SAN JOSE, CA—Lightweight (155 lb. limit) fan favorite and seven-time UFC veteran, Jorge Gurgel (12-5), has signed an exclusive agreement to compete for world championship mixed martial arts (MMA) fight promotion, Strikeforce.
“I am excited. To me, this is like a new start. I’m coming in fresh. I’m re-motivated and excited to mix things up in Strikeforce,” said the 31-year-old Gurgel, a native of Brazil, who relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio a decade ago.
Since his professional debut six years ago, Gurgel has emerged as one of the most dangerous players in the sport’s 155 lb. division by consistently bringing to the cage a go-for-broke style of stand-up fighting despite his status as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt capable of producing submissions against opponents of any caliber.
If his rough house approach has said anything about Gurgel, it is that he is willing to trade blows with any and all comers.
“I’ve said it before and I will say it until the end of my career – My job is to get a name, date, and a location,” asserted Gurgel. “That’s why I have a manager. Different fighters do this for different reasons and I respect that. I don’t call people out. I just like to fight. I do not care.”
To succeed in Strikeforce’s lightweight division that is loaded with top talent beginning with reigning world champion, Josh “The Punk” Thomson, Gurgel will need to adjust his game and make use of his entire skill set, including his expertise in submissions, when necessary.
“I make some bad decisions because I have too much fun. I have never used my Jiu Jitsu in the UFC,” he said. “All of my fights in the UFC have been slugfests. People always tell me after my fights that they know I can be one of the top contenders in my weight class. They ask me why I don’t use my Jiu-Jitsu. I have so much fun standing up and I completely think I’m winning all the time.”
To his credit, Gurgel has taken calculated steps towards making himself a super force on his feet in order to accommodate his partiality for punching and kicking. To prepare for each of his last several bouts, he has ventured to Boston, Massachusetts the home of Muay Thai master and Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter” season four trainer, Mark DellaGrotte. The mentor of UFC superstar Kenny Florian, DellaGrotte has also trained the likes of Stephan Bonnar, Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis, and Patrick Cote.
“I’m going to do a lot of things differently in Strikeforce,” said Gurgel. “I will always bring the same intensity and I’m always going to fight 110 percent. I just want to be able to use everything that I know.”
Strikeforce is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265. Since 1995, Strikeforce has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts series with “Shamrock vs. Gracie.” Since then, it has co-produced the first SHOWTIME PPV mixed martial arts event in history with its world championship “Shamrock vs. Baroni” card on June 22, 2007 followed by the first-ever mixed martial arts event at the world-famous Playboy Mansion on September 29, 2007. On April 12th of this year, Strikeforce launched the first-ever 52 week MMA series on one of the four major television networks in The U.S. – NBC.