http://www.fighthype.com/pages/content432.html Classy feller PULVER: "I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD BE HERE AGAIN, BUT NOW THAT I AM, IT FEELS PHENOMENAL!" By Jeff Young | July 26, 2007 Fighthype.com recently caught up with former UFC lightweight champion Jens "Lil' Evil" Pulver to discuss his recent rematch with B.J. Penn, his future at 145 as he makes his return in September, and the possibility of even boxing once again. SOG: First things first, I want to discuss your book, Never. I read a little of the chapters on your website (www.jenspulver.com), and it sounds like an interesting book. JP: It is a good book. The guy who wrote it did a good job. It has gotten good reviews as far as people that have written who have read it and they are a little thrown off because the book is really not about me. It is about the authors version of meeting me and the Wednesday group. It is still a good book, but it is not an autobiography of me. SOG: For those that do not know, what exactly is the Wednesday Group? JP: It is a group of guys that met at the gym and it is pretty much men only. We get together and discuss God and the bible and how they relate to what we are doing. We have a great pastor and he does a real good job. He has fighters and people from the outside coming in so it is a good mix of different opinions and ideas. People who come from all walks of life come to learn about the Lord and we are trying to become better people and help the community. We are taking this as far as we can take it. SOG: You see a lot of times in combative sports an athlete that finds God and brings religion into his life is never the same. Angel Manfredy is an example of this, as is Quinton Jackson, up until his victory over Chuck Liddell. However, in your fight with Penn, you still had that same intensity you have always had. JP: Really what it was is that my assistant coach and I had a few conversations about this same thing. He is the guy that deals with my attitude and we got to talking about that and I said, you know I am going to believe in God and I am going to continue to believe in God, but right now, I want to get mean. I want to feel mean. Quite frankly, I want to get pissed off to be quite honest and I sat back and he said, there is nothing wrong with feeling that way because it is not like I am going to start killing people. He said lets get mean, lets get down to work and make that solo walk to beat someone's ass. That is my job. I am either going to get beat up, or beat somebody up. I talked to my pastor and I told him what I was doing and that I was feeling like a hypocrite. You got to feel like you are coming out of the box. You have to feel that way; you need to be mean. It is not that you have to hate the guy, but you have to feel that way to push yourself; to get yourself amped to push yourself to those limits. To push yourself to the limit physically and mentally, you have to set yourself up. Being with God and being in this group is very nurturing and warm and refreshing, but reality is, to do this job, you have to be able to turn into an animal. You have to go to work. That does not mean you cannot be a nice guy, or that it can't be something that you can turn on or off. So I was feeling that going into this fight. I did feel like a hypocrite, but at the same time, I wanted to get mean and hungry because I wanted to pound this guy just like he wanted to pound me. When it is over, I am not going to continue to be that way. You just have to know how to turn it on and turn it off. SOG: You and Penn have now split a pair of fights. Do you feel that there needs to be a third fight or is this rivalry over? JP: You know, I would love a third fight down the road, but the reality is I am small and he got on me this time. I beat myself up about losing. It sucks, you know, but right now I am looking forward to going down to 145 pounds. You know, he beat me and I am not going to make any excuses. I am not going to whine for a rematch nor will I let it haunt me and keep me from doing what I want to do. I got beat and if I did not get the things I got from the show, the gifts, the team I got to work with, the fans and a better outlook on life in general, I would be demanding a rematch, but that is not all there is. Fighting him is not all I got. I am blessed in a lot of aspects. I met a lot of people. I got to hang out with them and talk with them. It has been such a blessing and it is really hard to hang your head and be humble when it was so much fun. SOG: The last time we spoke, you had just beat B.J. and had cut ties with the UFC. JP: Yeah. SOG: I was looking back at that and you had come to the realization that you were probably never going to fight in the UFC again. Now that you are back, how does it feel? JP: You know, I never thought I would be here again, but now that I am, it feels phenomenal. I just feel bad because I feel that I have let everyone down because I came back and now I am 0-2 since coming back. I let a lot of the new fans down and that is a tough pill to swallow, but at the same token, I am very happy to be back. I am blessed to be with Dana (White) and everyone in the UFC again, but it does hurt because I am 0-2. You know I was 7-0 when I left and now I have lost twice since coming back. SOG: Yeah, but you are still 4-0 as a boxer. JP: Yes I am. SOG: Is there any possibility that you may return to boxing? JP: If they are willing to let me box, I would love to fight again. It just depends if they would let me do it. I would love to continue boxing. I love boxing, you know, so it depends. If they are willing to give me a shot, I would love to do it. SOG: Your ESPN fight is still the one that everyone remembers as far as an MMA fighter goes and it was also the first time you had a big name in the industry (Teddy Atlas) giving MMA guys credit and not cutting them down. JP: Yeah. SOG: Now with the growing popularity of MMA and more and more boxers acknowledging MMA fighters and the UFC, do you see a guy like Kermit Cintron (cutting me off) JP: Oh my goodness, did you see Kermit Cintron? Sweet Jesus. That fight was not funny. SOG: Can you see a guy like Cintron coming to the UFC to fight a guy like Sean Sherk? JP: You know, if he brought his wrestling back, I could see it. He has good hands, but the thing is, you just do not get that comfort. You don't get to throw combinations because people shoot underneath you on that first jab. Boxers just do not understand that yet, but they will. SOG: I have always said, and I knew that Cintron had a wrestling background, but the one guy I have always said that would be good at both is Andre Berto because of his family. JP: Yeah. It just depends if they can cross over. If they are willing to learn, because it is more to it than just boxing. In this sport, there is just more to it. SOG: You are with one of the best trainers in MMA right now in Pat Miletich. Looking back at the way things were and now at where things are at, you are starting to see people talking about who is the best fighter pound for pound. Where would you place Miletich in his prime? JP: You would have to put him at the top somewhere. He was one of the best. He fought everyone they told him to fight and he was able to cross over and create one of the best gyms in the process. You have got to put him up there because he is one of the best of all time. He has crossed over and has become one of the best coaches in the business and not everyone can do that. SOG: What is in the works for you at this moment? JP: September 5th at 145 in the WEC. Fight. I signed a new contract with the UFC. Fight. I am ready to go. No excuses. I got knocked off the horse and I want to get back on it quick. I want to fight quick at 145. I was 7-0 with 7 knockouts at 145. That is where I like to be. SOG: Do you feel 145 is going to be more beneficial to you? JP: Well, I do not know if it will be beneficial because the game is tough, but when you get up in the morning and eat breakfast and you only weigh 152 pounds. I can battle the big boys, but you know, 145 is getting big so why not get big with it so I asked Dana White about going to the WEC and he said sure. I mean, I wrestled at 135 in high school and I was 141 in college, so it is just my weight class. SOG: How much longer do you think you will continue to compete? JP: I do not know. I guess until I decide I want to coach. When I decide that I want to make champions instead of be one, and when that day comes, it comes, but right now I am starting to have fun. I am enjoying doing seminars, something I used to not like to do. I do not know how long that will be, but when that day comes, I will be a coach. SOG: The reason I asked that was because you are going back to 145 and Arturo Gatti said after his last fight that he could not make 140 and was a different fighter at 147 so it was time to retire. JP: I am hoping that is not the case for me. I believe that my fight with Penn showed everyone that it was not the case. I was right there; just got caught out of position. Now if I would have got hit with a shot and went down, I maybe would have thought about it, but I scrambled out of what I could as far as I could. I escaped several submission attempts that he made. I am going to go to 145 and give it a shot. It is more my weight. It is not like I am cutting a massive amount of weight. I cannot stand people that do that. You see people that say I am going to drop 35 pounds and I am going to be the bigger guy. No your not dumbass. You are just going to be the most tired that day. I walk around close to this weight. I mean, I am 154 pounds right now and I generally weigh 152 after practice, so it is not a big drop. SOG: Jens, Fighthype.com would like to thank you for your time and we wish you luck in your upcoming fight. JP: Thank you, and I would like to say that I am going to 45. I feel good, I am ready and I want to thank everyone out there for their support. I appreciate it and I will talk to you soon.