Scott Jorgensen is set to headline this season’s TUF Finale event opposite Urijah Faber.
The fight is slated for April 13 in Las Vegas. Jorgensen (14-6) and Faber (27-6) were called in as a replacement fight for flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, who was injured and scheduled to face John Moraga.
Jorgensen was on the BJPENN.COM radio show on Wednesday night and talked plenty about his friendship with Faber, the bantamweight division, and his rough 2012 among many other things.
In Faber, Jorgensen will fight a friend and somewhat of a mentor.
“Uriah and I go way back, probably to like 2005 and 2006 when he was coaching at UC-Davis and I was still wrestling at Boise State,” Jorgensen said. “He was fighting and coaching and I was always a big fan of the UFC and loved watching the fights. We were talking and he said I should try it out, that I would like it, that I would have fun and make a little money.”
After his closing out his wrestling career, Jorgensen ventured into MMA where he took a lackluster approach.
“I started goofing off as a hobby and taking fights from all the way up to 155 and all over,” Jorgensen said. “Finally I fought at 135 for the Elite XC promotion. All it took was one fight there and the WEC made an offer for a contract and Uriah hooked me up with my managers. Since then, we’ve been close, we’ve trained together. It got to the point that a lot of people thought I was part of Team Alpha Male.”
The bond has grown over the years to the point where Jorgensen’s son is a Faber fan.
“I know his family, he knows my family. We have a lot of the same friends that train together,” Jorgensen said. “He’s talked to my son a lot. My son is a big fan of his. It’s an interesting dynamic.”
Faber and Jorgensen figured their paths had to cross eventually in the cage and when it happened, they both hoped it would be for something big.
“For this being the main event and being able to show the fans an exciting fight and being the stars of the show, we want to go out have some fun,” he said. “It is a big fight for both of us. We’re both at the top of the division and we don’t know what’s going on with Dominick and if Bara retains the title, who is in line next?”
While waiting on final approval for the fight the two traded texts while leading up to the bout becoming official.
“From then on it was just let’s go out and fight,” Jorgensen said. “Let’s make it a dirty, ugly brawl, a fantastic fight that the fans are going to fall in love with.”
Trying to punch or tap out a friend sounds strange to most. But to athletes like Jorgensen and Faber, punishing your pal is just another day at the office.
“I’ve been cut by buddies, choked, punched as hard as they can hit me,” Jorgensen said. “To prepare yourself for what we’re going to do inside the Octagon you have to have people coming after you. You can’t have people take it easy on you. You have to have guys willing to push you and beat you and break you to make you better.”
With a wrestling background, competing against a friend or teammate is all part of the equation.
“A fight is a fight and it is a sport. At the end of the day, this is what I chose to do for a living,” Jorgensen said. “I earned my spot and fought hard for it and just because he is a friend doesn’t mean I’m not going to stop moving forward. I’ve wanted tough fights ever since I got into the UFC. Uriah is just another big name fight for me and it just happens he’s a friend. They way I put it, and I tweeted it out the other day; ‘Would I give my friend half my paycheck?’ ‘Am I going to let a buddy come in here and take part of my money just because we’re buddies?’ It doesn’t matter to me. At the end of the night, our after party is going to be together. We’re going to hang out, we’re going to talk s*** to each other and have fun.”
Faber was a world champion at 145 pounds and has spent significant time already at bantamweight, earning a title shot. Jorgensen said he doesn’t get caught up in what his opponents have done before.
“One thing I have learned from all my years in MMA and wrestling is that you don’t look at the past,” he said. “You look at how they are now and what’s going to happen in the present. I don’t care what Uriah’s done in the past. I don’t care what he did last week. I’m prepared for what he’s going to do in the Octagon on April 13. That is the only thing I need to worry about.”
Jorgensen’s 2012 saw him pick up two loses, first to Renan Barao and then to Eddie Wineland. He got back on track in December with a submission win over John Albert.
I still feel to this day that I gave Barao the stiffest test he’s had inside the Octagon. I think he knows it,” Jorgensen said. “I landed more significant strikes than anyone else has. He won the fight. He did what he had to do to win and I did not. If you go back and watch it like I have there are two different instances when his knees start to buckle after I land shots. I was just too concerned with playing this long striking game, which I can’t do with guys like him. I feel the degree of separation was minor.”
Four months later, Jorgensen lost to Wineland, making it the only time in his career he posted back-to-back losses.
“With both of those fights I just learned that I need to stick with the game plan,” he said. “My problem, and it’s been that for a long time, is that I go out and you entertain me into this idea of a brawl and I forget about out all of these great tools that I have had from the get-go. I like to play with my striking. I’m a hard-nosed guy and I have no problem getting hit and I like to hit back. If you look at my last three loses it has been to Barao, Wineland, and Cruz and all three of them have significant reach advantages over me. I tend to play games with guys who have physical advantages over me.”
Barao is currently the divisions’ interim champion while Cruz has dealt with lingering injuries. Jorgensen put it bluntly whether to him if the word interim is in front of champion.
“I don’t care and I don’t think most of the fighters in the division give a s***,” he said. “The only two people who probably care are Dominick and Renan. Everybody else is just chasing the belt, just trying to get there. Until I win that belt, it doesn’t matter. You can call them interim, current, or last Tuesday’s champ.”
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Tags: MMA NEWS, scott jorgensen, TUF 17, ufc news, Urijah Faber
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