Are you ready to accept Mike Pyle as your 170-pound prospect killer?
Sure, he understands why the promoters would do such a thing. Superstars are essential to the sport and its way of doing business and the best time to build them up is when they're young.
A typical way of doing this is to put them opposite veterans of the sport whose skills are fading and are thought to be past their prime. Easy pickings, you see, from men with established names.
Pyle understands this but he refuses to let himself be the guy the up-and-comers get over on.
In his own blog post at ESPN, he details why it was a bad idea to put Hathaway against him and why it's a bad idea to do the same to MacDonald:
So, it comes as no surprise to learn that a lot of people are backing this kid Rory MacDonald to defeat me on Aug. 6 at UFC 133. I'm sorry, but I'm not letting a kid who still gets ID'd stand in my way of getting a welterweight title shot. A lot of these kids get a lot of hype built around them and they receive a lot of praise through potential rather than any real achievement. John Hathaway was the same, just before I beat him at UFC 120 in October. ... When Hathaway tried grabbing a hold of me in the first round, the kid grabbed on to a grown man and ended up getting his ass whooped. He finally knew what he was getting into as soon as he felt my man strength in that first minute. Suddenly he wasn't messing about in the paddling pool no more.
The UFC like to build stars and they like to invest a lot of time and effort in these young kids coming through. It makes sense and I get it. What I don't understand, though, is why anybody would think the likes of Hathaway or MacDonald can use ME as a stepping stone to the next level. That will never happen in a million years. I am not the guy you want to face if you're carrying that kind of hype and expectancy with you.
Let's be honest, I was winning fights when Hathaway and MacDonald were rushing home from junior high to play with their Pokemon.
Regardless of age, I feel that I'm a much better fighter than MacDonald right now, and I'll prove that on the night. MacDonald will be in there with a bigger, stronger and more experienced fighter and he won't know what to do. I'm going to break him ...
Hathaway went into his clash against Pyle after dismantling a bloated Diego Sanchez. However troubled "The Dream" may have been at that time was irrelevant. It was the biggest and most impressive win of "The Hitman's" career.
And that's why he was inserted as the favorite to run through "Quicksand," which, of course, he didn't.
He rag-dolled Diaz, throwing him around the cage like his own personal plaything. It was a rather nice coming out party for the 22-year-old prospect.
Now it's his turn to try to run through the "Quicksand."
But will he get caught up like Hathaway did before him? Is Pyle right that these "kids" shouldn't be trying to use him as a stepping stone to bigger and better things?
Sound off, Maniacs.