June 8, 2012; Sunrise, FL, USA; Eddie Wineland reacts to winning his UFC bout over Scott Jorgensen (not pictured) at BankAtlantic Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
The original WEC bantamweight champion had gone 0-2 in his first two UFC bouts. Granted, they were against Urijah Faber, the current number two-ranked 135-pounder in the world, and Joseph Benavidez, the former number two at 135 pounds before dropping down to flyweight.
Despite his tough opposition, Wineland found himself once again across the cage from another top 10 bantamweight talent in Jorgensen, but this time, the New Breed Academy product would fire on all cylinders and he put a stamp on the bout with an astounding second round knockout, the first time Jorgensen had ever been stopped in his Zuffa career.
Wineland took home a $40,000 "Fight of the Night" bonus for his efforts and he spoke with MMAmania.com last night during a special guest appearance on The Verbal Submission about the near fight-ending gash on his forehead, his never-ending belief in himself and what's next for him.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I guess the first question I've got for you Eddie is, have you enjoyed your first pizza and beer yet since the fight?
Eddie Wineland: (laughs) You know, honestly, I don't think I've stopped eating pizza since the night of the fight. I was having pizza just now before you called me. I'm up to about 160 pounds already. I'm fat and loving it but I can't wait to get back into the weight room tomorrow.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): With that "Fight of the Night" bonus, you can get a lot of pizza.
Eddie Wineland: (laughs) I think I'll put it in the bank first though. My goal is for when it's time to retire, I can enjoy myself, not have to pay anything off and just live life and be a happy old man.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): It was up in the air whether your fight was going to even be on the main card. The fans had to vote it onto the main card, and I have a feeling they voted correctly with how much the crowd ended up enjoying your fight.
Eddie Wineland: Any of those other fights that were candidates to be on the main card. They weren't near as exciting as ours. I knew as well as Scott did that we were both coming in to throw down. If the fans didn't vote for it, shame on them.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You entered this fight on a two fight losing streak. Granted, it was against Urijah Faber, the current bantamweight number one contender and Joseph Benavidez the then-number two bantamweight in the world. You were facing two of the best bantamweights on the planet, but was it frustrating entering this fight with that two fight losing streak after all that success you had closing out your WEC career?
Eddie Wineland: I don't think it was so much the frustration of a losing streak, I think it was more frustrating because I knew I shouldn't have lost to those guys. If I go in and fight my fight like I did the other night, if I be myself and let loose like I know I can, I don't feel that there's anybody that beats me. I know everybody says that but Scott Jorgensen, he was one of the top five, top six in the world and I basically ran right through him. The champion couldn't even finish him. They went five rounds and [Dominick Cruz] just peppered him to death. I put him away and I did what the UFC champ could not do. I did what everybody else who's ever fought him could not do and I did it all with a giant gash on my forehead.
Now you know that I've taken hard shots on the chin and I haven't gone down. I've bled until there's basically no blood left in me and I still was not finished. So now, what do you do to face this guy other than hope to grind out a decision? When I let loose and I'm in your face, if you go back and see the look on Scott's face going into the second round, he was tired.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I've got to ask, that gash that you had on your forehead, that was a canyon. That was bad. Did you have any concerns that it was a cut that was so bad they could have stopped the fight before the third round started?
Eddie Wineland: It was a war wound. It didn't cross my mind during the fight just because during the fight, all I'm thinking is, "Let's put this guy out. It's time to get the job done. Let's do something about it." After I got back and they were looking at it, they said, "Yeah, you're gonna need some stitches." I'm like, "Of course I'm gonna need some stitches. Let me see a picture of it!" After I saw the initial damage, I thought maybe if it had gone to a third round, there would be a possibility that they wouldn't have let me come out.
For whatever reason, people tell me I wasn't bleeding too bad. I felt like I was bleeding like a stuck pig. There was blood everywhere but I guess for a head wound, they said it wasn't bleeding like it should have been. The knee was the initial cut, but that's not what made it as big as it was. I think he threw a hook and then a jab and I think he hit me with a cross and it felt like it hit on that cut and it felt like it kept getting bigger and bigger. Maybe the addition of those two blows opened it up more than it initially was. I knew I was cut but I didn't know how bad.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Let's talk about your knockout power. Your knockout ability has to be at the top of any other bantamweight on the entire planet.
Eddie Wineland: I would say it's at the top. I would say me and Michael McDonald. I've never seen another 135-pounder that hits harder. If you go back and watch the tape, my "1" and "3" didn't even touch him. My "1" and "3" were just to get in his face to make him think. It was one punch. One punch that put him out. Show me another 135-pounder that does that. It doesn't happen.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Yeah, nobody had ever even done anything close like that to Scott Jorgensen before, but you had rocked him, dropped him and put him on roller skates earlier in the fight before the knockout came.
Eddie Wineland: I dropped him with a jab. I dropped him with a jab in the first round. That right there says, "This guy's got power." I've always known I have power. Everyone I've ever hit knows I have power. You ask anybody I've hit. You ask Benavidez. You ask Urijah. Anybody that's ever hit, they're biggest claim to fame is, "I've never been dropped. I've never been rocked." Well you've also never been hit by me. I box with a lot of professional boxers that are my size and every single one of 'em tells me, "I've never been hit that hard by a guy your size," and they've got head gear on and they get wobbled.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I think the really entertaining thing about you is that you're not a one trick pony with your knockouts. I've seen you knock out Will Campuzano with a body punch, Ken Stone with a slam, Antonio Banuelos with a head kick. You're a jack of all trades, there is no limb that can't knock somebody out.
Eddie Wineland: Absolutely. I don't understand going into these fights, everyone was saying, "Oh he's so one-sided. He's so one-sided." I just took on the three-time Pac 10 wrestling champ and I took him down. He could not take me down and I put him on his back. Don't tell me I'm one-dimensional anymore. I can wrestle. I can control on the top. I've got all the tools. You just haven't seen them yet.
Ben Thapa: I think you've put in a lot of work to improve yourself. Can you talk about not backing down from a tough challenge?
Eddie Wineland: Well that's why I'm a fighter. Everyone always asks me, "Why do you want to fight the Jorgensens, why do you want to fight Faber, why do you want to fight Benavidez?" I haven't had an easy road. If you look at anybody's schedule in the UFC, not bragging on myself but I would probably have the toughest UFC schedule. I've got tentatively the 125 pound champ, the number two 135-pounder and the number six 135-pounder all in a row. I don't think many people have fought three top 10 guys in a row. I would rather be fighting the competition I am.
I like to get paid, but I don't want to get paid because they brought me in to win. I want to get paid because they want to find out who the better fighter is. That was the case with Jorgensen. I know where I stand. I know that I belong right in the top five. I know I belong right in the mix. With just my last two losses, I fell off the wagon a little bit. It's not so much proving to myself, it's proving to everybody else that this guy is fighting top competition and he's hanging in there and he's beating them. I don't want to walk through anybody. I want to know that I was in a fight. I had my head split open in this last fight and I still kept fighting. I knew I was in a fight.
Ben Thapa: How soon do you think you can fight again? Do you have to talk it over with your team?
Eddie Wineland: Well obviously we've got to assess this cut. I'm on a 60 day suspension which is what I believe they gave me. I've got to just get to the weight room, keep getting stronger, keep hitting pads, wait for this cut to heal up and when it's good and ready to go, I'll contact them or they'll contact me and we work from there.
Ben Thapa: Any crazy firefighting stories you want to tell on the air?
Eddie Wineland: Ehh, I live in such a small town, sometimes we'll go years without seeing a fire. It's nothing exciting. My days at the firehouse are more my "rest" days. It's not like I actually rest there, but I don't work out as hard as when I'm off duty. When I'm there, I do a light workout, sweat a little bit and then just relax the rest of the night.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Getting back to fighting a bit, during that tough stretch for you, you had the two losses, a knee injury, an ankle injury and even a really bad car accident. Were there moments during that stretch where you were starting to doubt yourself or did you remain confident through that whole ordeal?
Eddie Wineland: Never once have I doubted myself. Again, I'm a fighter. That's my mentality. No matter what it is, I'll make it through it. I know injuries heal, accidents happen and I was lucky enough to walk away from that car accident with just a sore wrist. Obviously, this past Friday I was ready to go (laughs).
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I've got to ask about the future for you now. You mentioned the 60 day suspension, you had 15 stitches in your head, so you're probably going to be out for a little bit, but where do you think a victory over Scott Jorgensen places you in the division?
Eddie Wineland: That's not for me to decide. If it was for me to decide, I'd say give me a title shot. It keeps me in the UFC, it keeps me fighting and it keeps me on their radar. Again, I think I opened up a lot of eyes on Friday night. I think a lot of people said, "Hey, the old Eddie Wineland is back. He's ready to fight and he's got a lot more skill than we realized and his hands are very powerful." Nobody had ever finished Scott Jorgensen like that and (laughs) I'm glad to say I was the first.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I know you've got a lot of great victories on your record. Obviously, winning the WEC championship over Banuelos was probably right up there for you, but where would Friday night's victory over Jorgensen rank for you?
Eddie Wineland: A win is a win. Whether it's a belt or anything, as long as I get my paycheck. Ultimately, we're there for the paycheck. I think the fact that I won with an ax wound to my face and it didn't faze me, I think that right there defines who I am and it gives me a bit of character. I think the fact that I knocked him out not being able to see, that really makes the win that much sweeter.
Eddie would like to thank Mark, Bob and Nick at New Breed Jiu-Jitsu, Keith and Justin at Duneland Vale Tudo, Jason Gusic at Applied Strength and Conditioning, Oren Hodak from KOReps, Hayabusa and more. You can follow Wineland on twitter @EddieWineland.
To listen to the complete audio of our interview with Eddie Wineland, click here (begins at the 38 minute mark).