UFC on FX preview: Pyle vs. Neer
Mike Pyle (22-8) vs. Josh Neer (33-10)
In another fan-friendly welterweight affair, two well-traveled veterans will lock horns in an attempt to carve out their niche in the increasingly deep 170-pound category.
The 36-year-old Pyle, a longtime representative of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, has won four of his last five bouts, including decisions over John Hathaway and Ricardo Almeida. Most recently, Pyle made short work of Ricardo Funch at UFC 142 in January.
A Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, the Tennessee native is in the prime of his career. Pyle is finally putting all the elements of his repertoire together, utilizing wrestling, vastly improved muay thai and an always dangerous arsenal of submissions.
The 29-year-old Neer is undefeated since moving to the welterweight division. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt himself, Neer showcased his submission wizardry this past January, choking out muay thai specialist Duane Ludwig.
The Iowa-based Miletich Fighting Systems product put on an electrifying elbow clinic in his UFC return last October, dissecting Keith Wisniewski with a vicious barrage of sharp standing elbows.
With 44 professional fights under his belt, Neer has faced some of the most seasoned fighters in the sport, including both Diaz brothers, Bellator standout Eddie Alvarez and UFC contenders Melvin Guillard, Mac Danzig and Gleison Tibau.
If this fight remains upright, we should be treated to an evenly matched display of striking between two hungry veterans. Once the fight spills to the canvas, however, Pyle's superior submission skills should stand out.
Neer is as durable as they come, but Pyle's ability to isolate limbs and sink in submissions is second to none. If he can patiently pick his spots, he could find an opening for a fight-ending choke late in the fray.
Verdict: Pyle via Submission, Round 3