Bantamweights agree to fight on June 8 card
Eddie Wineland‘s road back to title contention continues to be a tough one.
The first bantamweight champion in World Extreme Cagefighting history will return to action for the first time in nearly 10 months on June 8 when he faces Scott Jorgensen at UFC on FX 3. UFC officials announced the fight late Friday.
UFC on FX 3 does not yet have a confirmed location or venue due to a fan contest by top-tier sponsor Harley-Davidson. Fan voting in the Harley-Davidson Hometown Throwdown will determine where the event will take place. Voting in that contest is scheduled to end in late April, but the current leader is the Pacific region, including California, Oregon and Washington.
Wineland (18-8-1, 0-2 UFC) will fight his third straight bantamweight title challenger when he faces “Young Guns” Jorgensen. After closing out his WEC career with an impressive four-fight winning streak that included back-to-back Knockout of the Night bonus awards, Wineland made his UFC debut against former featherweight champ Urijah Faber at UFC 128 a year ago. Wineland, a big underdog in the fight, won the first round on all three judges’ scorecards. But Faber takedowns in the second and third round sealed up a unanimous decision win.
Wineland followed that up with a fight against Faber teammate Joseph Benavidez, but lost 30-27 on all three judges’ cards last August. The Indiana-based bantamweight, who trains with UFC fighters Keith Wisniewski and Darren Elkins, was scheduled to return in January in nearby Chicago at UFC on Fox: Evans vs. Davis against yet another one-time title challenger in Demetrious Johnson. But Johnson dropped to flyweight, and a shoulder injury forced Wineland out of his fight with replacement Johnny Bedford. Now he’ll get another shot at his first UFC win against another fighter who has taken on champ Dominick Cruz and come up short.
Jorgensen (13-5, 2-1 UFC), like Wineland, was a longtime WEC vet who came over in the merger with the UFC. Jorgensen went 7-3 in the WEC, but closed out his career there with a unanimous decision loss to Cruz in a bantamweight title fight in the promotion’s last event. Once in the UFC, though, Jorgensen picked up a knockout win over Ken Stone and a unanimous decision win over Jeff Curran last fall at UFC 137.
But at UFC 143 last month in Las Vegas, the Idaho-based Jorgensen ran into fast-rising contender Renan Barao, who outpointed him and handed “Young Guns” his first loss in the UFC.
UFC on FX 3 will feature a flyweight rematch between Johnson and Ian McCall, who fought to a draw earlier this month in Sydney, Australia, in the semifinals of the UFC’s 125-pound tournament. Though their fight was supposed to go to a sudden-victory round to determine the finalist, an error tabulating the scores by the commissioner caused Johnson to be declared the split decision winner when the real result was a split draw. The winner of that fight moves on to face Benavidez, who like Johnson dropped down from bantamweight, for the UFC’s first flyweight title.