Jens Pulver suffers devastating knee KO

by Kirik Jenness | source: The Underground

I first noticed Jens Pulver in 2000 when he beat Phil Johns, a  pocket Igor Vov with more than 20 fights that a couple of the guys at my gym hoped to fight at some point. Then Jens put together some good wins and fought John Lewis, breaking Lewis's jaw not just horizontally, but vertically up towards the brain.

We heard that Pulver KOed a nationally ranked heavyweight boxer with one overhand right while sparring. A couple guys from the gym went and trained with him at Miletich's.

Then Jens Pulver entered history, fighting for the first ever UFC Lightweight title. He beat Caro Uno for the belt, defended against Dennis Hallman, and in one of just a handful of the best matches I ever saw live, he beat BJ Penn. Afterwards he took the mic and, in tears, thanked his father for beating the s--- out of him every day growing up. I cried along with him. I think everyone there did.

Manager Monte Cox said later he wished they had lasted longer, but negotiations didn't go well with the UFC, and Jens moved on. For the next few years he went 9-4 against generally strong competition worldwide.

He was brought back to the UFC where he went 0-2. The he moved down to the WEC where he went 1-5.

Now he is 3-3 against regional competition. Last night he suffered a devastating knockout in the second round.

Since Joe Lauzon knocked him out over five years ago, this is only his second loss via KO.

Stil, I am not a doctor, but it doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.

February 1st will mark Jens Pulver's fifteenth year in mixed martial arts. This is a dangerous sport. Because of the far wider skill set, and different training protocols, mixed martial artists do not sustain nearly the head trauma that boxers do. But there is head trauma.

Pugilistica Dementia does not just bring down old prizefighters. It has been diagnosed in football players, rugby players, hockey players, soccer players, and pro wrestlers. The contributing effects of drug or alcohol use are unknown and, oddly, almost entirely unexamined, and Jens has led a clean life, but at some point for many athletes head trauma accumulates, and it is not reversible.

Pulver does not look bad, at all. While his speed has declined noticably, his head movement, set ups, footwork, etc are all impressive. But he is losing a lot. And at this stage in his career, it is unlikely he gets a lot better.

Pulver survived a horrific childhood. Like many people in the sport, becoming a mixed martial artist aided him in his recovery from that. It would be a tragedy if that same sport brought him down decades later.

As a Jens Pulver fan for over now so many years, this is a respectful call for the man to sit down with his coaches, family, doctors, management, God, and with himself, and decide what is right.

Pulver reflects, via twitter.

Sorry to all who support me, I half assed the training and got wrecked deservedly so.
Sorry to my team @TeamCurranMMA

@investigatormcL Why would you half ass the training?

never claimed to be perfect

@JLDavis170 r u alright?

Yeah i am good just got beat up is all i will live

@MMASun please retire... You've got nothing left to prove

I know i dont i just enjoy it.


Jens Pulver vs. Timothy Elliot
Headlining bout
Resurrection Fighting Alliance 1
Kearney, Nebraska

(KO at 2:25 mark)

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Recent Comments »

GetsomefansJon please site profile image  

12/18/11 7:59 PM by GetsomefansJon please

 This and the recent Cyborg thread were both well written. I can't bring myself to watch the video and see him lose again. Lil Evil will always be one of my favorites

Kneeblock site profile image  

12/18/11 11:43 AM by Kneeblock

 Our generation is passing away in MMA. Jens, Hughes, Nog, Wand, Chuck, Tito, Randy, BJ...all the old warhorses are packing it in.  They deserve a rest.  

Tap In site profile image  

12/17/11 11:14 PM by Tap In

 Jens you're the man! Dude should retire, unfortunately he was a little before the time when champions started making good money

wombat site profile image  

12/17/11 11:06 PM by wombat

The real disgrace there was the two fools doing the commentating ... or criticizing, rather.

ausgepicht site profile image  

12/17/11 10:52 PM by ausgepicht

Met him on two separate occasions. And he was genuine, gracious, friendly and one of the few fighters that made small talk....and listened to the answers. He carried a conversation with me both times. This while MOBBED. He's always put on some of the sport's most entertaining fights. His fight with Palling is one of my all-time favorites as is his loss against Gomi. Just a warrior.  

FutonCushion site profile image  

12/17/11 9:36 PM by FutonCushion

This is how I will always remember Jens.  Regardless of what happens at the twilight of his career, he will forever be a champion.  

NicoLie The KiDD site profile image  

12/17/11 9:26 PM by NicoLie The KiDD

 4 Hel13torm

Hel13torm site profile image  

12/17/11 8:44 PM by Hel13torm

poor Pulver, I know he'll never willingly retire after hearing him talk during DRIVEN.If a blue could please embed my Pulver highlight :)

Haywood Jablowme site profile image  

12/17/11 8:40 PM by Haywood Jablowme

Good article. They quoted my tweet about the training. I was waiting to hear video games as the response.

Gnarls Gnarlington site profile image  

12/17/11 7:12 PM by Gnarls Gnarlington

Nice knee.