LAS VEGAS -- Mike Pyle had quietly put together one of the best stretches of any UFC welterweight, winning six of seven heading into UFC 160. That run included three straight first-round knockouts.
His Saturday night nearly saw him victimized by first-round knockout, but instead, Pyle rallied and pulled out a close, controversial split-decision, earning the nod 29-28, 29-28, 28-29.
Story almost got an early finish. Past the midway point of the first round, he moved forward with a running combination, and the tail end of it caught Pyle flush with a straight left hand. Pyle fell backwards against the fence, and Story swarmed, pouring it on in hopes of finishing the veteran. Story throw a barrage of strikes from the top but Pyle showed his experience by covering up and defending just well enough to keep the fight from being stopped.
In the second, Story controlled most of the action on an early takedown, and though Pyle threatened with a kimura from the bottom, Story kept the action grounded for nearly the entire five minutes. The round was the key when it came to the judges' scoring, as Pyle spent a large portion of the action on his back.
In the third, he came roaring back, brutalizing Story with elbows that busted him open. Pyle also threatened with an arm bar late, sealing the round, and the win.
Pyle's victory was his fourth straight overall, and the 25th of his pro career, against eight losses and one draw. Story is now 15-7.