UFC FN 49: Lee Mein on Son Jordan’s Third Opponent Change, “It Doesn’t Really Bother Us”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Jordan Mein has been booked to fight at UFC Fight Night 49 for sometime now, the only thing is, however, that he’s been scheduled to fight three different opponents.
Initially, Mein was set to fight Thiago Alves on August 23rd, but the former contender was forced to withdraw due to injury. Then, Mein was matched up against fellow rising welterweight, Brandon Thatch, but the latter incurred a nasty toe injury and dropped out. Just last week, the UFC announced that the 24 year-old will now square off with 38 year-old, established vet Mike Pyle.
“It doesn’t really bother us. We were preparing for tough fights,” Mein noted on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing Jordan’s revolving door of opponents. “First it was Thiago Alves, and then he pulled out, and then Brandon Thatch, all aggressive strikers, and Mike Pyle is a really good fighter too right.”
“So it doesn’t really matter that way,” furthered Mein. “As long as we’re in shape, and he’s ready to go, I’m not too concerned about the game plan. Obviously, guys have different attributes, different movements…I can watch 15 minutes of tape on a guy and see tendencies, break things down really quick, and go over a few things and Jordan picks it up really quick. Jordan’s not a new fighter; he has a lot of experience…”
While Pyle has certainly demonstrated on several occasions that he has the ability to finish opponents standing, the vet’s ground game has drawn widespread praise over the years.
“Nothing really,” said Mein, when asked what types of changes, if any, Jordan might need to make to his approach now that he’s facing Pyle instead of Thatch. “We didn’t know anything about Brandon’s ground game. Could be really good; we don’t see it because he finishes guys so quick in his fights. So, we didn’t know what to expect there, so it’s always nice fighting experienced guys that you know what they’re about.”
Pyle (26-9-1) is coming off a third round, stoppage win over TJ Waldburger in February, after getting knocked out by Matt Brown last August. The defeat to Brown ended the accomplished fighter’s four fight win streak.
Jordan Mein (28-9), meanwhile, will be looking to build on a split decision win he scored over Hernani Perpetuo in April. Prior to that, he was also stopped by the aforementioned Brown.
“It’s tough for a guy to go from 30 fights, to his 31st fight, and all of a sudden he’s a completely different fighter,” Mein furthered. “You just can’t do that; it’s already programmed in you. Your tendencies are the same, there might be a few new wrinkles, but not a wholesale game on your ground or your stand-up.”
“With Mike, we know he’s a tough fight, his ground game is super slick and everything, so that makes it fun,” Mein added about Pyle. “We train everything all the time. Even though we were fighting a striker we never neglected the ground game. We did tons of reps and rolling, takedowns, and takedown defense, and lots of striking.”
UFC FN 49 will be hosted by the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.