Joe Pyfer: From Unranked To UFC Contender

Joe Pyfer: From Unranked To UFC Contender

Be Joe Pyfer was a saying coined by UFC President Dana White himself after Joe came back from a devastating injury and showed the world that he’s nothing to mess with. Now, he’s headlining a UFC card while currently unranked. 

Joe Pyfer Next Fight To Headline UFC Vegas 86

Joe “BodyBagz” Pyfer has an appropriate nickname after knocking his opponents out left and right. 12-2 in his professional MMA career, the Pennsylvania native has been on a role with an impressive five fight win streak, all by finish. Starting his pro career in 2018, Pyfer went 6-0 before being handed his first loss on the regional scene by submission. But, Joe didn’t get discouraged. He bounced back with an early TKO win just three months later and it landed him a shot at glory. 

In August of 2020, Joe Pyfer got the opportunity of a lifetime when he stepped foot in the UFC Apex to compete for Dana White’s Contender Series, trying to earn a contract to the UFC. But, with the highest highs, come the lowest lows. In the first round of his contender series fight against Dustin Stoltzfus, Joe was taken down to the mat, but this was no regular takedown. Joe tried to block the slam, but his arm got caught and snapped right in half. The fight was done just as fast as it started. Dreams crushed. 

The referee had no choice but to end the fight. Both Joe and Dustin were disappointed and it felt like what they’ve been working so hard for was ripped away in seconds. For Joe, this was just the beginning of a disastrous spiral. Pyfer has went on record to say that the broken arm caused various issues mentally for him, as he couldn’t train, he couldn’t fight, so there was no income. He was homeless and sleeping on couches wherever he could. He said it felt like his career was shattered in an instant.

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Heartbreak isn’t permanent, though. Joe was determined to get back to where he was supposed to be. After being cleared to compete again, Joe went right back on the regional scene and in December of 2021, he scored a big knockout win under the CFFC banner. This gave UFC no choice but to give Joe another chance at glory. So, in July of 2022, Pyfer had one more chance as he was called back to Contender Series once again. This time, he didn’t disappoint. Joe Pyfer scored a devastating second round knockout and earned a contract to the UFC. 

Following the win, Dana White himself went on the microphone to say; “If you want to get into the UFC and this is where you want to be, act like Joe Pyfer. Be Joe Pyfer. Be excited to be here, be fired up to fight, try to finish the fight, try to win. Be Joe Pyfer and you will get into the UFC.” 

Since the phrase “Be Joe Pyfer” was coined, and Joe made it into the UFC, he hasn’t let Dana or the UFC down. He won his official UFC debut in September 2022 by first round TKO and has continued his winning ways since with two more finishes as an official UFC roster member. But now, the tests get tougher and the spotlight is so much bigger. 

Joe Pyfer is walking into his first UFC main event Saturday night as an unranked middleweight, taking on the #11 ranked Jack Hermansson, who’s faced a who’s who of the divisions best. Hermansson has the experience edge by miles and has main evented multiple times since his debut in 2016. Now, all the pressure is on Joe. Unranked, unbeaten in the UFC, and looking to prove that he is the next big problem in the middleweight division. 

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His takedowns are effortless, his submission game is up to par, and if this week was any indication, he hits like a truck. Ahead of this weeks UFC media scrums, word got around that Joe Pyfer hit the punching meter at the UFC performance institute, where they track which fighter has the hardest punch. Francis Ngannou, the heavyweight predator, previously held the record in what seemingly would never be broken. But, Joe Pyfer beat the record. Fans and media alike doubted the reality of this situation. 

Could Joe Pyfer really hit harder than Ngannou? Pyfer didn’t take kindly to this as he said he knows he hits harder, and if he has to prove it, then he will. Just another chip added onto the shoulder of a man that has the weight of the world on his back heading into his biggest battle yet. But this time, “BodyBagz” isn’t just a nickname, he’s looking to send Hermansson away in one. 

Will we see a new Middleweight contender arise this Saturday night at UFC Vegas 86? Tune in on ESPN+ starting at 4PM ET to see if he can really be Joe Pyfer, the next big thing. 

From: Brady Alexander

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