I was able to interview UFC Middleweight star Joe Pyfer and Chandler Henry, director of “Journey to the UFC”. Pyfer trained for fighting through adversity after being in a violent relationship with his father and didn’t put the winning mindset down.
When Pyfer was asked how he got started in MMA he explained, “My dad was a boxer, had a boxing background, grew up Kent, Philadelphia, and then he was learning through a guy named Steven Hague, who used to own the fight factory back in the day, and as he was learning, I kind of got pushed in that direction and started learning jiu jitsu as he was learning it. And, yeah, it transpired from about four and a half years old.
And ever since it’s been something I’ve always done and developed a passion for and a love for, and that’s what got me started on this path”.
When talking about woking in the MMA and the struggles of doing what is necessary, Pyfer was vocal in saying, “Working in MMA, I mean, look, you got to look at it as a whole. It’s constantly finding the new motivation, what your drive is, what your why is, what your goal is, what you’re striving for. So being able to constantly stay motivated for those goals and constantly reaffirming yourself and giving yourself these positive reinforcements to understand that you’re going to get there one day, no matter how far fetched it may seem or how crazy it may seem to somebody else in your outside circle or even inside your post circle. I would just say it’s finding that consistent motivation. To have discipline every day over and over and over again, because the next fight is always the biggest fight, and if it’s not, you’re probably not as motivated. So I would just say constantly finding what your why is”.
In the next five to ten years Pyfer explained that he would hope to be retired if he wanted that to be his goal.
When speaking with film director Chandler Henry, he explained that he began his career by doing card tricks on YouTube. He met Joe back in High School and the two eventually made good content together.
One day, Joe took Chandler to a gym and there was light pouring out of the ceiling and Joe and his trainer were working out and Henry recorded and edited the footage and was able to progress with better camera equipment, knowledge and opportunities.
When people see his documentary, Henry said that it would be impossible for people to watch this film and not be extremely motivated by this film. It is not meant to be a sad film. It is, rather, a triumphant film.
Henry was excited to do more sports documentaries and working with Joe and following his career and asked young filmmakers to take opportunities without worrying about the money.
Joe Pyfer is also involved with Disruptive Sports Group, who he credits for taking care of their athletes and letting him focus on his fights.
Moreover, Chandler Henry’s sports documentary film premiered on May 4th, 2023 at Dream Live in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
(See video for rest of interview)