Professional Fighter From Sunnyside Washington in the UFC Hall of Fame
Did you know that a professional fighter raised in Washington and born in Sunnyside was just admitted into the UFC Hall of Fame?
Washington State Born Fighter Entered into UFC 2023 Hall of Fame Class
A professional fighter born in Sunnyside, Washington is deservedly entered into the UFC Hall of Fame class this year.
He was born in Sunnyside but shortly moved to the west side of Washington near Maple Valley, which is just south of Seattle.
He was the oldest of four with one sister and a father who was a professional horse jockey.
He was also born with one blue and one brown eye, a characteristic that made him stand out later as a fighter.
Abusive Alcoholic Father Growing Up
No child should grow up in an environment where they are beaten or abused by their parents, but many do.
His father was an abusive alcoholic and he describes how it shaped him in “Little Evil, One Ultimate Fighter’s Rise to the Top”, a book he wrote about his life.
In the book, he describes one time when his father put a gun into his mouth but never fired saying he wasn’t worth the bullet.
His hard childhood obviously hardened him and had a part in the success he reached later in life as a fighter.
Wrestling at Tahoma High School in Washington
After being introduced to wrestling, he won two Washington State Championships for Tahoma High School.
He was also an NJCAA All-American in high school and then wrestled at Boise State University. While wrestling at BSU, he injured both his wrists ending his college wrestling career.
Learning from UFC Future Legends
After the injuries, he started studying mixed martial arts and moved to California to train with future UFC legends Ken & Frank Shamrock, Kevin Woo, and brothers Nick & Nate Diaz. That is where is fighting really started to take off.
The First UFC Lightweight Champion
He was the very first UFC Lightweight Champion ever in the UFC winning the title in February of 2001.
He fought the top-ranked Japanese fighter Caol Uno and won by a unanimous decision making him the first-ever UFC Lightweight Champion. He defended his title successfully twice before having to give it up over a contract dispute.
He was 27-19 with 14 wins by knockout, 4 by submission, and 9 by decision. After learning all about him, do you know this professional fighter’s name?
UFC Legend Jens Pulver is from Washington State
His name is Jens Pulver. He was the first UFC Lightweight Champion and was known for his unique style of fighting.
When it was announced that he would be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame for 2023, Jens Pulver was brought to tears in an interview. You can watch the clip below.
Congratulations Jens Pulver from all of Washington State for all you have accomplished, and it goes without saying we are all proud you are from Washington State.
You can learn more about the amazing details of his life and career on Wikipedia.
30 Reasons Living in Washington State is Amazing
There are lots of great reasons to live here, these are just a few!