COMMENTARY | On Saturday, April 13, 2013, at the Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 Finale in Las Vegas, Nevada, former Word Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) featherweight champion Urijah Faber will face off against perennial contender Scott Jorgensen. In addition, former Strikeforce bantamweight champion Miesha Tate will battle Cat Zingano in a bout that will determine the Ultimate Fighting Champion (UFC) women's bantamweight number one contender. Faber will attempt to keep his winning streak alive, while Tate looks to ruin Zingano's UFC debut and set-up a rematch between her and current UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
Urijah Faber: Arguably the most recognized fighter on the now-defunct WEC roster, Faber sports a remarkable record of 27-6. The former WEC 145lb. champion is the complete package. A two-time NCAA Division I wrestling qualifier, Faber uses his superior grappling to set up takedowns/submissions or to knockout his opponent. In fact, Faber boasts an 81% finish rate. His ability to dictate the pace of any given fight earned him a championship title with the WEC, which he defended a record five times. On April 13, in his bout against Jorgensen, "The California Kid's" strength, wrestling, and power will come into play, as he attempts to capture this significant win in his quest to another title shot.
Scott Jorgensen: The Idaho native is a wrestler by trade as well. While engaging Faber in a grappling contest would most likely prove unfavorable for Jorgensen, it would behoove the former WEC fighter to keep the fight standing and to use his speed to his advantage. His quickness and decent wrestling has secured him wins over veterans Jeff Curran and Antonio Banuelos. Jorgensen is 8-3 in his last 11 fights, and poses a legitimate threat to the superstar powerhouse that is Faber.
Although the two fighters are, in fact, friends who have the same management, Faber refuses to allow this fact to hinder his judgment. In an interview, he stated: "We're friends, we have the same management, but we aren't on the same team. So there's that time, there's a bridge to cross, where you have to understand - we both know we're two of the top fighters in the world. You can't say 'no' forever."
In a separate interview, Jorgensen gave way to comments that reflected the same state of mind. On MMA Junkie Radio, the Idaho native stated, "We're wrestlers. You grow up competing against your friends, and there's only one winner in wrestling just like there is now (in MMA). You don't have a team to rely on. If your buddy is at the same weight, what are you going to do, forfeit a finals match because he's your friend? No, you're going to go out there and wrestle. It's the same thing here."
The Faber/Jorgensen fight is a strong main event. The two fighter's skill sets appear to be similar in many ways. However, that of Faber has shown to be more varied. The California native is stronger, his wrestling and takedowns are more developed, and his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) sits at a higher level. All things being equal, it is difficult to envision a Jorgensen win over the former WEC featherweight champion. However, a decisive victory over a prime Faber would skyrocket Jorgensen's career and place him in the title contention conversation.
Miesha Tate: The former Strikeforce bantamweight champion brings a huge wrestling base to the table. She is the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles 2008 silver medal champion. Tate's high level grappling skills will most likely be on display, and assist the Washington native in controlling the pace of the fight. Her experience will also play a factor, as Tate possesses over twice the number of fights as Zingano, and has beaten the likes of former Strikeforce champion and submission ace Marloes Coenen, Zoila Gurgel, and Elaina Maxwell.
Tate recently highlighted Zingano's lack of experience and stated that this would serve as a great advantage to her. "I don't think she's fought anyone in the top 10 at all at 135 [pounds]. She's never fought on the big stage. I think it's going to be a disadvantage. It's going to be quite a shock for her." Zingano may be inexperienced in comparison, however, she brings a well-rounded style and confidence of being undefeated that not many fighters enjoy.
Cat Zingano: The Colorado native is 7-0 and has finished all but one of her opponents. Zingano's background is in BJJ and in wrestling. She is quite well-rounded, and has won four different championship titles for two lesser known organizations. There are a lot of unknowns surrounding Zingano, and how she'll perform on the largest mixed martial arts stage in the world remains to be seen. However, the undefeated fighter is self-assured and full of confidence as she enters into her bout with Tate. Zingano recently stated:
"I have my eye on prize, which is that world title. Miesha is the task at hand and that's what I'm focusing on." She continued, "I'm looking straight at her. I'm not looking past it. (I'm gonna) go in there and leave everything I have in that cage and you can guarantee that."
The winner of Saturday night's bout between Tate and Zingano will coach next season's TUF alongside Rousey. The event will make history, as two women have never before coached TUF. For the first time as well, the popular reality series will be co-ed and will showcase both men and women fighters in their quest to secure a contract with the UFC. The winner of Tate/Zingano will face Rousey for the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship upon the conclusion of the Ultimate Fighter 18.
Clinton Alexander Bullock has been a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner for many years. He has studied mixed martial arts for 12 years and has been published in the Philadelphia Sunday Sun Newspaper, Next Step Magazine, and Yahoo! News. Follow him on Facebook & Twitter @clintonbullock.
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- Martial Arts
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- Urijah Faber
- Scott Jorgensen
- Miesha Tate
- Ronda Rousey