At WEC 47‘s post-event press conference, MMA legend Jens Pulver discussed the pride he feels in watching the lighter weight-divisions develop into popular, exciting products — even if the level of competition in those divisions has officially passed him by. "I’m just a proud old man," Pulver said. "I’m a proud poppa, I guess, I’m the godfather of this stuff, and it’s a good place and a good way to go." The younger fighters in attendance took some time to talk about what Jens meant to them as featherweights and bantamweights following the trail that Lil’ Evil blazed…
Scott Jorgensen: "Jens is one of the guys that kind of got me interested in MMA as an actual sport that I could compete in…The guy’s the greatest guy ever. He’s sincere, he’s from the heart, what he says he means. I don’t have a bad word to say about him, he’s the best, man. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without people like Jens."
Dominick Cruz: "One of my favorite fights of all time was him vs. Gomi. And if anybody hasn’t seen that fight, you need to watch it…One of the sickest fights ever…I got all the respect in the world for guys like Jens and anybody who I watched when I was younger. Without them leading the way I wouldn’t even be here, and anything they have to tell me I’ll always listen to them."
LC Davis: "I had the pleasure of training with Jens for a couple years in Bettendorf…I learned so much for him, he’s really paved the way for the light guys. It really hurts me to see him not get the victories and doing things I know he’s capable of doing. But I’m just really thankful to be able to come across him and train with him and be with him."
"I can’t even begin to explain the road that I’m sitting on," Pulver said afterwards, clearly touched by the tribute. "It’s kind of the bittersweet…I love this sport, and it’s tough, man. It’s hard to go out like this."