The guys asked Pyle what he thinks about the skills of his next opponent Gunnar Nelson.
“He’s going to be a little difficult, he’s got somewhat of a Machida style stance but he by no means is as accurate or as deadly as a Machida, you know a karate fighter. He’s got a lot of holes in his game; he’s predominately a lot better on the ground than he is anywhere else in the fight as far as wrestling or as far as striking. I believe I got him in those departments hands down. From what I hear, and this is just what I hear, he’s pretty bad ass at grappling, earned his black belt in four years. We’ll see just how his grappling is; I feel if I don’t want to play that game with him I have the options to control that. He’s on a win streak; I’ve fought plenty of guys that have been on a 10-14-11 win streak and I’m their first loss on their record. I plan on being Gunnar Nelson’s first loss; I plan on finishing him to be honest with you”
Nelson has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and that portion of his skill set is to be feared, but when asking Pyle about it he doesn’t seem too worried about getting taken down.
“From what I’ve seen there was nothing crazy that he did when he fought Demarques Johnson, he just took his back and choked him, and that’s not-and no disrespect to Demarques Johnson – but he wasn’t, he’s not that good. So he took his back and choked him what’s he do? It wasn’t a crazy move, he didn’t so something that was “Oh my god did you see that!” There was nothing Damian Maia-esque, slick like that. He sure, without a doubt, decorated that well in the grappling world is gonna pose a threat. But like I say the only way he’s gonna pose that threat is to get me on the ground, and I predict-I’m going to predict the pace in that fight. And if I don’t want the fight to go to the ground, it ain’t going too. And I guarantee that.”
He made it clear that Nelson’s BJJ pedigree will make no difference in this fight.
“We’re not at the Abu Dhabi, we’re not at the Pan Ams, we’re not going to have our Gis on. I’m going to punch him right in his mouth and I’m going to make him quit.”
Pyle has seen a somewhat resurgence in the last year in his fighting performance. He is 7-3 in his UFC career, with an overall record of 24-8. After losing to Rory MacDonald at UFC 133 he realized that he needed to make a change in coaching, not fight teams, but adding coaches to work with him exclusively.
“The main thing I learned after the MacDonald fight is I need a bit more attention in the coaching area. Make sure I have a bit more focus on me. It’s not really a team sport, but you do train with a team and you support each other that way, but when it comes fight time you really need to have someone, some good eyes on you some good coaching and some guys who are gonna be very attentive to you on a daily basis. When you got 5 or 6 or 7-8 guys which the coaches are trying to bounce around to all day you really don’t get that special attention you need…Unfortunately, as fighters we have to be a little bit selfish with our time and the money that we’re spending on the training we got to be very particular and on point….It was the best change I made in my career, it was the best move. Like I said getting coaches that were there for Mike Pyle’s fight-end of story no one else, and that’s really really helped me refocus pretty much reinvent myself. Now I know I can knock people out, I know I can sub them, I know I can out-wrestle them, I know I can go the distance with them and beat them on decision. I have all the skills that it takes. I just got to prove it and show it, and I feel like I have for the last three fights in 2012.”
Most of Pyle’s victories have come by submission, 16 of his 24 wins, while only having 5 TKO/KO victories. As he much as he enjoys submitting his opponents, he enjoys the KO better.
“I look forward to being in the gym more now, and being with the coaches and them working with me helping me fine tune myself. I’ll tell you right now I really enjoy knocking dudes out I like that, subbing them is cool and all but knocking them out oh I like that.”