Always one to be up for a fight, circumstances surrounding welterweight up-and-comer Pat Pytlik’s first bout of 2018 were a bit different than those prior to it.
Not only was Pytlik coming in against veteran Derek Boyle at Unified MMA in May on short notice, he was doing so with a heavy heart following a personal tragedy.
“Someone really close to me died, so I needed something to focus on,” Pytlik told MMAWeekly.com. “When I had the opportunity to fight Derek, I jumped on it. I caught him pretty early in the fight. I knew I had him hurt and I just finished him.
“It was a struggle, actually. It was hard to keep my head straight. I was kind of fighting emotionally. Even when I was warming up I was expending more energy than I probably should have, but I took care of it. I’m glad it worked out.”
While on paper, Pytlik’s MMA record is dwarfed by someone like Boyle, who has over 20 fights to his credit, what may seem like an experience gap isn’t actually one at all.
“I only have six fights in MMA, but I have 39 fights as a kickboxer, so these guys that have all this experience doesn’t matter to me,” said Pytlik.
“Whereas some guys might get psyched out by that, I’m very comfortable because I have a lot of fights and a lot of experience. It means nothing to me how many fights they have.”
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On Friday in Enoch, Alberta, Canada, Pytlik (6-0) will challenge for his first major MMA title when he faces Vyron Phillips (7-4-1) in the Unified MMA 34 welterweight championship co-main event.
“He’s a pretty good striker and has a solid stand-up game, so it’s going to be my skills against his,” Pytlik said of Phillips. “It’s going to be a perfect fight for both of us.”
Should Pytlik capture the Unified championship, he feels it could be a very important step towards making his main goal a reality in the coming year.
“I’d hopefully like to get to the UFC and get to the big stage,” said Pytlik. “We’ll see what happens. For right now I’m focused on this, and we’ll go from there.”