Former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver was recently honored with an induction into the prestigious UFC Hall of Fame. During the ceremony, Pulver delivered a captivating and motivational speech that touched the hearts of many.
The 2023 UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on July 6 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The event, which was livestreamed on UFC Fight Pass, celebrated the remarkable careers and contributions of several prominent athletes.
Among the inductees, former featherweight champion Jose Aldo and lightweight contender Donald Cerrone were honored in the modern wing. In the pioneer wing, former middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Jens Pulver were recognized for their trailblazing careers in the early days of the UFC.
Pulver holds a special place in UFC history as one of the pioneers of the lightweight division. In 2001, he competed in the inaugural UFC lightweight championship and emerged victorious against Caol Uno, becoming the first-ever UFC lightweight champion. He successfully defended his title twice against Dennis Hallman and BJ Penn. However, due to contractual issues, Pulver left the UFC in 2002 and vacated the belt.
Known for his exceptional boxing skills, speed, and relentless style, Pulver made a name for himself in the octagon. Despite his relatively small frame, he possessed knockout power, finishing 14 of his 27 victories by knockout.
During his induction speech, Pulver expressed gratitude for the precious gift of time that cannot be bought with money. He thanked the audience for their presence and the support they have shown him throughout his journey.
“Time… The biggest thing that money can’t buy. We always think we had more, and the fact that you all come in here and you give me your time. Greatest gift on the planet. I love and appreciate you all. So if I can, before I leave, I just want to tell you, thank you again for never closing the door on who we become,” Pulver shared.
Pulver also opened up about his challenging upbringing in an abusive household, revealing the hardships he faced. Despite the adversity, he expressed immense pride in himself and expressed a desire to go back in time to thank his younger self for having the courage to pursue his dreams.
“Thank you for having the courage to go out there and represent your mama and brother and do something that most people didn’t think you should do. Thank you, and I love you, you little pioneer. You’re really going to love the way life turns out. So just keep living, keep kicking *ss. And all of you, thank you so much,” Pulver tearfully expressed.
Ezra Samuel is a passionate freelance writer with a particular love for covering MMA news. His interest in the sport dates back to his college days, and he has since established himself as a respected voice in the MMA community. Over the years, Ezra has contributed his writing to a variety of digital outlets, including the popular site calfkicker.