By the Numbers: Jens Pulver

By: Brian Knapp
Jul 4, 2020

Jens Pulver’s unique place in mixed martial arts history belies the 27-19-1 record with which he finished his career.

The first lightweight titleholder in Ultimate Fighting Championship history, Pulver made his debut in 1999 and won 14 of his first 17 bouts—a run that saw him race to the top of the 155-pound pecking order. “Little Evil” trained under Pat Miletich and became one of MMA’s most popular figures due to his propensity for lightning-strike finishes, his likeable personality and his powerful story of overcoming an abusive upbringing. Pulver did not age particularly well in a sport that was constantly evolving, but his impact was undeniable and lasting.

Now nearly seven years removed from Pulver’s most recent appearance, a look at some of the numbers that came to define him:

45: Years of age. Jens Johnnie Pulver was born on Dec. 6, 1974 in Sunnyside, Washington.

14: Wins by knockout or technical knockout, accounting for more than half of Pulver’s career total (27). His list of victims included Joe Stevenson, Cole Escovedo and John Lewis.

7: Sub-minute finishes to his credit. Pulver stopped opponents in 15, 33, 35, 38, 49, 51 and 56 seconds.

1: Draw on his resume. Pulver fought to a stalemate with Alfonso Alcarez in his promotional debut at UFC 22 on Sept. 24, 1999.

9: Submission defeats on his ledger. Pulver submitted to guillotine chokes from Urijah Faber, Josh Grispi and Diego Garijo, rear-naked chokes from B.J. Penn and Brian Davidson, a toe hold from David Harris, a heel hook from Din Thomas an armbar from Javier Vazquez and a brabo choke from Masakatsu Ueda.

4: Pulver wins by submission. “Little Evil” tapped Mike Lindquist with a rear-naked choke and disposed of Ray Morales, Richard Hess and Cub Swanson with guillotine chokes.

393: Days spent as UFC lightweight champion. Pulver captured the 155-pound title with a unanimous verdict over Caol Uno at UFC 30 on Feb. 23, 2001 and retained it in subsequent victories over Dennis Hallman and B.J. Penn. He was stripped of the belt amid a contract dispute in March 2002.

.455: Cumulative winning percentage in the UFC, Pride Fighting Championships, World Extreme Cagefighting and One Championship. Pulver compiled a 10-11-1 record across 22 appearances in those four major promotions.

2: Losses by decision. Pulver went 9-2-1 in fights that went the distance, suffering his only two defeats to Urijah Faber at WEC 34 and Sammy Aziz at Superior Challenge 9.

6: Countries in which Pulver competed as a professional mixed martial artist. He went 22-13-1 in the United States, 4-2 in Japan, 1-1 in Singapore, 0-1 in Sweden, 0-1 in the Philippines and 0-1 in Canada.

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