This Week’s MMA Birthdays: Jens Pulver Turns 39

Nov 30, 2013
Jens Pulver turns 39 this week. | Photo: Martin Hocson

The first lightweight titleholder in Ultimate Fighting Championship history, Jens Pulver will celebrate his 39th birthday on Dec. 6.

A Sunnyside, Wash., native, Pulver wrestled collegiately at Boise State University before transitioning to mixed martial arts. He made his professional debut on April 24, 1999 and arrived in the UFC five months later. Pulver captured the lightweight crown with a unanimous decision over Caol Uno at UFC 33 and successfully defended it twice, outpointing Dennis Hallman and B.J. Penn. “Little Evil” left the UFC after he defeated Penn, bouncing around various organizations with varying degrees of success. He returned to the Octagon in September 2006, only to be unceremoniously upset by Joe Lauzon in a bout that lasted just 48 seconds.

The loss to Lauzon did little to curb Pulver’s appeal, however, and he was later chosen to coach opposite Penn on Season 5 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” The two lightweights met for a second time at “The Ultimate Fighter 5” Finale in June 2007, as Penn submitted Pulver with a second-round rear-naked choke. Though he went on to challenge Urijah Faber for World Extreme Cagefighting gold at 145 pounds, Pulver has gone just 6-11 since his rematch with Penn, largely fading from view.

Pulver last fought at a Superior Challenge event on Nov. 23, losing a unanimous decision to Sami Aziz in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Those in MMA celebrating a birthday the week covering Dec. 1-Dec. 7:

DEC. 2

Billy Vaughan (30)

DEC. 3

Vernon White (42)
Robert Hitte (38)
Seth Petruzelli (34)
Nina Ansaroff (28)
Shoki Omichi (26)

DEC. 4

Sean Daugherty (38)

DEC. 5

Daijiro Matsui (41)
Travis Lutter (40)
Amy Davis (39)
Tetsuji Kato (36)
Kenichiro Togashi (33)
Mats Nilsson (30)

DEC. 6

Royler Gracie (48)
Jens Pulver (39)
Todd Duffee (28)

DEC. 7

Soa Palelei (36)
Ronaldo Souza (34)
Dongi Yang (29)
Michael Chiesa (26)


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