This Saturday, UFC 120 will take place in London. On the main card will be a welterweight fight between undefeated John Hathaway and 27 fight veteran Mike Pyle. Here is a look at what Hathaway must do to defeat Pyle.
The first thing is that we need to see Hathaway perform at least at the same level as he did against Diego Sanchez. In the Sanchez fight, Hathaway came out of the gate fast and kept the pressure on Sanchez the entire fight putting on a phenomenal performance. If he has the same intensity in the Pyle fight, Hathaway will be able to walk away with the victory.
The second key to a Hathaway victory is not overlooking Pyle. Pyle is a veteran fighter, and though many view him as a step down in competition, he is not a fighter to overlook. This fight could be a trap fight for Hathaway since many consider Pyle a step down in competition. If Hathaway overlooks Pyle and looks ahead to what a win over Pyle could lead to, such as a number one contenders fight, Pyle could pull the upset. Hathaway needs to focus on picking up a fifth straight win and beating Mike Pyle while ignoring the hype.
The third key is to avoid the takedown. If the fight goes to the ground, Hathaway is in Pyle's world. Pyle is a grappler and has 17 of his 19 wins by submission. Hathaway did a good job of keeping the fight on the feet against Sanchez, with a good sprawl and being able to quickly scramble and get back to his feet after being taken down. If he keeps the fight on the feet, he can pick Pyle apart with his reach and superior striking skills as he did with Sanchez.
If Hathaway brings the same intensity as he did against Sanchez, is focused on the fight in front of him and not the future and keeps the fight standing, he should see his hand raised at the end of the night. If he can finish Pyle in exciting fashion after three straight decisions, his stock could skyrocket.