Though the pairing may not be getting anywhere near the attention UFC 143’s headliner between Nick Diaz-Carlos Condit is, similarly to the welterweight match-up there’s another fight on the card likely to determine a top divisional contender in the bantamweight bout between Scott Jorgensen and Renan Barao. Jorgensen’s only loss in his last eight outings came via decision to current champion Dominick Cruz while Barao is 27-1 and hasn’t lost since his professional debut.
Even if the UFC hasn’t officially acknowledged the fight serving as a title eliminator, it appears at least one of the participants understands a victory will almost certainly guarantee a crack at the winner of Cruz’s upcoming defense against Urijah Faber.
“There’s only a few guys on a tear that I think could be considered number one contender. And I’m fresh off two straight wins, Barao’s on a heater, and to me it makes sense,” Jorgensen explained in an interview with the UFC’s website. “I fully plan on beating Barao and facing the winner out of Dominick and Urijah.”
Before he can worry about competing for any gold Jorgensen knows he has to defeat Barao, something that hasn’t been done in more than six years. However, the 13-4 Jorgensen embraces the challenge with open arms and expects to show the 24-year old a thing or two when it comes to facing the best of the best.
“Barao’s a tough guy, he’s very well-rounded, and he’s on a streak, so he’s got a lot of confidence and he’s riding high. But there are a lot of firsts in this fight for him, and he’s gonna get his eyes opened on what it’s like to be tangling with the guys at the top of the division,” said Jorgensen. “And I’m going in there with the same mentality I’ve had in my last two fights against (Jeff) Curran and (Ken) Stone, and that’s to outwork him, put the pressure on him, and be first in everything. I’m gonna be the guy that makes him rethink whether he wants to sit through another couple rounds of this guy grinding on him, pushing him, breaking him, beating him, choking him. And that’s my gameplan. I’m gonna go in there and I’m gonna hit him, kick him, choke him, take him down, slam him, and I’m gonna do everything to make him uncomfortable. And I’m good at it.”
Jorgensen-Barao is on the PPV portion of UFC 143, a broadcast set to start at 10:00 PM EST. Preliminary action begins at 7:00 PM EST on Facebook/FX.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC