It seems as if there has been nothing but retirement talk in the MMA world in the past month with the Chuck Liddell saga post UFC 97. The same chatter arose after Jens Pulver lost his last fight at WEC 38, granted it was to the guy fighting for the WEC featherweight title this weekend. Pulver has one win in his last 6 fights, but that record can be kind of deceiving as all of those losses have come against some of the best fighters in the world. Let's look at the names:
- Urijah Faber(2X)
- Leonard Garcia
- BJ Penn
- Joe Lauzon
That's a pretty impressive list no matter how you look at it. Faber and Penn are on most pound for pound lists, and Garcia is a top ten featherweight. Joe Lauzon has a win over the current WEC featherweight champion in Mike Brown. However, I suppose one could argue that Pulver was only competitive in one of those fights which would be the first fight with Urijah Faber.
I'm not one to push retirement on anyone. I'm a fan of Jens Pulver and I appreciate how he carries himself and what he's done for the sport of MMA. However, he's fighting a young lion at WEC 41 in Josh "The Fluke" Grispi. A kid that's athletically gifted, relentless, and could pose problems for Pulver if he's able to get the fight to the ground. A loss here would be four fights in a row, and you would have to wonder what would be next for Pulver after that. Would the WEC even keep him around after losing four in a row in the WEC? Pulver has fought overseas in what we knew as PRIDE with mixed success. Would any of the foreign promotions be interested in the MMA veteran? Then again, Pulver could erase all of this with a impressive win against a good up and comer at WEC 41. Pulver stated that he begin working with Matt Hume prior to the last Faber fight, and that he didn't know if he allowed himself to implement the things he was learning under Hume. It's been about 5 months since that fight, so WEC 41 could be the litmus test for Pulver. I hope he gives a good performance win or lose, but WEC 41 could very well be the end of the road with a loss. Good luck Jens.