LAS VEGAS -- Coming off a loss, and with $48,000 to show/$48,000 to win in his contract, Mike Pyle must have felt like he had to win at UFC 170 in order to keep from getting cut.
Maybe that's why he showed such urgency against T.J. Waldburger in a welterweight fight Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Refusing to leave it to the judges, Pyle poured it on against the tough Texan in the third round before finally getting the stoppage win.
In the opening round, Waldburger and Pyle went back and forth both in the standup and on the ground, but Pyle was a little faster and a little slicker.
Pyle took control of the fight in the second round, bloodying Waldberger with a varied mix of knees and punches and once again outfoxing him on the ground.
In the third round, Pyle landed a nasty spinning back elbow. While Waldburger survived that, a huge right hand led to a nasty finishing sequence of elbows and punches to the grounded Waldburger.
Pyle was asked afterwards whether referee Herb Dean stopped the fight too late.
"He took a good hard luck," said Pyle (26-9-1), who scored the 22nd stoppage win of his career. "But T.J. was trying to get out of there."
Waldburger (16-9) lost for the third time in four fights.
"He was tough, he was taking shots, I expected a battle," Pyle said. "We prepared for him fully, there were no surprises out there."