424 Date (4/24) of 1999 when lightweight Jens Pulver made his professional MMA debut. He'd fought previously in unsanctioned underground events and then with the help of friend Lowell Anderson, a BJJ instructor, he found himself on the card at the Bas Rutten Invitational 2 in Littleton, Colorado.
Pulver only needed 3:00 to stop Curtis Hill in his first fight of the evening, but a little later on he faced the more experienced David Harris and was forced to submit due to toe hold.
Even though his first foray into the sport had mixed results, Pulver was hooked. Only six weeks later he fought at the Bas Rutten Invitational 3 and won both his fights, the second a 0:38 knock out of Joe Stevenson, but this was just a glimpse of what the future held.
In his very next fight he debuted in the UFC at 22 and fought Alfonzo Alcarez to a draw. He went 6-1 over his next seven bouts then met up with Caol Uno at UFC 30 for the promotions inaugural lightweight title. Pulver won a five round decision to claim the belt. He then defended it against Dennis Hallman and B.J. Penn before leaving the UFC due to a contractual dispute.
Pulver fought for a number of organizations over the next few years including Shooto and four times in PRIDE where he went 2-2. Overall he went 9-4 during the stretch.
Finally, after almost five years he was reunited with the UFC where he met up with newcomer Joe Lauzon and was stunningly KO'd at 0:48 of round one. The loss didn't really slow him down as he appeared as a coach opposite B.J. Penn on TUF 5.
On the show he and B.J. went back and forth neither liked the other and they couldn't wait to settle it in the cage. At the finale on June 23, 2007 they did just that. A huge television audience watched the fight and it was a pretty good one. Unfortunately, for Jens, Penn gained revenge from the earlier loss and sunk in a rear naked choke at 3:23 of round two.
Since, Pulver has dropped to 145 lbs and fought one more time, a win over Cub Swanson in the WEC. Now with a record of 22-8-1 he will soon square off with WEC champ Urijah Faber in another huge fight. It has been an exciting up and down career for "Little Evil" and it all started on April 24, 1999, nine years ago today.
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