Scott "Young Guns" Jorgensen (11-3) is currently riding a five-fight win streak heading into WEC 53, where he will meet Dominick Cruz and get a shot at the WEC bantamweight title.
For Jorgensen, the road to getting the title wasn't an easy won. Jorgensen had dropped two highly competitive decisions to Damacio Page and Antonio Banuelos, both of which some feel he had won.
The no.1 bantamweight contender spoke with Andrew Gladstone on his road to the title, his former friend and training partner Urijah Faber, and what it means to fight on the last ever WEC fight card.
Last time we spoke we had talked about how you felt you deserved a shot at the title after you defeated Takeya Mizugaki via unanimous decision and also how you were robbed against Antonio Banuelos. How does it feel to be here right now fighting for a chance to be recognized as the best in your weight class?
"It’s a thing where I’ve always felt where I would be in the sport. You know it’s just another fight. You know you’re right all it does is prove that I’m the best in the weight class and that’s all I care about."
I want the belt, I want the recognition, I want all the press and all the media, but the bottom line is I want to be the baddest motherf***** at 135 pounds and to do that I got to win this next fight and so that’s the only thing that’s on my mind is to go out there and dominate and win."
On the Banuelos fight, I must ask how was sweet the taste of revenge was for you in defeating such a tough guy?
"It was just another win, I have a long-term goal and each win is the same. I won the first fight and it was more of ah ha I told you so more for me or anything. It was nice to get the victory and get that off my record, maybe down the road I’ll get the edge in a rubber match if we get the chance and I’ll get to finalize the fact I’m a better fighter than him.
It was just another fight; you know there was good things and bad things from it. It was just nice to get another victory."
It took quite a while for you to get a title shot at the WEC. At any pointed did you get really frustrated and felt that the title shot wouldn’t come?
"No, you can’t deny someone who keeps winning and I kind of understood where they were coming from. I stepped into the promotion and I lost to Damacio, and then I won a couple and I lost to Banuelos. Because of those losses I think it set me back, had I pulled off wins I would’ve fought for a title a long time ago and I’d be in a different position.
Everything that has happened in my career thus far I’m thankful for it. I’ve learned from everything not just losses, I’ve learned from wins, and it’s the route that I took to get to the title and I’m happy for it and I’m ready for what I’m about to step in the cage, I’m ready to go in there and win. There’s nothing else in my mind other than the victory, I haven’t even thought about losing or what if, other than I’m going to win."
Do you feel any added pressure now that the stakes have been raised with the WEC/UFC merger?
"No, I was always going to fight the no.1 ranked guy in the world at my weight. I’m still fighting him and nothing has changed. I’m still going to hurt him and make him bleed, make him hurt, and make him quit and that’s just how things are going to go."
In your last fight against Brad Pickett we got to see how you dealt with adversity and pull off the big win. Many people were counting out Pickett in that fight; did you develop a new sense of respect for him after that fight? And did he surprise you at all?
"No he didn’t surprise me, I’ve had respect for Brad before that. I don’t feel like I came back from anything, a lot of people think I got dropped in the first round, but I didn’t, I was just off balance and he knocked me down before I could popped back up and came right back forward.
I feel like I won that fight unanimously, there was no adversity. Everything was just a calculated fighting my ass off to get that victory. I knew before that fight Brad was going to be tough and Brad did nothing but prove me right."
I was wondering Bellator’s Joe Warren has talked about training with you in the past, are you two still tight and training together a lot? Or are you still all over the place with your training?
"Nah, I’m not all over the place, I’ve made Boise my home. I’ve finally gotten to a point where I’ve got a good group of guys around me, and I always had a good group of guys around me. I’ve added Kit Cope my Muay Thai instructor and coach, he travels with me, he’s been there and he’s been living with me. He’s my head trainer; he runs everything, my conditioning, my training, and all that stuff.
Joe was out a couple of weeks ago; he’ll be back next week to help me finish up camp. We’re both on each other’s side, and we want to hold as many belts between the two of us as possible and maybe one day we’ll fight each other for one. We’re just enjoying where we’re at right now and helping each other get better and just having fun with the sport."
I know that you saw your friend and former training partner Joseph Benavidez dropped his second fight to Dominick Cruz. If you get the win, do you feel like you’ll be getting revenge for your friend? Or are you just thinking of this as a great challenge?
"It’s just another great challenge, but you know definitely the fact that I got a friendship with not just Joseph but Urijah and everyone over there in Sacramento, it’ll be a little bit of a win for them too. Urijah just beat Takeya, and I think I go out there and beat Dominic and you’re going to see Urijah and I fight. As long as it’s for a belt, we’re both be comfortable with, it’ll be a fight that a lot of people never forget.
I haven’t thought too far ahead or anything like that, I haven’t thought what it means for everybody else. This fight is my fight, it’s nobody else’s, it’s not my friends, it’s not my family, this is my fight, it’s what I got into this sport for, and I’ve sacrificed so much. I’m not just trying to win, I’m trying to demolish him and make him second-guess what he really wants to do in life."
"He says he wants to fight to be champion; well he’s going to have to prove it against me. He’s going to have to stand there and be hurt and get his heart and chin tested."
Dominick Cruz has proven to be a very unorthodox and hard opponent to prepare for. What tools do you think you’re going to have to use in order to defeat him?
"Everything I’ve used in the last six or seven fights, just an onslaught of what I want to do. I never get bullied and I dictate fights, I dictate where fights happen and what pace the fight happens at. This is my fight.
Dominick doesn’t look to act, he looks to react and that’s not how I fight. I hurt people and make them tired, and he’s going to be hurt and he’s going to want to quit and he’s going to want the easy way out."
What would it mean to you to be recognized as the UFC bantamweight champion?
"It would mean everything; the big thing to me is being the WEC bantamweight champion, that’s the best in our division. To be UFC champion, to rubbing elbows with heroes of mine that are former UFC champions or current champions, it’d be my childhood dream come true."
With the WEC coming to a close, what are your thoughts on fighting on the last event for the organization?
"It’s an honor that they felt I could a good enough show to close out a long run of such a good organization. It’s an honor that they thought so highly of me and I’m going to go out there and do it to them right. I’m going to go out there and show them why the WEC has the most exciting fighters in the world and why the UFC even more so now is something to be watched."
Do you have anything to say in closing?
"I want to thank all my friends and family, I appreciate all that they’ve done for me."