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Pulver could be WEC-bound

I did not hear it live, but there are reports circulating that Monte Cox said on Sherdog Radio today that after his bout with B.J. Penn during the live season finale of The Ultimate Fighter on June 23, Jens Pulver will go to the WEC and fight in the 145 pound division.

Featherweight is definitely a better class for Pulver but the announcement is a little perplexing. I mean, what if Pulver beats Penn and earns a shot at the UFC lightweight title? It comes off as if they are anticipating that Jens will lose.

8 COMMENTS
  • says:

    I’ve long said that Jens is best suited for the featherweight division. It was tough for him to make weight in SHOOTO at 143, but this is 145 (with a one-pound allowance in non-title fights), so it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Jens had some of the best fights of his career at featherweight. I couldn’t be more excited with this news.

  • says:

    that is bizarre. it could be an attempt, perhaps, to legitimize the WEC further, wether he wins or loses. I’m not entirely clear on what their efforts in regards to the WEC are aiming at accomplishing, anyways…is it a competing league? is it a complementary league (Not a farm system as they’ve denied repeatedly) ?

    it’s puzzling me.

  • says:

    garth: Zuffa has said from the beginning of their acquisition of the WEC that they plan on building it up to the point where it rivals the UFC. With Filho (and reportedly other former Pride fighters as well) on the way to WEC, it certainly looks like the talent level of the two organizations’ fighters will be comparable in the near future.

  • says:

    Garth, to piggyback a little on what Xenos said, MMA was so hot (and still is) around the time of the acquisition of the WEC that Zuffa was getting calls from a lot of cable TV executives who were looking for programming. One of them was Versus. The UFC’s deal with Spike allows them to put programming on a few other networks (such as ESPN and HBO) but putting UFC on Versus wasn’t an option. So instead of allowing another promotion to come in and assume the Versus slot, Zuffa bought the WEC and created a second promotion so they could take advantage of the opportunity.

    MMA is so hot that there’s enough market share for a strong second promotion. Zuffa feels it’s better to devote resources to buildup the WEC to meet the demand rather than stand pat and allow their competition to rise up.

    Now, the WEC has even greater value to the UFC since it looks like Pride might be a dead promotion. They can only have so many fighters on the UFC roster and with a lot of Pride guys being free agents, they can use the WEC to sign some of the overflow rather than let guys wind up in Bodog, IFL, or EliteXC. Basically, having a second company allows Zuffa to hoard fighting talent.

  • says:

    thanks xenos & sam. i was slowly coming to that conclusion. basically, they’re selling toyotas and lexus and scions.

  • says:

    As I said in response to the WEC post, I think that the WEC will be their premier league for the little guys–and since Pulver is better suited for the 145 lb. weight class, I think it would be a good move (career-wise) on his part.

    A Pulver v. Faber match would probably be a great fight, and would love to see that materialize over the next 6-9 months.

  • says:

    E, it would be an interesting fight but I don’t know if it would be close. It pains me to say it because I’m a Jens fan and I also have trained at a MFS-affiliate school so it’s not cool for me to say negative stuff about Miletich guys, but I think Faber would destroy Jens.

    Jens is a good boxer with a ton of punching power for his size, but if Faber got him on his back then I think he could actually make quick work of Jens.

    Right now I think the only guy in the World who can give Faber a run for his money in the 145 lbs. division is Kid Yamomoto.

  • says:

    I think that Faber is clearly the better wrestler (actually, there are very few guys in the MMA game that have the collegiate wrestling pedigree he does), that said Jens is no slouch when it comes to wrestling. I think this will make Faber a little more cautious when setting-up and going for the take-down; which would mean he’d have to stand with Pulver for a little while (which would obviously be what Jens wants).

    Now in the grand scheme of things, I think Faber would win this match-up, and the fight would probably be over by the close of the 2nd. However, I think that there will be fireworks prior to that with Jens rocking Faber in the 1st and having him in danger, but Urijah will be able to weather that storm before the close of the round. Then in the 2nd Jens will come out throwing again, but Urijah will be able to take the fight to the ground on his terms and then be able to end it. Obviously I’m not predicting a 5 round war (a la Pulver-Penn), but 2 rounds of a lot of action. So maybe I was a bit hasty in calling it a great fight, so I’ll re-word that to an “entertaining” fight.

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