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Jorgensen looks to settle unfinished business at WEC 48

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The Canadian Press
4/22/2010 5:47:41 PM
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Last time MMA fans saw bantamweight Scott Jorgensen, he was squeezing the air out of Chad George at WEC 47.

George made the mistake of trying to take his opponent down when the bell rang. Jorgensen sprawled and blocked the attempt, got a good grasp on George's neck and then backed him up against the fence.

A desperate George tapped out after just 31 seconds, his legs twitching in the air like a lobster's claws en route to a pot of boiling water.

The 27-year-old Jorgensen will be looking for another decisive finish Saturday at Sacramento's Arco Arena when he takes on Antonio Banuelos, who won a split decision when the two met last June at the same venue.

"I'm going back to finish business that needs to be finished," Jorgensen told The Canadian Press.

The rematch comes on a big stage -- World Extreme Cagefighting's first pay-per-view card with a marquee main event pitting highly touted bantamweight champion Jose Aldo against former title-holder Urijah (The California Kid) Faber. Ben (Smooth) Henderson defends his lightweight crown against Donald (Cowboy) Cerrone in the co-main event

The UFC, which owns the WEC, is throwing its resources behind the Sacramento card. UFC president Dana White is serving as point man for the show and the UFC broadcast team and ring announcer are supplanting the normal WEC crew.

Jorgensen (9-3 including 5-2 in the WEC) knows the high-profile gig is good for the sport and the WEC.

"But for me, that's just extra flash and lights, man," he said. "For me it's all about the fight right now. Just the two guys in the cage, that's what I'm focused on.

"The fact that it's Banuelos going to be standing across from me makes this deal even sweeter."

Banuelos (18-5 including 8-4 in the WEC) is a pint-sized bundle of energy. Just five foot three, the California native is like MMA's Mini-Me to former UFC light-heavyweight champion Chuck (The Iceman) Liddell. Banuelos and Liddell train together and are fast friends.

Jorgensen, who says he stands 5-5 or 5-6, remembers the first Banuelos fight like it was yesterday.

"That's the beauty of it," he said. "I was never hurt. I remember every second of it."

Jorgensen, who took a shot to the eye early on, reckons Banuelos won the first round.

"The second and third rounds, I felt like I won hands down. . . . Apparently I left it too close for the judges to make a clearcut decision. So this time it's not going to be that way."

Jorgensen has won all three of his subsequent bouts. Banuelos has fought just once since, defeating Kenji Osawa in November.

Banuelos, 30, was originally slated to meet Damacio Page on Saturday but Jorgensen was brought in as an injury replacement some three or four days after the George fight in early March.

Faber first showed him the riff on the guillotine choke he used to dispatch George. Jorgensen played with it in training, making it his own move. He just missed failing to finish Takeya Mizugaki with it in December but made no mistake with George.

"People have got to be careful shooting (for a takedown) on me, because I can hit it from just about anywhere right now," he said.

The sudden, decisive finish has brought Jorgensen more recognition -- and more fans.

Jorgensen is hard to miss. His fauxhawk hairstyle is sometimes dyed red. He also has vitiligo, a condition characterized by patches of depigmented skin.

It's not something that bothers him, other than needing to use sunscreen.

"I'll tell you as much as I know. I know it's a pigment disorder and I've got it," he said with a laugh.

In fact, Jorgensen sees the positive, saying the white patches make his tattoos stand out.

Jorgensen is a former Pac-10 wrestling champion at Boise State and still makes his home in Boise where he co-owns the Combat Fitness gym in nearby Garden City with some college wrestling teammates.

His father was in mining and Jorgensen grew up in St. George, Utah, 90 minutes northeast of Las Vegas, before moving to Alaska when he was 14. Jorgensen spent four years there, eventually moving to Idaho in his senior year of high school in the hope that his wrestling might get noticed more and lead to a scholarship.

The move worked and Jorgensen turned down offers from the Naval Academy and Nebraska to attend Boise State, where he wrestled from 2002 to 2006 and obtained a degree in psychology, specializing in quality of life and how to improve it.

His first ties to MMA, other than watching it, came courtesy of Jens Pulver and Faber. He became friends with Pulver, a former UFC lightweight champion, in 2001, and knew Faber from college wrestling. After Faber turned pro, he urged Jorgensen to follow in his footsteps.

Jorgensen wasted little time taking that advice after he finished school. His first pro fight was in June 2006.

In addition to his gym, Jorgensen is opening up a business in Boise that offers non-medical homecare -- helping seniors or the disabled with everything from fixing meals to bathing.

Combine that with fighting, and helping look after four-year-old son Braeten, it makes for a busy life.

"I like it that way," Jorgensen said. "I get bored easy . . . I need to have things to keep me going a million miles an hour."

Jorgensen usually walks around at 150 to 155 pounds, cutting down to 135 to fight.

Scott Jorgensen (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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