by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
At last week’s World Extreme Cagefighting event in Las Vegas, Jens Pulver was able to put himself in the mix of the growing featherweight division by dispatching of top contender Cub Swanson in under a minute by submission.
Focusing on his groundwork is something that Pulver did specifically for this fight, knowing what a quality opponent he was facing in Swanson.
“I’ve been working so much more on submissions and wrestling and trying to bring all that back in,” he said. “I heard a good piece of advice two days before the fight, ‘Relax, stay calm, you can still be exciting, but you don’t have to force anything.’ And of course Joe Silva had the funniest line ever, he goes, ‘You know, it’s okay if you duck a punch or two.”
There was much talk and hype going into this bout after an exchange of words between Pulver and Swanson, but the new WEC 145-pound division contender says that’s to be expected.
“Whatever it takes to get you motivated, to get you going,” Pulver stated about the emotional level of the bout. “Sometimes you need that motivation to get you up every morning.”
Most fans were expecting him to stand and bang with Swanson, but the former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight titleholder was actually hoping for a ground fight.
“I was really looking forward to getting in there and going to the ground. I was looking forward to wrestling and working (to try) stopping shots and we drilled hard on that.”
After the fight was over, Pulver had an opportunity to speak to Swanson and put all the pre-fight hype behind them once and for all.
“I thanked him and just told him no hard feelings. I know you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, and you’ve got to say what you’ve got to say to get ready for fights. To be able to bury that hatchet and leave it in the cage that’s a good thing, let’s me know it’s still a sport.”
He was also impressed with another featherweight on the same show, current WEC king Urijah Faber, who defeated top contender Jeff Curran by submission.
“I think he did great. I think he showed great poise, great confidence,” said Pulver about Faber’s title fight with Curran. “He looked as dominating as always. I think he’s a great fighter and a great champion.”
It now appears that Pulver will take a brief amount of time off before preparing for his next bout. His next opponent will likely be the aforementioned Faber.
“That’s definitely the fight I want to go after,” he said about a potential title fight. “I think Faber knows it’s right there. I think we’re both ready for it. I’m definitely up for it, now it’s just an option of making it happen.”