Two of the best bantamweights in the world collided last night (April 13, 2013) as former WEC champion Urijah Faber took on former title challenger Scott Jorgensen in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Faber was coming off a dominant first round submission over Ivan Menjivar and was looking to prove he deserves one last crack at the title while Jorgensen was simply trying to steal the spotlight and score that impressive victory he's been lacking inside the Octagon.
It didn't happen for 'Young Guns."
Faber opened aggressively, looking to work his strikes but Jorgensen was having none of it, shooting in and actually taking him down. "The California Kid" would not be stuck on his back for long, forcing some very exciting scrambles and eventually reversing the position.
This would be a recurring theme.
Once back to the feet, Faber attempted to work some combinations while Jorgensen's goal was to get inside and connect with his powerful left and right hooks. Faber had a much easier job simply because his punches were straighter and more technical so he was able to pop Jorgensen from a distance. Whenever Jorgensen tried to get inside too aggressively, he was met with a big knee to the body.
Jorgensen didn't tire out like many expected and actually had some of his most success in the third round with some fun grappling scrambles as well as connecting with his strikes, but Faber wisely mixed up his attack and in the fourth, he shot in and put the Boise State alumni on his back, a position he's not used to being in.
When Jorgensen tried to turtle to get back to his feet, Faber took his back and locked in a body triangle. This was not a good sign for "Young Guns" and eventually he was submitted as the head Alpha Male sunk in a rear naked choke and forced the tap.
For Scott Jorgensen, he did everything he could, looking a bit crisper on the feet, more aggressive with his wrestling and forcing some incredibly exciting scrambles on the ground, but he simply wasn't as technically sound as Faber. Perhaps something that could have helped him come out over the top was if he had stepped up his aggression even more in the third round when Faber's punches started to lack the same power and speed that they did in the first two frames. I wish he'd have done more in the brief moments he was on top on the ground as he needed to make something happen, especially because it was so unlikely he was going to win a decision.
Next up for "Young Guns" could be a wide array of bantamweights like Mike Easton, Ivan Menjivar or perhaps Francisco Rivera.
For Urijah Faber, he had a solid gameplan of utilizing his weapons on the feet and then relying on his ground game if they weren't getting the job done. His left hook was working when he threw it both to the head and the body but my favorite strike of his was the knee up the middle, which he threw every time Jorgensen started to get too aggressive moving forward. On the ground, Faber forced some amazing scrambles and proved he was the superior grappler of the two, although he couldn't sink in anything in the first few rounds. When he finally shot in for a takedown in the fourth, he didn't waste any time, leaping on Jorgensen's back when he turtled and then brute forcing his forearm underneath his neck to force the tapout.
With two straight wins over top 10 opposition, Faber deserves a big fight either for the title or one last number one contender bout. He has unfinished business with Dominick Cruz but that is just too far out for now. Perhaps the best plan of attack would be a number one contender bout against someone incredibly exciting like Brad Pickett. That's the type of fight I'd pay to see.
For complete TUF 17 Finale results, including blow-by-blow, fight-by-fight coverage of the entire event as well as immediate post-fight reaction click here, here and here.