But if you can gain his trust, crack through those heavy walls even a little, you’ll get to see another side of Pyfer.
At his core, he just wants to be accepted, encouraged, and supported, which is why connecting with coach John Marquez and the crew in Philadelphia has been such a godsend for him, as he’s not only surrounded by people that understand where he’s come from, but want to help him reach whatever heights he can reach inside the Octagon.
He wants to be a leader, an example to the other members of the team that if you dream big enough and work hard enough, you’re able to make your dreams come true.
“It’ll mean the world to me,” he said of beating Hermansson on Saturday. “It’ll reassure everyone on my team that haven’t made it to this level yet that it’s possible. It’s gonna be a huge mile marker for our gym. I’m the first main event and it’ll mean a lot, especially to go out there and get a win against a ranked guy.
“Not saying I‘m guaranteed to win — I know Jack is tough, it’s gonna be a good fight. By no means have I underestimated him. I have made him my toughest fight for good reasons, but I do think I’m going to absolutely dismantle him.”