UFC welterweight Mike Pyle has won four straight bouts in the Octagon, but ask fans if they know the name and most will respond with head scratching.
Pyle spoke to Sherdog about flying under the radar and vented some frustration with not being a well-known name.
What do I have to do? Do I have to do a circus act in the postfight interview? Do I have to [ride] around on a little tricycle and juggle? What the hell do I have to do? It’s fine. Because a lot of people are asking me, ‘Well, don’t you think this should get you a bit more recognition?’ … Well, obviously everyone else seems to think so other than the UFC. Now after this fight, something very well could be cooking. Not 100-percent sure.
Pyle stopped short of throwing the UFC under the bus and later said in the article that he does realize the UFC cares about his career.
He does have a right to be upset seeing has how he had won three straight in the UFC (all KO/TKO finishes) before facing Rick Story, who was a meager 2-3 in his last five bouts prior to UFC 160. But that only came about due to Story's original opponent, Gunnar Nelson, being forced off the card due to injury.
Nelson is one of the top prospects in MMA and had Pyle defeated him, Pyle surely would've enjoyed a nice boost in notoriety. However, the injury bug ruined any chances of that and now Pyle sports a split-decision victory over a guy who has a spotty track record over the past few years.
I know Pyle expects to face some stiffer competition, and after winning four straight, he should. But he should also realize the UFC isn't likely to back a 37-year-old fighter as a credible title challenger. He's lost every time he's faced elite-level competition outside of a submission victory over Jon Fitch back in 2002.
Pyle's doing his part by winning and should be facing tougher guys than Story, but a split decision and a spotty history against top guys isn't doing him any favors right now.