On July 25, Resurrection Fighting Alliance will crown its first heavyweight champion. Two big men, both undefeated, will step into the RFA cage and do everything they can to annihilate each other. When the dust settles, only one of those men will have his hand raised. He’ll also have a shiny new accessory around his waist. Jan “The Janimal” Jorgensen hopes to be that man.

Jorgensen, a former defensive end at Brigham Young University from 2006-2009, is scheduled to fight Josh Copeland on Friday, July 25, for the title as the main event at RFA 16 in Broomfield, Colo. Jorgensen is undefeated in eight professional bouts, with seven wins and a no-contest. His upcoming fight will be a quick turnaround from his last bout on June 28, which saw the him score a first-round submission victory over Ben Fuimaono. His speed, athleticism and ability to finish have contributed to his reputation as one of the best heavyweight prospects on the market right now, and he’ll seek to confirm that reputation against Copeland, who has eight wins in eight fights.

“I feel good,” Jorgensen said on The Fuller Fight Factor LIVE, a radio show hosted by The MMA Corner writer Justin Fuller. “Josh is a good fighter. It’s a big challenge. It’s probably the biggest challenge that I’ve had in my career. I’m fighting in RFA. I’m fighting for the inaugural heavyweight title. It’s a big move for me. I’m pumped about it. I’m really excited to get the opportunity.”

Jorgensen (Lester Muranaka/Sherdog)

Jorgensen (Lester Muranaka/Sherdog)

Jorgensen, who is also known as “The Janimal,” will be making his promotional debut with the RFA.

“It’s a good opportunity for me. It’s a good opportunity for the fans, too,” said Jorgensen, who has hopes of getting into the UFC, but won’t let that distract him from the task at hand. “I do plan on winning when I fight Josh, but whatever happens afterwards I’ll take it as it happens. As of right now, I’m worried about one thing, and that’s beating Josh Copeland.”

With a combined 12 finishes in 16 professional bouts, most would find it unlikely this fight will go the distance. However, Jorgensen is not planning on letting Copeland’s abilities interfere with his own game.

“I’m coming into this fight prepared for anything,” he admitted. “Ideally, I love getting the finish whenever I can get the finish. I have gone to a decision before, and actually I wasn’t very happy when I went to that decision, but I’ll be prepared to do that if need be.

“Josh is a good athlete for being a heavyweight—it’s hard to find those. I think he’s a tough guy. He has heavyweight hands. He moves well for being a big heavyweight. He has those spots in his game that I am definitely going to keep my eye open for, but I’m not going to go out there and just fight like any other fight. I’m more worried about what I do and what I need to do well and the things I need to do to win the fight.”

Jorgensen has been competing professionally for over four years, but he is still developing as a fighter and as a mixed martial artist. He cultivated a strong grappling base as a wrestler growing up, and his heavy hands have helped his striking progress immensely. At the end of the day, however, it’s his speed, strength and conditioning that will drive him to be better and take him to the top of the sport.

“I just consider myself a good athlete,” Jorgensen said. “I’m developing into a mixed martial artist. I consider myself being a good heavyweight athlete that can just go out there and do whatever I need to do to win the fight.”

Making the transition from one sport to another is almost never a smooth process, and Jorgensen was no exception. He quickly discovered that MMA is just as much about strength and conditioning, nutrition and a training regimen as it is about learning how to fight.

“I was a collegiate football player for four years,” he explained. “Had a pretty good career. MMA is very different. I thought it was going to be more seamless. I was sitting around at 265 [pounds], and you just have that big football muscle. What people don’t realize is when you’re carrying all that extra muscle weight, it makes you tired, and I never really figured out the nutrition thing. Being in shape for MMA is very different than being in shape for a football game.”

Balance in a training camp is critical when it comes to trying to achieve peak performance. Fighters and trainers have to determine and prioritize grappling, striking, sparring, exercise and nutrition requirements with the hours in the day and the damage the body can take. This is a part of the game that is always evolving. No one has it perfect, but Jorgensen is confident that his ability to learn and adapt will keep his progress and health on track.

Jorgensen (R) (Lester Muranaka/Sherdog)

Jorgensen (R) (Lester Muranaka/Sherdog)

“If someone says they’ve discovered it and they’ve found it and they’ve honed it in, they’re either No. 1) lying to you, and they have stopped learning—which I think being an athlete and being involved in the sport, you have to be forever learning—or [2)] they’ve been in the game for a very long time and they’ve honed those skills.”

Heavyweights not only have trouble finding quality opposition, but quality training partners as well. Jorgensen has the good fortune of access to the right number of training partners, coaches and resources to make sure he can work at getting better.

His home, The Pit Elevated under coach Jason Mertlich, has a number of quality light heavyweights who help Jorgensen get the work he needs, and he’s able to spend time at Jeremy Horn’s school, which is home to several 205ers and some heavyweights. Jorgensen has also taken the time to travel in preparation for his bout. The destination? Albuquerque, N.M., home to one of the most renowned camps in MMA.

“I spent a few days down at Greg Jackson’s and got a chance to train with those guys down there, just to go out there and gauge my skills and see where I’m at,” Jorgensen said. “So I’ve trained with elite heavyweights and sparred with elite heavyweights.

If fighting isn’t consuming Jorgensen’s life, then it’s sports as a whole. When he’s not in the cage, on the mat, or working 9-5, you can find the Janimal coaching high school football. He also hosts his own sports-talk radio show, which had been on the air for a couple years. He may look to get back into that if he can find the time.

“I absolutely love sports. It’s my addiction. I can’t get enough of it.”