It’s long been said about Mike Pyle by his coaches and training partners at Xtreme Couture that he’s one of the best fighters in the gym, but often has a hard time putting it all together inside the Octagon.
After putting together a solid three-fight winning streak, Pyle was beginning to look like he was hitting his stride. In pre-fight interviews leading up to his UFC 133 battle against talented young gun Rory MacDonald, Pyle repeatedly said that he was coming into his own and would not be stopped by anyone in his quest for the belt.
Then he got in the cage with MacDonald, who had a different idea about things. Pyle took the fight to MacDonald and put him on his back more than once, but the 22-year-old Canadian hung tough and turned things around quickly. When all was said and done, Pyle was left face-first on the mat and MacDonald had taken home his twelfth career win. Pyle’s boxing coach at Xtreme Couture, Gil Martinez, recently posted a blog about where things went wrong for the supremely talented veteran.
“Mike was very prepared and looked great in camp leading up to Saturday. Mike lost, but there is no shame in losing to a guy like Rory MacDonald. MacDonald is a very tough and super talented,” Martinez told Fighters.com. “People were talking about age going into this fight, but at this level age means almost nothing -– it is just a number. There are some guys in their 30s who are super talented and some guys like Rory who are super talented in their early 20s. A guy like him has been doing MMA for so long that his MMA age is actually very experienced. For Mike to lose to Rory, there is no shame whatsoever. Rory is hungry and destined for greatness. He will be in the top 5 if he isn’t already and he has stopped something like the last 9 of 10 guys he has beaten. If Mike had lost to a guy who isn’t a top fighter, then I wouldn’t be saying these things. But Rory will be a superstar.”