This past weekend gave us two UFC events, but the promotion is still going strong this week with their third event in five days. UFC Fight Night 71 happens Wednesday evening, so let’s dive right in with our first fight for this event’s preview series, Scott Jorgensen (15-10) vs. Manny Gamburyan (14-8, 1 NC).
Jorgensen vs. Gamburyan got moved up to the main portion of the night’s card after the Iaquinta vs. Melendez match was pulled when the promotion decided to not find a replacement opponent for Iaquinta after Melendez (who was a late replacement himself) tested positive in post-fight drug test from UFC 188.
After a stint at flyweight, Jorgensen moves back up in weight to bantamweight for this tilt with Gamburyan. A fairly hot prospect coming over to the UFC from Zuffa’s purchase of the WEC, Jorgensen has not found much success in the larger promotion. He is 4-6 in his total time in the UFC and 1-4 in his last five. It may be surprising that he’s lasted this long in the UFC with stats like that, but in addition to the lack of talent at 125 (where Jorgensen was briefly), he is an exciting fighter that is always looking for a finish. Jorgensen most recently lost to Wilson Reis by first-round submission in October of last year.
Gamburyan spent some time in the UFC’s 155 pound division before going to 145 in the WEC, competed at 145 in the UFC and is now on his second fight in the UFC’s 135 division, having had a successful first outing against Cody Gibson in September of last year where he won by second round submission.
Despite his wrestling background, Jorgensen often fights primarily as a striker and has a high output rate in his strikes. He can keep a fast pace, but hasn’t been able to put his wrestling background to use as well as he should have been.
Gamburyen has a background in judo, but has developed some heavy hands as well. Not unlike Jorgensen, he’s experienced mixed success in his time with Zuffa, but despite some back and forth between 2-3 wins and 2-3 losses, he is 3-1, 1 NC in his last five fights with the promotion.
The betting odds have Gamburyan as the favorite here at -180 while Jorgensen is the underdog at +140. This is likely due, in no small part, to Jorgensen’s recent display of lack of submission defense (3 of his last 4 losses were by submission) and Gamburyan’s submission skills – seven of his fourteen wins are by submission.
Both fighters do pack KO power and Gamburyan does have a couple losses by KO, but both of those losses were at higher weight classes, and one was to featherweight king Jose Aldo. Jorgensen certainly has a chance to knock out Gamburyan, but provided Manny can avoid any initial flurries, he’ll likely be able to test Jorgensen’s takedown defense. Whether Manny can get Jorgensen on the ground off of a takedown or by stunning him with an overhand right, look for “The Anvil” to get Jorgensen on the ground and submit him roughly halfway through the second round.