Gurgel suffered a devastating knee injury that kept her out of action for the last year-plus, but following surgery and recovery she finally got back in action on Friday.
Facing Gurgel in her return bout was late notice opponent Casey Noland, and she certainly looked to give the champion everything she could handle.
Noland looked strong in the first round, controlling the pace of the fight after Gurgel initially got a takedown. Noland looked for an ankle lock, but after she lost the hold she ended up on top of Gurgel for the majority of the round.
Gurgel battled back in the 2nd round when she got Noland to the ground, and almost put the fight away with a kimura. Training under her husband and black-belt jiu-jitsu instructor Jorge Gurgel, Zoila Gurgel snatched the kimura and cranked the shoulder lock with every bit of her power, but somehow Noland resisted and eventually got out.
The third round was another strong stanza for Gurgel who clocked Noland with an elbow strike from inside the clinch that not only rattled the California based fighter, but opened a nasty cut over her eye. Gurgel took the fight to the ground before getting back up out of Noland’s guard, where she kicked her legs before the fight came to a close.
All three judges scored the fight the same, 29-28 for Zoila Gurgel who picks up her first win in the Bellator cage since 2011 as she looks to move into her new 125lb division this year.
Leandro Higo outworked Joe Taimanglo over 15 minutes to pick up the first Bellator win of his career. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
Pat Curran returned after a layoff in excess of 500 days and took a unanimous decision from John Teixeira at Bellator 184.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
See the top Twitter reacts to Darrion Caldwell’s win over Eduardo Dantas in the Bellator 184 main event.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
Emmanuel Sanchez picked up the biggest win of his Bellator career with a third-round submission of former champion Daniel Straus.Filed under: News read news >>
Darrion Caldwell dominated bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas to win the bantamweight title in Bellator 184’s main event.Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News read news >>
Darrion Caldwell is the new Bellator bantamweight champion. read news >>
Check out the fight highlights from Bellator 184, where Darrion Caldwell captured the bantamweight belt. read news >>
Bellator has a new bantamweight champion. Here’s how Darrion Caldwell did it. Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>
Check out all the fighter walkout songs from Friday’s Bellator 184 event.Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News read news >>
Brad Tavares made easy work of Thales Leites, battering the Brazilian with a steady left jab and a vicious right kick. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>