MMA Preview: WEC Featherweight Champ Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver

Derek BolenderSenior Analyst IMay 10, 2008

On June 1 in Sacramento, Calif. at the Arco Arena, the WEC will put on arguably their best production yet in WEC 34: “Faber vs. Pulver.” 

This will be a big night for the Zuffa, LLC owned WEC (Zuffa is also the parent company of the UFC).  The event is currently sold out and they have had to open up more seats in the upper bowl to accommodate the public demand for tickets.

The WEC Bantamweight and WEC Featherweight Championship belts will both be on the line that night.

The headlining fight will be for the WEC Featherweight Championship and will feature two of the best MMA fighters in the world. WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber will battle former UFC Lightweight Champion Jens Pulver.

Urijah “The California Kid” Faber will step into the octagon with a 20–1 professional MMA record.  He is considered by many to be one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. 

Faber’s only loss was in 2005 to the UFC’s Tyson Griffin for the Bantamweight title at the Gladiator Challenge 42: Summer Slam event.

Since then, he has rolled off 12 straight victories, including four straight WEC Featherweight title defenses against Joe Pearson, Dominic Cruz, Chance Farrar, and Jeff Curran.

Faber’s greatest strengths are his wrestling skill and physical strength on the ground. He also has great submission skills. 

Ten of his 20 victories are by submission. Faber has an extensive background in wrestling in high school and Division I college. 

He is currently being trained for the Pulver fight by Andy Kay (Muay Thai), Cassio Werneck (BJJ), and Joe Urias (Boxing). 

Jens “Little Evil” Pulver, on the other hand, has a 22– 8– 1 professional MMA record. 

He holds victories over Joe Stevenson, current UFC Lightweight Champion BJ Penn, and Caol Uno. 

Pulver’s greatest strength inside the octagon is his stand-up.  He was once a professional boxer and is 4–0 in his boxing career before MMA became his primary focus.  He, like Faber, was also a Division I wrestler. 

Pulver is training for the Faber fight at his long time camp in Davenport, Iowa with friend and teacher Pat Miletich. 

This fight will most likely come down to whoever imposes his will and dictates the pace of the fight. 

Faber will have the advantage on the ground with his strength and submission skills.  Pulver will have the advantage on his feet.   

These contrasting styles are what typically lead to an entertaining and exciting fight.

I am going to pick Jens Pulver to pull off the upset.  I feel like he has a lot left in the tank and he has been vicious at 145 pounds.  He is now 8-0 fighting at 145 pounds. 


Pulver looks even stronger at 145 than at 155 where guys like BJ Penn can easily take him down with their overwhelming strength.   


At 145 pounds, Faber will have more trouble taking him down and he will be able to sprawl and use his added strength to avoid takedown attempts. 

If he is successful in keeping the fight off the ground, I like his odds.  Pulver has world class boxing skills and he will get the best of the exchanges.

Look for Pulver to knockout Faber in the second round and once again become a champion.