matt Hughes. Highlighting them made no sense. If you take a look at Jon Fitch, who is 19-2, his two losses are to Wilson Gouveia and my first editions featured fighter, Mike Pyle.

Mike Pyle, 31, is anything but a fresh face in the sport of MMA. He has been fighting since 1999 and suffered a loss in his first fight, which was versus Quentin “Rampage” Jackson. As a student of Randy “The Natural” Couture’s camp, Xtreme Couture, Pyle has earned the nickname of “Quicksand” due to his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques that have helped him amass many submission victories. With 14 submissions and two TKOs in 17 wins to his credit, Pyle has proven to be an exciting fighter.

With a record of 17-5-1, one can plainly see the Pyle has shown the skills it takes to be successful in the sport. After his initial loss to Jackson, Pyle went on to introduce the way of MMA to UFC championship contender Jon Fitch in Fitch’s first fight, taking out the young Fitch via rear naked choke.

Fitch and Pyle, both 20 fights deep, would probably have a bit of a different fight than they did all those years ago when the fighters had a combined three fights between them. However, a victory over Fitch, even if early on in their careers, may bode well for Pyle if he were to ever make his break into the UFC. He did, however, compete in WEC on two different occasions in 2005-2006 where he submitted another veteran in “Mr. International” Shonie Carter.

Pyle, in his last five fights dating back to February of 2007 is 4-1 over other successful talent. JJ Ambrose was 8-1 before his loss to Pyle at Affliction: Banned via Rear Naked Choke. Dan Hornbuckle was 15-1 when he lost to Pyle at Sengoku: Second battle via Triangle Choke.

Damir “Wolf” Mirenic was 8-3 before his loss to Pyle via Kimura at HCF(Hardcore Championship Fighting): Destiny. Aaron “Slam” Witherspoon, the King of the Cage Welterweight Champion, was 6-1 before losing to Pyle at EliteXC/Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Baroni.

His loss in the last five fights was to EliteXC Welterweight Champion and the #3 Welterweight in the world Jake Shields at EliteXC: Renegade. Pyle has made a living of giving young up and comers a loss as of late and has made a habit of finishing fights. Other than the unanimous decision victory over Wetherspoon, Pyle has only gone to decision on one other occasion in his 23 fights, a Draw to Andrei Semenov in 2003.

Pyle may have yet to make his mark in the giant known as the UFC, but he has surely made his mark on MMA and is a tough match for anyone, newcomer or veteran. Even only with two key victories in Fitch and Carter, Pyle, with time, should prove to add several more and maybe even break into the Welterweight Divisions elite.

You don’t have to wait too long to see him in action again either, he is rumored to be on the 2nd Affliction card on October 11th and with any luck, it will be versus another big name available for the show, such as Nick Thompson or David Baron.

One thing can be sure, no matter the opponent, a fight with Mike Pyle has always been worth watching.



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