The new breed of fighter is here and Jens 'Little Evil' Pulver is finding out firsthand. In 2008, the many fighters live, sleep and eat mixed martial arts. That wasn't the case earlier this decade. Fighters like Pulver had to work on their craft part-time. But if you had a very skill you could still be a dominate fighter. Pulver has always said no one can stand with him and strike at 145 lbs. Those days are gone. Most fighters possess solid if not very good striking skills. Leonard Garcia is one of those from the well-rounded new breed. He threw with Pulver from the get-go at WEC 36 and took out the MMA vet inside of 80 seconds.
The end began when Garcia nailed Pulver (22-10-1) with a left-right combo one minute into the fight. Then Garcia landed a right hand bomb over Pulver's ear. 'Little Evil' stepped back, shook his head to clear the cobwebs and then retreated to the cage. Garcia pounced on Pulver, who was clearly out of it, landing 4-of-5 haymakers prompting referee Jorge Alonso to stop the fight.
This loss is nothing to be embarrassed about and frankly it wasn't a huge upset. We saw signs of Pulver's decline against Urijah Faber. Faber hadn't been well-regarded as a striker before the fight but he is now. He stood toe-to-toe with Pulver for five rounds and consistently beat Pulver to the punch. Faber is the best featherweight in the world and the guy is always training. Fighting at 145, Faber is never heavier than 153. That also means he's adding to his game 12 months a year.
Garcia has had some legal troubles away from the cage but if he keeps his nose clean, he's a solid threat in a future fight against Faber. He thinks that he deserves the shot soon:
"That fight says it all. I let actions speak louder than words. I say hell yeah"