Finally in the UFC Hall of Fame himself, Jens Pulver stumps for Robbie Lawler, Dan Henderson

Finally in the UFC Hall of Fame himself, Jens Pulver stumps for Robbie Lawler, Dan Henderson

After years of campaigns, both underground and in the mainstream, Jens Pulver became a UFC Hall of Famer in 2023

He was the promotion’s first lightweight champion in 2001. In fact, he never lost the title. After pair of defenses over Dennis Hallman and B.J. Penn, he was stripped during a contract dispute.

Pulver retired in 2013 after nearly 50 pro fights in the UFC, PRIDE, WEC, ONE FC and others. He has a clear sense of pride over his Hall of Fame membership, yet said he knows his place there in the Pioneer Wing makes sense, like he thinks it does for Frank Shamrock, who isn’t in yet, either.

“As long as you have that Pioneer Wing – see, did I deserve it? Maybe in my (whole) career? No – just winning the title is not enough to me,” Pulver told MMA Junkie Radio during the UFC’s International Fight Week in Las Vegas. “And defending it twice, losing it on a contract (dispute) – I never got beat. Nobody beat me. But being the champ, I don’t know if that does it.

Jens "Little Evil" Pulver MMA Stats, Pictures, News, Videos, Biography -

Jens “Little Evil”

“But as long as you have that Pioneer Wing, you cannot not have Frank Shamrock. That’s kind of what was with me, and I think with everybody getting behind me on it all: If you have this Pioneer Wing especially, there’s no way you can’t have the guy who created the 155-pound division. I won the belt and defended two times, never lost it, and carried on as a pioneer for all the little guys. That’s where I would say yes to Frank, 100 percent.”

But he also wants to see other contemporaries in there who aren’t yet. as individuals. Dan Henderson and former Pulver teammate Robbie Lawler are Hall of Famers, but in the Fight Wing for specific bouts.

Henderson is in for his 2011 first fight against Mauricio Rua at UFC 139. And Lawler’s a member for his UFC 189 welterweight title defense against Rory MacDonald in 2015.

“I always had this one piece, and I kept this with me for a long time: When they talk about the sport, do they need to mention your name?” Pulver said. “There’s no way you couldn’t (say that about me). I started a weight class, so there’s a pioneer aspect of it, and then winning that belt – there’s no way you can tell the story without having it in there. When fans talk about the sport, who do they mention? Who do they talk about? Then you start going from there: Has that all been worthy?

“There’s no way Dan Henderson could never be. There’s no way that Dan Henderson can’t be, shouldn’t be, in a hall of fame. There’s nothing like Dan Henderson, nothing like what that man did.

“… I love Robbie – he’s my little brother. Another one: 100 percent should be in there. If you talk about the sport of MMA, there’s no way you won’t talk about Robbie Lawler. Some of the greatest fights you ever witnessed, the titles that he had, the fights that he had, how he started as a youngster, him and Nick (Diaz) in that first fight, and just how long he’s been in this sport – there’s no way you can talk about UFC and MMA and fighting without talking about Robbie Lawler.”

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