Middleweight prospect Joe Pyfer is set to headline his very first UFC Fight Night against No.11-ranked contender Jack Hermansson this weekend at the Apex.
The fight will mark Pyfer’s fourth appearance in the UFC octagon as his steady rise to break into the top 15 of the division continues. Before getting this stage in his career, where he is unbeaten in his first three octagon outings, Pyfer endured a tough upbringing.
Pyfer left home as a teenager after his parents separated. He moved in with his dad, only to be subjected to constant and brutal beatings. Pyfer detailed his experience in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour.
“[I was] 16 years old. [I ran away] ’cause I got beat from the time of about a year old, all the way up until — and I mean beat. I got beat like a grown man; verbally, physically. My four sisters suffered the same thing. One time I got beat up real, real, real bad and, yeah man, I shoved him over a table ’cause he did something, said he was gonna kill me… Shoved him, ran out of the house and never went back.”
“Short version is I ran away from one ’cause I got tired of being beat up in front of his wife and treated like I was just some type of slave and property. Nobody f*****g owns me, so I got tired of that s**t… I was gonna either hurt myself or hurt him. That was the final straw. I got tired of being some trophy he could beat on in front of his new wife.”
Check out Joe Pyfer’s full comments below (14:40):
Dana White helped Joe Pyfer with money to stop him going homeless
Joe Pyfer was the only contender to earn a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series 47 after his win against Ozzy Diaz in what marked his second appearance on the show.
Pyfer divulged his difficult situation to Dana White, revealing that he had no place to live. The UFC CEO promptly helped him with a year’s worth of rent money. After his debut win against Alen Amedovski, Pyfer sought out White to thank him for his help and even defended him during the press conference.
“I told [Shelby] I need to talk to him, because I need to thank him, because he gave me a home for a year. He gave me money on the side of [DWCS]. And, really, that secured me being able to have a place to live for the next year, on the house of Dana. I think the guy gets sh*t on a lot for not being a good dude… He’s my boss, and I want to like him, I want to respect him, and I have all the respect in the world for him.”
Check out Joe Pyfer’s full comments below (3:05):