Former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver will meet Diego Garijo in a featured matchup at Powerhouse World Promotions “War on the Mainland” on Aug. 14 at the Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif.
Pulver has lost five consecutive fights, leading many to speculate he might opt for retirement. The 35-year-old was released by World Extreme Cagefighting following his submission loss to Javier Vazquez at WEC 47 in March. Though he remains one of the sport’s most popular figures, Pulver has not survived the first round in any of his past four appearances. Still, his resume speaks for itself, highlighted by wins against former two-division UFC champion B.J. Penn, one-time WEC featherweight titlist Cole Escovedo, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 2 winner Joe Stevenson and former Shooto welterweight titleholder Caol Uno. More than half (13) of Pulver’s 22 career victories have come by knockout or technical knockout.
In Garijo, he faces an unproven commodity. A Total Combat and Bellator Fighting Championships veteran, he has not competed since he submitted Saad Awad with a first-round rear-naked choke at Bellator 10 in June 2009. Based out of The Arena Mixed Martial Arts gym in San Diego, Garijo trains alongside former EliteXC lightweight champion Karl James Noons, 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships winner Rani Yahya and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Stephan Abas. In five professional appearances, the once-beaten Garijo has never gone the distance.
In the main event, two-time UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia will lock horns with the well-traveled Paul Buentello.
Sylvia has won back-to-back bouts since his embarrassing eight-second knockout loss to Ray Mercer a year ago. The 34-year-old Ellsworth, Maine, native last appeared in May, when he struck Polish strongman Mariusz Pudzianowski into submission at a Moosin MMA show in Massachusetts. Syliva holds notable victories against former UFC heavyweight champions Andrei Arlovski (twice) and Ricco Rodriguez. Twenty of his 26 career wins have come via KO, TKO or submission.
Anchored at the Grudge Training Center, where he trains alongside interim UFC heavyweight titleholder Shane Carwin, Buentello has lost two of his last three fights. The 36-year-old Texan last fought in May, when he outpointed Bryan Humes en route to a unanimous decision at Shark Fights 11. Buentello was cut by the UFC after he submitted to strikes from Cheick Kongo at UFC on Versus 1 in March.
Other bouts at “War on the Mainland” will pit former WEC champion Jason Lambert against Pride Fighting Championships veteran Allan Goes, Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Thales Leites against Falaniko Vitale and UFC veteran Terry Martin against Jorge Ortiz.
PWP “War on the Mainland”
Saturday, Aug. 14
Bren Events Center
Tim Sylvia vs. Paul Buentello
Jason Lambert vs. Allan Goes
Thales Leites vs. Falaniko Vitale
Jens Pulver vs. Diego Garijo
Terry Martin vs. Jorge Ortiz
Gustavo Machado vs. Rick Reeves
Joao Silva vs. Erin Beach