Jens Pulver eyes a turnaround Saturday in New Mexico. | 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.
This will be my last blog for Sherdog before my fight with “Ox” Wheeler on Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M. Outside of some last-minute preparation, I’m ready to go. I’ve been in New Mexico since Tuesday, and I’m ready to fight. In some ways, this is the hardest time for a fighter. You do training camps, and they can be very difficult; no question about it. Cutting weight to get to bantamweight -- man, it sucks sometimes. But now all the training is done, all the physical preparation is done, so it’s just weight-cutting and waiting. It’s like all of this is you paying the price for actually getting to step into the cage. Getting in there and letting it go is my reward for not eating what I want, for pushing past the fatigue wall, for doing media when I don’t feel like it. It all gets paid back when I get to actually step in the cage and put the training to use.
As I mentioned, weigh-cutting is not the most fun thing you do as a fighter. To make weight, you have to be very careful with your diet. You have to drink the right amount of fluids. You have to know when to hit the sauna. There are a lot of factors involved. You definitely don’t want to overdo it to the point where the fight ends up being against your own body rather than your opponent. Fighting as long I have, I’ve got my system down. My weight is where I want it to be, and I don’t foresee any problems making weight at all. However, I have to be aware of a different element to this fight.
New Mexico is at high elevation. I heard someone say Albuquerque is 5,000 feet above sea level, so altitude is something that could end up being a factor in the fight. The higher up you are the less oxygen there is to go around, and with two guys that can really go like me and Ox, it’s something for which I have to be prepared. In some ways, it was good that I got into town a day earlier than usual. It gave me a chance to acclimate a little to the atmosphere. Still, I’m hoping to finish the fight before oxygen even becomes a factor.
Throughout the course of writing these blogs, I’ve talked about the mental preparation that goes into a fight. The biggest obstacle for me is truly the mental side of it. When you experience some losses, it can really mess with your psyche. In the cage, you’ve got to be confident. You have to trust your skills, trust your camp, trust your training and trust your corner. For me, it’s about taking all of that, everything I’ve been training, and bringing it with me into the cage. My trainers and training partners know that I have what it takes to win. It’s just applying it all in the cage. On Saturday, I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that happens.
Since this is my last blog in this series, I want to take a little writing space and thank some people; a special thanks to my family for always having my back, to Brian Butler of Suckerpunch Entertainment and to Jeff Curran, Pat Curran, Bart Palaszewski and the rest of Team Curran for all the training and preparation help and the MMA Fight Pit promotion for this opportunity. Last but not least, thank you to all the fans for their support. I will put on a great show on Saturday, and I hope you all get to see it happen. Take care, and hit me up sometime on Twitter: @Jens_Pulver.