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Best friends Scott Jorgensen and Joe Warren to meet at Grapple at the Garden event

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a rough road for Scott Jorgensen, who we last saw in the Octagon wearing Wilson Reis’ footprint upside his ribcage after a devastating kick. That was back in October, after Jorgensen had floored Reis and looked to be on his way to a victory. Upon recovering, Reis caught him perfectly with a kick to the body that turned the tables. Moments later, Jorgensen -- retreating from the shock and pain reverb -- was forced to tap via a triangle.

That loss hasn’t sat well with him, but the good news is that he didn’t suffer any broken ribs (as feared). Now he’s looking to get back into the Octagon in January, as either a flyweight -- where’s he’s competed his last four times out -- or as a bantamweight. Take your pick.

"Who knows," he told MMA Fighting this week. "I don’t know. I’ll fight whoever, I’ll fight wherever. They know if they sign me to fight, I’m not going to go in there and lay on the guy. My wrestling is my background, but I go out there and put on exciting fights, whether I take it to the ground or not."

But first thing’s first: A little friendly grappling match against the best man in his wedding.

Jorgensen will compete in Sunday’s Grapple at the Garden, a variegated grappling competition which a mix of MMA stars and wrestling’s elite at Madison Square Garden. His opponent will be none other than his best friend and cornerman, Joe Warren, the current bantamweight champion in Bellator.

The two vacation with their families together, but on Sunday they’ll get back to their vital roots -- wrestling.

"I remember meeting Joe, we were in Sacramento and I was fighting Antonio Banuelos [in WEC], and Joe was there with Heath Sims," Jorgensen says. "I knew Heath a little bit, and I knew who Joe was from college and wrestling. He’d just started fighting -- I think at this point he’d fought [Chase] Beebe and [Norifumi] Yamamoto. Heath introduces us, and he said you should train. Not that Joe was any MMA savant, but he was a hard-nosed guy with his wrestling -- those are the type of guys I like to train with. He’s not going to roll over and just take an ass-whooping.

"So we kind of coordinated after that decision where they screwed me, traded numbers and all this sh*t, and Joe goes, ‘hey, don’t forget your f*cking mouthpiece.’ I was looking at him like, is this guy for real? Did he not just see what I just went through? I’m not Chase Beebe and I’m not Kid Yamamoto. The war I just went through and he just said that? Pretty soon I realized, that’s just Joe."

Warren and Jorgensen have been together ever since. Warren has been in Jorgensen’s corner for all his fights, save the ones in Brazil, and Jorgensen has been with Warren the whole step of the way. He was in his corner when Warren took the featherweight title from Joe Soto in 2010, and he was there when he won the 135-pound title at Bellator 128 on Oct. 10 against Eduardo Dantas.

They know each other very well on the wrestling mat. Warren was of course wrestled at the University of Michigan and later made a name at the FILA Wrestling World Championships in Greco-Roman. Jorgensen’s pedigree goes back when he started at eight years old. He was a Pac-10 champion at Boise State.

"We’re very close," Jorgensen says. "We talk about family and we talk about vacations, taking family and hanging out. On the flip side to that, I’ve done this before, I’ve done it for a lot more money, and I’ve done it in front of a lot more people. Fighting Urijah [Faber] for the main event, for instance, so this is nothing new to me. I’ve competed against friends my whole life, especially in wrestling, so we’re going to go out there and we know it’s an exciting match.

"We both know each other really well. This isn’t our first time. We’ve wrestled plenty. Thank god it’s not Greco, is all I can say."

The Grapple at the Garden event will feature other MMA stars with roots in wrestling. Erstwhile lightweight contender Gray Maynard, who wrestled at Michigan State with Rashad Evans, will Ozzy Dugulubgov, who currently fights with the World Series of Fighting. Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (Oklahoma State) will face Rolles Gracie. Damacio Page will take on Shawn Bunch (Edinboro). Also three-time NCAA champ Stephen Abas will represent Team Renzo Gracie against Rollie Peterkin, who wrestled at the University of Penn.

The main event will be a Greco-Roman rules clash between Olympic hopeful Kyle Dake and Armenian world champion Arsen Julfalakyan.

The event begins at 12 p.m. eastern, and can be viewed live either on pay-per-view ($14.95) or as an iPPV on

Though mixed martial arts in its conglomerate form is still banned in New York, many of these fighters will get the chance to at least compete in one of MMA’s root disciplines.

Of all the matches, none are more personal than Jorgensen’s match with his good buddy Warren.

"I’ve got to have some sort of bragging rights over him," Jorgensen says. "I’ve already lost once to him, can’t make it twice."

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