Scott Jorgensen could have easily gotten sucked back into the mindset that contributed to two recent losses.
The bantamweight fighter threw out his game plan against Renan Barao and Eddie Wineland, and he went 0-2 because of it.
So heading into Saturday's UFC on FOX 5 event, where he was already a bit ticked that he was relegated to the night's untelevised Facebook stream, Jorgensen could have let the emotions get the best of him. But he stuck to his plan, and he's got a fat wallet because of it.
In Saturday's first bout at Seattle's KeyArena, Jorgensen (14-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) narrowly avoided submission attempts from John Albert (7-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) before securing a fight-ending rear-naked choke with just one second remaining in the first round. He picked up $130,000 in "Fight of the Night" and "Submission of the Night" bonuses.
"To tell you the truth, I was bummed to be on Facebook," Jorgensen said of the online stream, which usually results in less sponsor money for fights. "I've got a number of fights now under Zuffa. I do not disappoint. When I come to fight, I come to fight. That's one thing people know: I'm going to come out there and leave it all in the cage – win, lose or draw."
Jorgensen, a former WEC title challenger, went 7-1 in the WEC before his 2010 loss to champ Dominick Cruz. After his move to the octagon following the UFC-WEC merger, but defeated Ken Stone and Jeff Curran. But then came the losses to Barao and Wineland, and the year could have ended in disaster.
Instead, he got a slick win, some bonus money and an eventual replay of the fight on the night's FX-televised prelims.
"Coming off my last two fights, I wanted to get a big victory and make a statement," said Jorgensen, who likely saved his job with the victory. "It felt good to go back out there and be in front of millions. I'm glad they played it on FX, and the bonuses don't hurt.
"This is my first time winning double bonuses, so I hope it's not the last."
For Jorgensen, the key was not panicking as Albert fired off submission attempts in the action-packed round.
"I stuck to my game plan," he said. "We're emotional guys. We get in there, and if you hit me once, I start to lose my cool a little bit. It becomes, 'I'm going to hit you as hard as you can hit me.' That's what played out with Barao. That's what played out with Wineland. I came up short on both of those."
Still, he said he won't lose the essence of what's made him a four-time "Fight of the Night" winner in the UFC and WEC. While he plans to stick to game plans, they won't ever be conservative ones.
"I put on exciting fights," Jorgensen said. "I go in there to fight to impress myself, and I don't enjoy fighting a boring fight. I want to go out there, and I want to have fun. I do this sport because I love it. It's not fun to go out there and fight safe or fight boring.
"I went out there. I fought smart. I got into a couple of sticky situations that appeared dangerous, but I was completely safe. I removed myself from them, and I finished him just in time – one second. I feel good about it. I'm glad to be back in the win column."