In a battle between two hardened mixed martial arts (MMA) veterans with a ton of fights and experience between them, Mike Pyle and Josh Neer was expected to deliver fireworks on the UFC on FX 3 televised main card that emanated from the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., last night (June 8, 2012).
The Welterweight scrap did indeed deliver, unfolding in three starkly different phases, each transition a stunning turn of events.
After some tentative feeling-out on the feet, Pyle snatched a takedown off a right hand, where he then spent a long couple minutes in top position. Unable to definitely pass guard and secure side control, or half-guard, Pyle attempted a variety of techniques that couldn't quite seal the deal, with Neer consistently returning him back to guard, often using the butterfly variant, to boot.
However, "Quicksand" would not be denied his fifth win in his six most recent tries inside the Octagon.
Follow me after the jump for our Mike Pyle vs. Josh Neer UFC on FX 3 post-fight review and analysis:Pyle, cognizant of the need to score points during this seeming stalemate, dropped the occasional sneak shot in to set the tone -- if he was unable to secure a definitive position, he at least seemed content to rack up a few points for the trouble.
Then, after Neer managed to work back to the feet, the bout took a startling turn. Pyle lost his footing and staggered back against the cage, even though he hadn't been hit; it appeared a possible knee injury had occurred, given his unsteady gait. Neer responded like the grizzled vet that he is, landing some big body shots as Pyle virtually froze against the cage, unable to unleash offensive in return. Neer then stepped up the pressure, delivering strong elbows and more punches, as Pyle scrambled to regain his bearings.
As Neer stepped in off a jab -- at which point he dropped his left hand to deliver an uppercut -- Pyle unleashed a booming right cross that crumpled him. Fight over. Just like that, Pyle had gone from looking like a tasered zombie to the winner in a one-shot knockout.
Both men have had modest success in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), consistently limited when they jump up to the world-class level. Their reliability in delivering an honest fight is the reason they are often used as measuring sticks for rising prospects.
Since getting blitzed in one round by Rory MacDonald, Pyle now has two victories in a row. After his shocking knockout loss to Martin Kampmann last week, you know Jake Ellenberger would like a tough fight to redeem himself. Pyle would certainly be willing. As for Neer, he's probably better at 155 pounds, even though the weight cut is a stretch given his frame. If he stays at 170 pounds, a match with Dan Hardy would be a can't-miss action scrap.