UFC 170 has been ravaged with injuries, and as a result a previously scheduled preliminary card bout between welterweights Mike Pyle (25-9-1 MMA, 8-4 UFC) and T.J. Waldburger (16-8 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has been bumped to the PPV portion of the show. Both men are coming off of devastating KO losses and are looking to return to winning form tonight.
Pyle is known as a "grinder" willing to look for submissions, but lately he's been a KO machine. Waldburger is always a treat to watch on the ground, but his startling rate of KO losses definitely gives Pyle the advantage on the feet. You can catch the UFC 170 main card live on PPV at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT, with prelims preceding it on UFC Fight Pass at 7 PM ET and Fox Sports 1 at 8 PM ET.
How do these two stack up?
Pyle: 38 years old | 6'1" | 74" reach
Waldburger: 25 years old | 5'11" | 75" reach
How have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Pyle has hung around the welterweight division for several years dating back to his days in the WEC and EliteXC. He's historically never been a true contender, and that rings true today, but at 38 he's added some new wrinkles in his game that make him much more than just a wrestler with submission skills. Pyle strung together 4 straight wins from 2012-2013, with 3 of them coming by KO, including a stunner against the iron-chinned Josh Neer. He gamely stepped up to face Matt Brown in August but was overwhelmed, outstruck, and finished in just 30 seconds.
Waldburger is young but very experienced in the world of MMA, having fought professionally since 2005. Before entering the UFC he faced the likes of Pete Spratt, Josh Neer, Pat Healy, and Brian Foster. His UFC career has been up and down, and his KO loss against Adlan Amagov was scary and violent enough for him to be stretchered out of the cage. Waldburger has lost 6 of his 8 fights by KO or TKO, so that's problematic with Pyle's improved striking, but the grappling and submission skills should be TJ's.
Why should you care?
Neither one of these guys is a title threat, and this was on the prelims for a reason. Pyle has been very entertaining over the past few years, and Waldburger always is, so think of this as just a low level main card bout and not much else.