Scott Jorgensen was on top of the world at bantamweight, but since his second UFC fight it has been tough test after tough test for the former bantamweight title challenger.

Jorgensen has fought some of the best fighters that the 135-pound division has to offer. Urijah Faber, Renan Barao, Eddie Wineland and Dominick Cruz—a group of fighters that could be the Mount Rushmore of the 135-pound division—have all fought Jorgensen. Jorgensen met his demise in all of those fights. Now, like other bantamweights, he is making the drop to the 125-pound division to maximize not only his talent, but his size.

Standing at 5-foot-4 and with a reach of just 66 inches, Jorgensen has always been tiny for the bantamweight division. Heck, it’s amazing that he was able to be a top-five fighter a weight class above where he belongs.

Jorgensen’s drop marks a big career change. At age 31, it means a lot to his career. Jorgensen, in going 2-3 in his last five fights, hasn’t been able to hang with the best as of late. The bantamweight weight class has moved past Jorgensen. With a drop to a division lacking top contenders for the title, Jorgensen has a good chance to take that opening and bust right through it.

The change at his age certainly means he has to make this work. He certainly has the skill set to make it possible. Jorgensen is a former NCAA Division I wrestler from Boise State, and his wrestling mixed with his speed makes him a deadly threat to anyone at flyweight.

Jorgensen had a rough ending to his bantamweight career, and the waters don’t get any less stormy in his first fight at flyweight. He’ll face Ian McCall, a tough out for anybody, as other two bantamweights who dropped to flyweight, Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez, would testify.

If Jorgensen can force his wrestling and get the win over McCall, it’ll be a good litmus test to see where Jorgensen is at exactly. He can go one of two ways: he could be a perennial contender at flyweight like he once was at bantamweight or he could continue on in the gatekeeper status that he earned at the tail end of his tenure at 135 pounds.

The aforementioned Johnson and Benavidez made the jump with great results. Both fighters came down and instantly were a big part of the UFC’s flyweight tournament. Johnson, of course, became the champion and is now considered among the more dominant champions in the UFC. However, Jorgensen is more like Benavidez, who made the jump down after finding himself in a hole after losing to Cruz, again, and having no possible route to a championship.

Benavidez has, so far, had a good run at flyweight. A definite title contender, Benavidez has gone 4-1 as a 125er with his only loss coming against Johnson in the inaugural flyweight title fight. More impressively, Benavidez has also finished his opponent in three of his four victories.

Jorgensen can hang with the best. He has hard punches and submission skills, which he demonstrated in his fight against John Albert. Jorgensen isn’t a very technical striker, but his striking is definitely not something to sleep on. Jorgensen can get into brawls and, minus a knockout loss to Wineland, Jorgensen hasn’t been knocked out.

Jorgensen won’t win a fight on his feet. His style of fighting relies on his wrestling. If Jorgensen can drag an opponent down, he will then utilize some nasty ground-and-pound and wear his adversary out for three rounds.

It’s tough to break down any fighter’s move to a lower weight class. You don’t know how the weight cut will affect them. Just because they were a good fighter in one weight class, doesn’t always equal being a good fighter at a lower weight class. The bantamweight and flyweight divisions are entirely different. At 125 pounds, everybody is a lot faster, everybody moves a lot more and everybody has a gas tank that is large enough to go seven rounds.

Jorgensen needs to tap into what he once was—the Scott Jorgensen we saw on his way to WEC 53. The title challenger to Dominick Cruz’s bantamweight belt. The man who survived Brad Pickett on his way to a “Fight of the Night” bonus. Jorgensen’s wrestling and ground-and-pound give him that edge, but can Jorgensen take advantage of it?

Until UFC on Fox 9, all we can do is guess as to which Jorgensen will show up. The gatekeeper at bantamweight, or the fast-moving, top-five bantamweight fighter that once was.

Photo: Scott Jorgensen (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

About The Author

Sal DeRose
Staff Writer

Sal hails from New Jersey and is currently training for his first MMA fight. He hopes to use his knowledge and insight to generate articles that interest and entertain you. Outside of MMA, Sal is a big fan of every other sport. He's a diehard New York sports fan, with the exception of cheering for the Packers.