No mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter is immune to the emotional roller coaster that comes along with competing in one of the world's most dangerous and unforgiving sports. Not Ronda Rousey. Not Jon Jones.
You win and lose by yourself. Not as a team, even though fighters often shower their teams and camps with praise post-fight. It's genuine, but when all is said and done, fighting is an individual sport, a mental and physical test of endurance.
Scott Jorgensen (15-11 -- a former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) star -- has struggled mightily throughout his four-plus year run with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), tallying just four wins against seven losses.
The 33-year-old, who takes on Alejandro Perez (15-6) at UFC Fight Night 78 this Saturday night (Nov. 21, 2015), admits that a move to the Flyweight division in Dec. 2013 wasn't necessarily the best career move for him at the time.
"I never should have left 135 pounds. It was a quick way back to a title fight I felt [moving to 125 pounds]," Jorgensen told MMAmania.com "I'm hard-headed. I'm never doing that again."
Shedding 10-15 more pounds for a new lease on life is nothing new in MMA, just as weight-cutting mishaps are. Jorgensen, having wrestled since the age of 14, has weight-cutting down to a science and missed weight all but one time during his tenure at 125 pounds.
"Young Guns" maintains that this was because of a missed flight to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for his UFC 179 pairing with Wilson Reis at UFC 179 in Oct. 2014.
His bout with Reis would be his third loss in his new home at Flyweight, as well as his third submission loss in five tries, setting up an encounter with The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 5 runner-up Manny Gamburyan back at his natural weight class of 135 pounds in July of this year.
"I step in -- I'm out almost nine months -- to fight Manny Gamburyan. Two weeks before I get a MRSA staph infection in my ribs," Jorgensen proclaimed. "[I] get that cleared up after being out for five days and then my first day back training, I tore my MCL. I hadn't fought in nine months, I needed to fight."
Jorgensen was roughed up a bit early and dropped by "The Anvil" in round one, surrendering multiple takedowns to the Glendale Fight Club member, but managed a late assault that saw the former look to lock up a guillotine choke.
The Gamburyan loss marked the third time that Jorgensen had endured losing streaks of two or more in-a-row during his UFC career. However, there was something else going on behind the scenes that was eating at him.
"Over the course of being down at 125, I lost track of what fighting is. It became more about cutting weight," Jorgensen remarked. "I took a lot of my losses hard. You compound not enjoying the sport anymore, from cutting weight to a loss, and there was just negative energy when it came to getting ready for fights."
A veteran of WEC, where he racked up five straights wins on the way to a 135-pound title shot against then champion Dominick Cruz, Jorgensen carried an 11-3 record into ZUFFA when the promotion dissolved into UFC.
He was a fan favorite -- and still is -- for quite some time, always moving forward at an unrelenting pace. Notable wins over Takeya Mizugaki and leather-swinging Brit Brad Pickett propelled him into his fight (recap) with "The Dominator" in Dec. 2010, which was a pivotal moment in the career of Jorgensen.
"Ever since I lost to Dominick [Cruz], I lost track of why I started fighting. Tough dude. I'm not ashamed of it. I'm still pissed I lost to him, but I'm not ashamed," Jorgensen said. "The guys I lost to [at 135] weren't no slouches. I just had to make sure I'm back with my head straight."
The Utah native recently began working with psychologist to the world's top athletes Dr. Jim Afremow to make sure he's mentally prepared to make that walk to the Octagon.
Now, more than seven years of fighting at the sport's highest level -- and his back somewhat against the wall when he heads into his clash with TUF: "Latin America" winner Perez inside Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico -- Jorgensen is ready to turn over a new leaf in UFC.
"I know my mindset going into this fight is one thing: It's to kill. I'm going in there to try and hurt him. I'm going to perform my best. I'm going to look like the old Scott Jorgensen that went out there, put pressure on guys, put on exciting fights and walked away with his hand raised," Jorgensen said.
For more on the UFC Fight Night 78: "Magny vs. Gastelum" card and results, click here and here. Also, be on the lookout for my full discussion with Jorgensen later in the week.