Written By Cameron Gidari
There are few times that anyone will catch Jens Pulver speechless. No matter the question, Pulver always has something to say about it.
When asked on the Ground & Pound Radio Show whether or not he was considering retirement following his first round loss to Josh Grispi, Pulver was uncharacteristically tongue-tied.
“I don’t know,” Pulver finally said after several seconds of stammering. “Maybe it is time to walk away for a little bit and revamp.”
Pulver has spoken at length about the mental aspect of fighting, and how he had trouble capturing the same fire that he had early in his career. Strangley, Pulver admits that he might not have the same fire because this is the happiest he has ever been.
“What I’m dogging with right now is, where is it?” Pulver said. “Where is the animosity, where is the ferocity?”
“I didn’t fight because it let me put on a Tapout shirt, go to a bar and tell everyone how tough I am,” Pulver said. “I fought because I’ve been fighting since the day I was born. Fighting for my life, fighting to protect my mother, fighting to help protect my brothers and sister. I fought because it’s all I ever knew.”
“Now, all of a sudden, I’m as happy as I can be in life,” Pulver said. “I know you guys see the losses in my record, and I know that people see that ‘L’, but what they don’t see is the ‘W’ in life that I’m getting. It’s hard to try and find that again, to find that competitive fighting nature when I’ve fought for so long just to stay alive.”
“It’s tough because you do sit there and go, where does the time go?” Pulver said. “I don’t have a grey hair and I still feel like the old guy going, ‘what do I do?’”
Pulver is quick to point out that he doesn’t want to take anything away from Grispi, who Pulver says could be one of the best in the division.
“[Grispi] has the right kind of attitude, the right kind of gifts and style, and he trains hard,” Pulver said. “He doesn’t take it lightly, he gets after it. At 20-years old, that’s hard to find. He’s a down-to-earth, humble kid, and I like him a lot.”
While Pulver might be unsure about if he will retire, he is certain that when he calls it quits, he’ll mean it.
“I’m not going to be that guy that says I’m going to retire and then come back a year later,” Pulver said. “I’m not saying I’m retiring, but I do need to step back and figure some things out.”
Pulver is also certain that when he does retire, he wants to coach.
“I’m getting kind of excited to start building these guys and helping them overcome the obstacles I overcame,” Pulver said. “More than anything, I want to be there for people and let them know, your doors are not closed.”
“Now it’s my turn to go back and do what my coaches did for me,” Pulver said. “(My coaches) saved my life. Saved it a long time ago.”
For now, that life is treating Pulver well. While it may be harder to find that fire, Pulver is solely focusing on something in three weeks that he calls “just as big as a world title fight.”
In three weeks, Jens Pulver is getting married. The rest can wait.