One of the more impressive performances at WEC 45 this past weekend featured the three-time PAC-10 champion wrestler Scott Jorgensen battling the 2003 Shooto Rookie of the Year Takeya Mizugaki in a bout that many fans felt would sway in favor of Mizugaki. Surprisingly, fans were not only treated to what many writers felt would be the "Fight of the Night", but a brilliant gameplan of controlling wrestling ability and the use of heavy-handed punching by Jorgensen.
The most overlooked component in Jorgensen's gameplan was the clinch. While some fans, including myself, were getting rather tired of the clinch game resulting in nothing toward the later stages in the fight, a retrospective look at the fight definitely lends a pat on the back to Scott Jorgensen. One of the significant parts of Mizugaki's skill-set was completely nullified by the clinch game in his more technical striking, and Jorgensen was able to use the clinch to unload the huge right hand that dropped Mizugaki in the opening moments of the fight.
Jorgensen's wrestling ability also came heavily into play in putting Mizugaki on his back enough to waste away time in which he could become effective in the striking department. Most people believed that Mizugaki's takedown defense was fairly tough to break, but Jorgensen was able to explode and finish on more than one occasion.
The interesting part about the takedown exchanges was that Mizugaki really didn't need to rely heavily on his defense as most would believe. He was easily able to transition and gain the clinch after being put completely on his back. In reality, Jorgensen's takedowns were really only a means to stop Mizugaki from landing the more technical strikes and pointing his way to victory. And it worked.
With the victory, Jorgensen immediately vaults himself into most top five rankings of the worldwide bantamweight division -- right below Dominick Cruz. The WEC could give Jorgensen another crack at Damacio Page or pit him against fellow rising star Joseph Benavidez. There is also the issue of where Miguel Torres fits in the entire scheme of things
In any case, Jorgensen has a tough road ahead of him. He'll need to improve his technical striking ability to be a real force at the top of the division, and his control on the ground needs to improve enough to stop guys with the skill that Mizugaki demonstrated from gaining the clinch so easily after being flattened on his back. Does he have what it takes to be a real contender? He sure has the determination and heart, but it'll take some hard work to compete with the likes of Miguel Torres, Dominick Cruz, and Brian Bowles.