Thursday, July 14, 2011
Mike Pyle in his own words
By Mike Pyle Special to ESPN.com
Going strong: At 35, Mike Pyle is now just finding his stride in the Octagon.
In this ESPN.com blog, welterweight Mike Pyle discusses training, his upcoming UFC 133 bout with Rory MacDonald and why he has a knack for upending up-and-comers.
Everything is going just fine in camp right now and I'm right on schedule with where I want to be. You never like to take things for granted at any stage of camp, but it's fair to say I'm very happy with my progress at this moment in time. As I write this first blog, I feel like an unstoppable machine.
I've been doing martial arts for more than half my life now and training and competing are two things I am almost programmed to do. I don't know what I would do with my days if I didn't have to train. Fighting is what I do, and it's the reason I get up in the morning. I've never been happier to be a fighter than I am now at 35 years of age.
You simply don't have to motivate a guy like me. I don't need motivation to train and I don't need motivation to fight. I'd be doing this thing even if there wasn't a great outlet like the UFC to do it in. Fighting is in my DNA.
I've been training for this fight against Rory MacDonald at UFC 133 pretty much since my last win over Ricardo Almeida back in March. I took a little time off after that victory to go fishing, but, as soon as I got back on dry land, I was in the gym and raring to go. I ticked over for a few weeks, kept in good shape, and then got this great opportunity and against MacDonald.
Looking back at my last performance, I would have loved to have gotten a finish against Almeida. There were a couple of times when I nailed him with good shots and probably should have knocked him out. All credit to him, though -- he showed some toughness and spirit in there. Overall, I went in and did the job I needed to do against a guy like Ricardo. I executed the game plan we had worked on in training and did so with minimum fuss. Whenever you dominate a fight the way I did, you've got to be happy with things.
I believe I am at the peak of my career right now. I have never felt better physically and have never been stronger mentally. There are a lot of other guys my age that were great in the past but are now struggling to find their past form in 2011. It's starting to trickle away from them and years of hard grind are catching up a bit.
Thankfully, I am not experiencing any of that and am, in fact, going through the reverse. I am only entering my prime now, at 35 years of age. I'm still figuring out how to be the best fighter I can be, whereas a lot of the guys my age have already been there and done that and are now coming back down the other side mountain. It's a nice position to be in.
I believe the reason I am now enjoying my best years is simply because I am being forced to get better on a daily basis. The challenges that the UFC present you with are so substantial that you must move with the times or else you will get left behind. I know I need to work harder and become better than I was 10 years ago, otherwise I'll be kicked out of the best organization in the world. In many ways, the UFC have made me the best fighter I can be.
In order to survive and compete, we must grow stronger as individuals, and that is what I am trying to do, even now at this advanced stage of my career. Unlike a lot of my legendary peers, I am still trying to make my way in this sport and am still aspiring to achieve my goals. I am not yet content with where my career has taken me. I still have plenty left to achieve and still have sights on that UFC welterweight title. I'm not doing this thing to get on television. I want to fight Georges St. Pierre, I want to become world champion and I won't let some 21-year-old kid named Rory MacDonald stand in my way of doing both …
Follow Mike Pyle on Twitter @Mike_Pyle.