Jens Pulver finally closed the curtain on his 47-fight MMA career. Speaking with Fox Sports anchor Karyn Bryant before The Ultimate Fighter 19 finale, Pulver said he's officially done with MMA, concluding what was a strange but ultimately successful run in the sport.
"I think I've said it like three times today: I'm done. I'm done," Pulver said.
This is not exactly shocking news, as whispers of Pulver's retirement have been in circulation since 2010, when the Illinois native was wrapping up a career-worst six-fight losing streak, five via finish.
Maybe Pulver should have heeded the signs in front of him and called it quits then, but he persisted.
He followed up that skid with back-to-back victories, gaining the confidence and will to move forward with his career in the process. It was all for naught, though, as Lil' Evil went 3-5 in his next eight fights, dropping four of the five losses via knockout or submission.
Thankfully, Pulver seems to be handling the situation well, and he's come to terms with the fact that he should've hung up the gloves sooner. Speaking with Bryant, he was jovial and animated, laughing and joking throughout the interview. He seems to be in a better place, and he's even rooting for old rivals.
On Season 5 of The Ultimate Fighter, Pulver coached opposite UFC legend BJ Penn, turning in one of the best seasons in the show's history before dropping the fight to Penn at The Ultimate Fighter 5 finale. With the loss, Pulver split his career series with Penn, first winning a majority decision and then losing via rear-naked choke.
Clearly, he carries no hard feelings toward Penn now, though, as he openly professed his love for the Hawaiian fighter during his interview with Bryant.
"I got my BJ Penn shirt," Pulver said. "I'm rooting for BJ."
Penn would go on to lose a lopsided bout against Frankie Edgar at the event, though, signaling his own retirement.
What is your favorite Jens Pulver moment? How will you remember the hard-hitting southpaw from Crystal Lake?