Jens Pulver is heading into enemy territory. | Photo: Dave Mandel
Former UFC lightweight champion and WEC featherweight title contender Jens Pulver will blog his thoughts and experiences leading up to his MMA Fight Pit “Genesis” showdown with Coty Wheeler for Sherdog.com readers.
On Aug. 13 in Albuquerque, N.M., I will have the 41st professional MMA bout of my career, at least according to website databases. As I mentioned in my first blog, the guy I’m fighting is named “Ox” Wheeler. Outside of the fact that we both fought in the WEC, we don’t really share much in common. I don’t know a ton about him, but I do know that he’s a tough, tough fighter. I also know he can throw punches and submit guys. With his being more of a grappler, I think most are expecting the fight to end up on the ground, and that’s where I know I can surprise.
People have asked me if I feel pressure going into the fight. I have to go out there and represent the Team Curran camp. I’m new to the group, but this is what these guys do, and I can’t just keep getting caught in submissions. I have to learn. I mean, I’m rolling with some of the best people in the sport on the ground. I do it in practice, but, as I wrote in my first blog, what I do in the cage matters. That’s why I’m so glad I have this opportunity against a submission guy like Wheeler. I’m more than happy to go out there and keep going for it. I want to go out there and show people that I can grapple. I’ve beaten guys with submissions, and I feel like I’m in the right place now to show I can get it done, not just in practice but in the fight itself.
Another thing I’ve been asked about is the fact that I’m going into enemy territory, so to speak. With Wheeler being a Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts guy, there’s no doubt the crowd will be pulling for him. I know he has a good following there. I know he’s got a good fan base, and I know that I’m not going to be the favorite. Really, that’s all that goes into it. It’s a fight, no matter what. I’ve got a job to do and, whether the crowd is cheering for me or not, I’ve got to go in there and get it done. And I plan to do that.
As for the fight itself, I have the ground positions down. I have places I want to angle to, and I’m visualizing those. I picture myself getting into a dominant position. I usually don’t dictate where the fight goes, but if I want respect, I have to go get it. I’m pretty excited about getting into what I consider dominant positions and showing my improvement. I think I’m going to surprise people.
While I’m getting ready for this fight, there are other things going on with me, too. I’m involved with “Supremacy MMA,” which is a brand-new MMA video game being released in the fall. I’m really excited about it. It’s an old-school, “Street Fighter”-style game. It has blood and guts and some really awesome moves. Even if I wasn’t in the game, I’d recommend it.
The last thing I want to leave you with for this blog -- I’ve got two more coming for Sherdog -- is how much I truly appreciate the support of my fans. Without them, it would be hard to do what I do, so I want to say thank you to all you great fans out there.