(Jorgensen cracks Antonio Banuelos at WEC 41.)
To Scott Jorgensen, fighting on WEC 48, the organization’s debut pay per view card, is worth the quick turnaround time. Just seven weeks ago he wasted Chad George in 31 seconds at WEC 47, earning “Submission of the Night” honors and a chip on his shoulder. If he wasn’t going to get a title shot he’d take a marquee spot on his employer’s biggest card to date.
An injury forced Damacio Page to cancel his WEC 48 date with Antonio Banuelos, who squeaked by Jorgensen at WEC 41 via split decision. Jorgensen (9-3, 5-2 WEC) saw his opening and so dismissed R&R to try to earn his coveted title shot. Since losing to Banuelos, Jorgensen has won three straight including a unanimous-decision “Fight of the Night” victory over Takeya Mizugaki.
“It’s a drain on the mind thinking about that stuff because it is a great opportunity,” Jorgensen said. “But I think with a win it’s going to be really hard to deny that I’m not the No. 1 contender if not the next one getting the belt. Four straight wins with the only loss being what I still believe was a fight I won last June. The task at hand is taking out Banuelos.”
The WEC’s premiere pay-per-view is, in Jorgensen’s word, “insane.” Jose Aldo-Urijah Faber and Ben Henderson-Donald Cerrone II are the co-headliners. Mike Brown-Manvel Gamburyan and Anthony Njokuani-Shane Roller are two featured attractions. Jorgensen vs. Banuelos opens the show with a compelling matchup of serious contenders most people aren’t familiar with and are still building a following, especially with their first fight setting new standards of excellence in their respective careers.
“I still think my fight with Banuelos last year was still one of the top fights of the year,” Jorgensen said. “You don’t see that very often, two little guys just getting after it with their fists. The excitement and adrenaline level that was going throughout that crowd, and to the fans watching, they could feel that fight. That’s an important thing. And this fight will be no different. Fans are going to be able to connect and think, ‘Wow it’s not just a couple of guys swinging their fists around trying to get lucky.’ It’s two guys who know what they’re doing.
“Bottom line I’m going to come up on top. It’s definitely going to catapult me more into the mainstream MMA families’ hearts.”
The tried-and-true philosophy in MMA is that certain kinds of losses can be the best thing to happen to a fighter. The judges’ split-decision verdict still prods at Jorgensen, so he used it to reflect why he’s involved in MMA in the first place, why he participates and why he loves it. Since beginning wrestling in the third grade and excelling as a three-time Pac-10 champion at Boise State he’s had an admiration for contact sports. The first fight with Banuelos was fun but also left Jorgensen angry with himself because he abandoned his gameplan and tried to look pretty for the judges.
“It was the decision to take all the bells and whistles away from it and look at it for what it is: a fight,” Jorgensen said. “Ever since I started relaxing and having fun, getting back to my roots, I’m just enjoying myself. People around me keep me relaxed and we’re doing all sorts of fun things. We’re keeping it so I enjoy this sport. The only way I’ll stop fighting is when I quit having fun. Right now I see no end in sight. I love this sport too much.”
Come Saturday night, Jorgensen will refuse to give into pride. He knows exactly what’s at stake and intends to dominate. And rather than stretch for a karat not completely within reach, the business at hand will be inside a cage reduced to its simplest definition.
“It’s just another fight to me,” Jorgensen said. “It doesn’t matter who’s watching, the amount of people, title shots, No. 1 contenders, whatever. I have to do my thing and take care of business like I have in my last three fights. Live in the moment, don’t live in the future. If I look too far it clouds my judgment on right now and the task at hand.”