Former BYU football player takes out challenger early in championship MMA fight

By on June 30, 2014.

Former BYU football star Jan Jorgensen redeemed himself from a no-contest decision in September of 2013 by quickly taking out Ben Fuimaono in the first round of the Showdown Fights Heavyweight Championship bout on Saturday, June 28, at the UCCU Center in Orem.

“I consider my last fight a loss. I know what it feels like to lose now, and I don’t want that again,” Jorgensen said.

Both fighters stood toe-to-toe once the fight started, swinging away. Fuimaono unleashed some powerful punches while Jorgensen attacked his legs with powerful kicks. Jorgensen unloaded a vicious right punch less than a minute into the fight that landed perfectly on Fuimaono’s face. He stumbled back and fell to the mat. Jorgensen immediately pounced on Fuimaono and began to work his ground game. A nasty arm triangle was applied by Jorgensen, and Fuimaono tapped out, just 1:13 into the fight.

Jan "The Janimal" Jorgensen acknowledges the crowd before entering the ring for his Showtime Fights Heavyweight contest against Ben Fuimaono. (Elliot Miller)

Jan “The Janimal” Jorgensen acknowledges the crowd before entering the ring for his Showdown Fights Heavyweight Championship contest against Ben Fuimaono. (Elliot Miller)

The fight was slated for five grueling five-minute rounds of punishment for both fighters. Jorgensen understood the need to end the fight quickly against Fuimaono.

“Ben is not a fighter you play around with. He is a dangerous guy with heavy hands, especially his right. I took him very seriously,” Jorgensen said.

Jorgensen did an excellent job exploiting the weakness of his opponent. He used his strength advantage to overpower his smaller opponent.  Fuimaono acknowledged Jorgensen’s strength in defeat.

“He knew exactly where to capitalize. It’s hard to get a big guy with lots of strength like that off you. Jan is a tough guy and is a strong guy,” Fuimaono said.

Jorgensen called his last no-contest fight “a wakeup call” for his new, more aggressive fighting mind set, a style that has come with a name change. Jorgensen’s nickname was The Saint before his Saturday night fight. “The saint is dead,” said Jorgensen.

Jan Jorgensen raises his title after defeating Ben Fuimaono in the first round of their Heavyweight fight. (Courtesy Elliot Miller).

Jan Jorgensen raises his title belt after defeating Ben Fuimaono in the first round of their Heavyweight fight. (Elliot Miller)

“I am new person with a new attitude and new way of fighting,” Jorgensen said. “Every time I step into that cage and that cage door shuts, or in training when that bell rings for that round I am legitimately trying to hurt you.” His new nickname, The Janimal, portrays the change in style.

His new style and impressive work ethic is having a profound impact when he trains at The Pit Elevated. Current teammate and BYU student Westin Wilson has been impressed with the dedication and work Jorgensen has put in since his September fight.

“Jan has always been an example to us younger fighters,” Wilson said. “His work ethic and quiet dignity has always left an impression on me. He inspires me to push through when I am tired and banged up. Jan is always a champion in and out of the cage, especially with his personal life. I look forward to seeing what is next for Jan.”

As a new heavyweight champion, Jorgensen is aware that he now has a large target on his back, but he welcomes the challenge.

“The level of the competition is stepped up, and I look forward to competing with the best, and I look forward to showing I can beat them,” Jorgensen said. “I am ready to defend my title.”

Jorgensen (7-0) will battle the undefeated Josh Copeland (8-0) for the Resurrection Fighting Alliance Title July 28 in Denver.

 

Kyle Strait

Kyle is a writer for The Daily Universe covering sporting events in Utah. He is pursuing a degree in public relations and a minor in business management.