Saturday, June 24, 2006

PULVER IS BACK !!!


PULVER BACK IN THE UFC
Boxing has fighters such as Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Manny Pacquiao carrying the torch for the lighter weight classes.
Jens “Little Evil” Pulver was one of the pioneers of the lighter weight classes for the UFC.
Pulver, who has an overall MMA record of 21-6-1, was 6-0-1 in UFC matches and became the first UFC lightweight champion. After four years away from the octagon, Pulver is returning to the organization that made him an MMA star. UFC president Dana White announced the signing of Pulver to a promotional contract on Wednesday.
“ He was our first 155-pound champion,” White said. “He beat B.J. Penn (in 2002 at UFC 35), then he took off. He’s been fighting everywhere else. He’s back. He’ll probably be a coach on our next TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) show. Then he’ll be right in the mix to fight for the title.”
Pulver, 30, who has been fighting abroad in PRIDE and other organizations the past four years, said he is ecstatic to be back in the UFC.
“ For me it’s gigantic,” he said. “It’s almost like a dream come true. What it is, more than anything, I really had an empty spot in my soul. I really felt something was missing and incomplete in my career.
“ I just didn’t have the being gung-ho and training ... to the wall. I seen my teammates and everybody really start hitting in the UFC. The UFC started blowing up and I started missing being at home. I’m just so excited. When the offer came, yes. That’s exactly what I want to do. I want to finish what I started.”
Pulver said he is eager to get back into the octagon.
“ The biggest thing is I’m taking aim at anyone that thinks they are putting that gold around their waist,” he said. “That’s the bottom line for me right now. I’m going after anyone that thinks they are going to get it. My manager Joe Silva and Dana White get together and tell me who I’m fighting. I don’t make that decision. I fight who they tell me to fight, when they tell me to fight and I go after him 100 percent.”
Pulver said Sean Sherk, Kenny Florian and Spencer Fisher are among the top 155-pounders that could make for some exciting fights and shine the spotlight on the UFC’s lightweight division.
“ There really isn’t a name,” he said. “I just want to get back in there and start introducing people to me.
“ I’ve always been an advocate for the little guys. I love the excitement. I think the best fights have been at lightweight. I’ve always considered myself almost the ‘Godfather of the Lightweights.’ I started the division. I had the only title in the division, especially, in the United States. That’s my job. That’s my role. I’m just excited to see the little guys get a shot.”


NOTES
The World Fighting Alliance signed pro wrestling icon Bill Goldberg to be the color commentator for its “WFA: King of the Streets” pay-per-view on July 22 at The Forum in Inglewood. ... Lightweight Rob McCullough of Huntington Beach stopped Ryan Healy on a cut in the first round last week in a WEC event at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in Hhighland. It was McCullough’s sixth straight victory. McCullough moves on to the July 22 pay-per-view card at The Forum where he will face Harris Sarmiento in a rematch. ... The International Fight League held its inaugural event, Legends Championship 2006, this past spring on Fox Sports Net. Pat Miletich’s team, the Silverbacks beat out Maurice Smith’s Tiger Sharks, Bas Rutten’s Anacondas, and Renzo Gracie’s Pit Bulls to take home the title. The IFL returns on Fox Sports Net this fall with the World Team Championship, starting in September and ending in December. Miletich, Smith, Rutten and Gracie will be back as coaches and there will be four new teams coached by Matt Lindland, Carlos Newton, Mark Coleman and Antonio Inoki. ...
UPCOMING FIGHTS
At Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas: Lightweight Kenny Florian vs. Sam Stout, Josh Haynes vs. Michael Bisping in Utlimate Fighter Season 3 light-heavyweight final and Ed Herman vs. Kendall Grove in Ultimate Fighter Season 3 middleweight final, Saturday, 9 p.m., Spike TV.
At Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas: “Ultimate Fight Night,” middleweight Chris Leben vs. Anderson Silva, heavyweight Rashad Evans vs. Stephan Bonner, middleweight Jonathan Goulet vs. Luke Cummo, middleweight Jon Fitch vs. Thiago Alves and middleweight Dave Menne vs. Josh Koscheck, Wednesday, 2:30 p.m., Spike TV.
At Saitama Superarena, Saitama, Japan: PRIDE Fighting Championships “Critical Countdown Absolute”, July 2, pay-per-view.
At Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas: “UFC 61: Bitter Rivals,” UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia vs. Andrei Arlovski and Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock, July 8, pay-per-view.
At San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego: “Total Combat,” July 15. Go online at ticketmaster.com or call (619) 220-8497 for tickets ($25-$150).
At The Forum, Inglewood: “WFA: King of the Streets,” light-heavyweight Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Matt Lindland, heavyweight Bas Rutten vs. Kimo Leopoldo, heavyweight Ricco Rodriguez vs. Ron Waterman, light-heavyweight Lyoto Machida vs. Vernon White, middleweight Ivan Salaverry vs. Art Santore, lightweight Rob McCullough vs. Harris Sarmiento and welterweight Jason Miller vs. TBA, July 22, pay-per-view. Go online at ticketmaster.com or call (714) 740-2000 for tickets ($50-$350).
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