Joe Pyfer’s stock has risen every single time he has entered the octagon thus far and ‘Bodybagz’ believes a victory against Jack Hermansson at UFC Vegas 86 could shoot him into the stratosphere as one of the big names in the sport.
Pyfer and Hermansson will face each other this Saturday (February 10th) at the UFC Apex, Las Vegas as Hermansson makes his long awaited return after over a year out and Pyfer enters his 4th UFC contest in less than a year and a half.
It is a rarity for an athlete to be given his first main event just four fights into their UFC tenure but this is exactly the place in which Pyfer finds himself in. The 27-year-old is trying to enjoy the opportunities he has been presented with so far and is extremely grateful to the team that have helped him get there. He said:
“I mean look, I think I am good on the mic, I think I am good doing my job, I think I am good on these interviews. I don’t really care to do them necessarily, like I wouldn’t go out of my way to do them but you know it is part of my job and I could be working a 9-5 that I know I would get fired from so yeah I am appreciative, I am thankful to be here and again, I am thankful for my whole team being out here and you know, that’s what’s most important. I get to bring the people that I chose to call family and I am taking it in as much as I can without being distracted.”
Pyfer has proved time and time again that he has serious power in his hands, stopping 8 of the 12 opponents he’s beaten by KO/TKO. Not only does the Middleweight believe his force will be too much for Hermansson but his speed will be too much for the 31-fight veteran.
“I think I knock Jack out.
“I mean, he has got a 29% takedown accuracy, I’ve watched all of his videos extensively. He is very desperate with a lot of his takedowns and I think they are very slow. I think what you guys are going to realise is that there is a big speed differential between me and Jack, there is a big boxing differential between me and Jack. We can have all these plans all we want but when you get in there and feel somebody’s presence and you feel their intention, and you can see that look in their face that they are trying to hurt you, I think sometimes it can either make or break somebody that you’re fighting. I want to hurt him and I am ready to bang for 25 minutes so let’s go brother, let’s rumble.”
A big win against ‘The Joker’ could very well see ‘Bodybagz’ enter the top 10 of the Middleweight division. Although unperturbed by the rankings, the opportunity to solidify himself in the upper echelons of the division, a place where he believes he belongs, would mean a great deal.
"On the outside, it puts me in the top 15 right? I don’t personally care about where I am ranked but from my life and where I have come from yet again, and the odds that I have defied, it puts me right where I’ve always believed I belong and that is amongst the best. I don’t think Jack is the best and it is going to be a milestone marker for the people that have also sat here and said experience this, experience that. I started Jiu Jitsu at four and a half years old, I started competing at five years old in Jiu Jitsu tournaments, this is my whole life. When I tell you that I could not be successful at anything else, other than this sport, I truly mean that. This is my plan A and that’s all I have. Jack, 35 years old, he’s been out a year, he got TKO’d by Roman Dolidze who I think had a boring fight. You know, I think roman is tough but I don’t know, I might be overlooking the guy in some people’s eyes but I just don't see him being able to hurt me.
UFC Vegas 86 goes down the same weekend as Super Bowl LVIII, one of the biggest weekends in American sport. Pyfer admitted he is not bothered by the game but does realise what a victory could do to his status on such a big weekend for sport, he said:
“I care about my fight night, I don’t care about Super Bowl, I don’t care about Super Bowl weekend, I care about how many eyes are going to see it, that’s what I care about. Look, I can lose this fight, I have talked a lot of sh*t, that I believe (to be) true, but outside people always call talking sh*t if you’re confident or arrogant or whatever the case is but I believe with a demolition or dismantling of Jack on Saturday, I have pending super star status. I have the name, I have the receding hairline, I’ve got the punching power and yeah, I am ready to rock. I am very excited.”
Watch the full pre-fight media day interview, here: