Jens Pulver hopes to inspire other abuse victims
Jens Pulver is preparing for a late August bout in the Philippines, but it is his daily emotional and mental battles that the first-ever UFC lightweight champion still spends most of his time fighting.
“I’m going to start speaking a lot more to battered women and children,” Pulver told MMAjunkie.com Radio. “I want to help break the cycle.
“The biggest thing in life is to break that abusive cycle through training, working out, and staying positive.”
Those themes, along with his daily mental and emotional struggles and how he balances fighting them during a career in combat sports, are the basis for a 2011 documentary, “Jens Pulver: DRIVEN.”
“I’m glad people are taking the time to watch it,” Pulver said. “It’s not a happy-feeling, rah-rah documentary. But it shouldn’t be one of those ‘aw man I feel bad for the guy, he should just crawl into a hole and burry himself’ kind of documentaries either.
“It kind of is what it is. I’m proud of it. I’m glad it’s out there to help people who have gone through child abuse or dealt with depression and anxiety. They understand what I’m saying, and if it helps them, then great.”
“It’s mainly to show chin down, hands up each day. It’s about stepping forward and progressing. Don’t close the door on the person you haven’t made yet or you’re going to become.
“It’s not always about what you do inside the cage with gloves, but what you do with your mind inside and outside the cage in everyday life.”
“I feel great. I’m lifting more than I ever have. I’m faster now than I was. (But) the mental side (still creates some problems).”
“If Lil’ Evil can get in the cage, he’s ready to fight. But did Jens Pulver — whiny, depression-based, trying to fight anxiety — did he get him ready?
“It’s hard to explain to people, but when I think they see this movie and see more about me — it’s the everyday struggles, the stuff I go through in my own mind, the things I can create in my own head — that can keep from me wanting to train.”
“It was easy when I was a world champion because what got me that title — I was hell bent on one thing, and I had a person that I wanted to give the middle finger to every time I fought, and that was my dad,” Pulver said. “I don’t know how to fight without the anger and do it so much as more of a sport. That’s the tough part getting mentally geared up.”
“The old man doesn’t know how to pull the trigger, and I’m looking for that perfect punch. Whereas the young bucks are coming out against a former champ and throwing six, seven, eight shots at a time.
“You’re trying to block all that and figure out where this great shot is, that one sweet shot instead of throwing punches in bunches, pushing and grinding like you did when you’re were young.”
“I’m in the right place at the right time and having a good time.”