, the former UFC
lightweight champion who has spent the last few years looking like a washed-up fighter who's hanging on too long, finally earned a victory over a legitimate opponent on Saturday night.
Pulver beat Coty Wheeler
by second-round technical knockout at the MMA
Fight Pit: Genesis event in Albuquerque. For Pulver, it was just his third win in his last 10 fights, and although he didn't look great inside the cage, it was nice for fans of Pulver to see him win at all: After Pulver exited the WEC on a five-fight losing streak last year, some people thought they'd never see him win a fight again.
The fight itself was a strange one, marked by Pulver hurting Wheeler on the feet but failing to follow up. Pulver knocked Wheeler down with a big left hand in the first round and appeared to have Wheeler hurting and in big trouble, but Pulver was hesitant to engage on the ground and risk getting submitted, and so he let Wheeler up, and Wheeler was able to survive the round. In the second round it happened again: Pulver knocked Wheeler down and just stood there, as if he was expecting the referee to stop the fight even though Wheeler wasn't out.
However, after Wheeler got up Pulver continued hurting him on the feet, and eventually after he knocked Wheeler down again, the referee stepped in to stop the fight and hand Pulver the TKO victory.
MMA Fight Pit announcer Jason Chambers said after Pulver's victory that it "could be the rebirth of Jens Pulver." That, however, is overly optimistic: At age 36, Pulver is past the point where he's going to have a rebirth.
But at least Pulver got a win. For Pulver, that represents progress.