T.J. Waldburger will look to rebound from his knockout loss to Adlan Amagov when he meets Mike Pyle in a welterweight contest Feb. 22 at UFC 170.
Ahead of the matchup, Waldburger joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show to discuss his opponent, dealing with losses and more.
On his loss to Amagov: “To me a loss is, if anything, motivating. There’s obviously a hole, and we can’t have holes at this level especially. It’s get in the gym and fix it, fix what needs to be fixed and keeping working hard. We’ve done what we can from what we’ve seen, and so I’m coming into this fight new and improved.”
On which parts of his game need improvement: “I feel like there’s a lot of little things. I know how to strike. I know how to wrestle. I know how to do jiu-jitsu, but it’s through experience, learning the little things like timing and blending them together, hiding your takedowns with your punches -- there’s so much to this art, which is just why I love it so much. It’s really never-ending. … I’ve fought a lot of fights, but I think there’s these little things in my game that at this level, these people with more experience with striking, they’re finding these little holes, which are bigger holes in my standup game. I have to refine that; I have to tighten that up.”
On his first thought when Pyle was mentioned as an opponent: “Yes. Yes. It was that simple.”
On what a win over Pyle would do for him: “When I beat him, it’s going to say a lot. It’s going to say a lot. It’s going to prove to the UFC, it’s going to prove to the world that I am top 20, top 10, one of the best in the world. He’s my next step, and that’s what I have to do.”
On why he matches up well with Pyle: “Just because he’s dangerous everywhere. I’m not looking for an easy one-dimensional fighter or an easy fight. I want a guy who is dangerous in all aspects. He’s a veteran of the sport, so he knows how to blend it right. He knows how to time it right. I’m looking forward to an action-packed fight from standing to clinch, grappling and ground. I think it’s a great match; I think it’s a great fight.”
On whether the fight could warrant a post-fight bonus: “It’s always hopeful, wishful thinking, but I never want to go in there and try to get that knockout or try to get that submission because then I’m forcing it. But Mike is like me; I like to finish fights. I don’t want to go to the decision, so it’s going to be a finish and we’re looking to make it exciting. I can guarantee that as far as my half.” Listen to the full interview (beginning at 2:11:15).