Amidst speculation to the contrary, Jens "Lil Evil" Pulver announced on the May 7 episode of HDNet's Inside MMA that he is not officially retired.
"When it's time (to retire), I'm just going to ride off into the sunset," said Pulver. "I'm never going to make some big speech. I don't want to be the guy that retires twice. I'm not officially retired."
At 34-years-old, Pulver is 1-6 in the WEC since dropping down to 145 and has not won a fight since December 2007. He hinted at retirement after his last fight, an armbar submission against Javier Vasquez at WEC 47 in March when he said, "I don't want to cry in front of you (the fans) no more. I've put y'all through this way too many times." Nevertheless, Pulver said on Inside MMA that he still feels good and would like to fight again in the future.
"I would like to continue; physically, I feel good," said Pulver. "You gotta look at how I've been losing. No doctor's been waking me up, I don't need no smelling salts...a couple of submissions and a five-round war with Urijah Faber."
Pulver is perhaps best known as the first UFC lightweight champion and the godfather of the lightweight division. His crowd-pleasing style has thrilled fans for more than a decade, and he's gone to war with the likes of BJ Penn, Hayato "Mach" Sakurai, and Takanori Gomi. His reputation is that of a gamer who goes out on his shield, win or lose. Considered by many to be an inspiration in and out of the cage, Pulver opened up about his horrific childhood and checkered past in a 2003 book.
Pulver would like to pursue a career in broadcasting, as he's been a guest commentator on a handful of WEC broadcasts. A former Division I wrestler at Boise State, Pulver is glad to be back in Idaho, where he's opened his own gym, the Driven Training Center. He's also pushing for more of an amateur MMA scene in Idaho.
Though Pulver doesn't know how many fights he has left, he does know that even after he's done fighting, he'll always be a part of MMA in some capacity, whether as a commentator, a coach or both.
"I'm never going to leave this sport," he said. "I'll be retired when I'm underground."