Fighter Spotlight: Joe Pyfer

Fighter Spotlight: Joe Pyfer

Taylor Dow|
October 02, 2023|

Record: 11-2
Born: 1996/09/17 (Age 27)
Weight: 185 lbs (84.8 kg)
Height: 6'2" (188cm)
Reach: 75" (191cm)
Nationality: American
Division: Middleweight
Hometown: Vineland, New Jersey
Fighting out of: Philadelphia, PA
Next Fight: Abdul Razak Alhassan (UFC Fight Night: Dawson vs. Green.)

Early Life

Joseph "Bodybagz" Pyfer began training mixed martial arts at 4 years old when his Father signed him up for classes. Immediately, he claims to have hated fighting. It took the young Pyfer a short while before he developed a love for the sport, and since then, he has never looked back.

Pyfer struggled a lot growing up, from having an abusive relationship with his Father to being kicked out and sleeping in parks; Pyfer has been through hell to get to where he is now. There is an incredible documentary about him named "Journey to the UFC" by Pyfer's long-time friend, Chandler Henry; if you haven't already seen it, we strongly encourage you to give it a look when it's available.

Before joining the UFC, Pyfer worked at Verizon, Piazza Honda, and LA Fitness to make a living; when Dana White found out he was on the brink of being homeless again, Dana was more than happy to help him out.


First Fights

Pyfer finished his amateur career 4-1, with all his wins coming by finish.

Pyfer debuted as a professional in 2018 against Steven Covington; he won the fight via first-round knockout. Pyfer would follow up his debut with a unanimous decision win over Derek Wilson and then a big submission over Lorenzo Hunt to close out 2018; all 3 of these fights came within 5 months. Pyfer would continue with more of the same for 2019, with 3 big finishes in the same year over Eric Roncoroni, Elijah Gbollie, Jr., and Matt Foster for the vacant Ring of Combat Middleweight championship.

In Pyfer's first title defense, he was scheduled to face Doug Usher; however, Usher pulled out on short notice and was replaced by Jhonoven Pati, who scored a comeback victory against Pyfer and took his newly crowned title. The loss above is what Pyfer claims is the only "true" loss of his career; he was winning, got complacent, and ended up getting choked unconscious.

Pyfer would have one final fight in Ring of Combat before his first opportunity on Dana White's Contender Series; this fight came in 2020 against Chase Gamble, who he knocked out in the second round.

Pyfer was awarded a shot on Dana White's Contender Series in 2020 against Dustin Stoltzfus. After a slam in the first round by Stoltzfus, Pyfer landed incorrectly and ended up dislocating his arm and losing the bout. Because of the freak accident, Pyfer would later be offered another shot on the show following one final fight against Austin Trotman at Cage Fury Fighting Championship 104, where he won by knockout in round 2.


Pyfer was booked to fight on the first week of Dana White's Contender Series 2022, which turned out to be an uneventful night for the show, with only one fighter scoring an exciting finish, that fighter: Joe Pyfer. Pyfer's knockout over Ozzy Diaz would lead to Dana White saying one of the most incredible lines in history when he encouraged fighters coming on this show to "be Joe Pyfer."

This big knockout would earn Pyfer a contract to fight in the UFC, which he capitalized on only 2 months later.


UFC Debut and Following Fights

Pyfer's UFC debut would come in September of 2022 against Alen Amedovski, where Pyfer went on to land a big right cross, which knocked out the Macedonian fighter at 3:55 of round 1, earning Pyfer a Performance of the Night award in the process.

Pyfer followed up his emphatic debut with the most significant victory of his career on one of the most fantastic cards of 2023: a first-round knockout over UFC veteran Gerald Meerschaert at UFC 287: Pereira vs. Adesanya 2.

The future looks bright for the young Joe Pyfer, and if he continues to fight the way he has, a UFC championship is very possible.

Catch him fighting this Saturday against Abdul Razak Alhassan on UFC Fight Night: Dawson vs. Green at the UFC Apex.

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