Eye needed just 58 seconds to finish the Bellator Champion (Photo by Keith Mills, Sherdog.com).
Eye Earns Technical Submission of Bellator Champ Gurgel
If anyone doubted the skills of skyrocketing women’s contender Jessica “Evil” Eye (9-1) coming into Bellator 83 on Friday night, the Ohio native literally put to sleep every one of those critics. The Ohio resident needed just 58 seconds to dispose of Bellator Champion Zoila Gurgel (12-2) at Caesars in Atlantic City in a non-title bout, choking her unconscious with an extremely difficult and rare standing arm triangle.
“I knew Zoila was an aggressive fighter, and obviously I studied some of her tendencies,” Eye said at the post-fight press conference. “I also knew what I was good at, so I knew if I combined the two of them knowing what I could execute to make her do, it would possibly create openings.”
After months of build-up, Eye wasted no time in rushing to meet Gurgel in the center of the Bellator cage once the first round bell sounded. She immediately began to unload a heavy dose of strikes, catching her opposition with a left hand before dropping her with a right. From her back, Gurgel was able to use her legs to gain just enough space to get back to her feet, but Eye intelligently took her back and maneuvered her to the fence. Eye then worked her hands upward and into a standing arm triangle, where her opponent was placed in a serious sense of danger. With the choke hold firmly locked, Eye continued to apply pressure until Gurgel’s hands fell and she was out cold. The referee in charge then stepped in once he heard no response from the titleholder, stopping the bout after which Eye exuberantly raced around the cage in excitement.
“I think it was just by chance that I hit that right hand that caused her to drop,” Eye continued. “The standing arm triangle – it was something that I practice a lot on the ground. For months, it’s been one of my favorite submissions to do in the gym. It just so happened that it mixed up with my wrestling I’d been working on also. I’m glad I got this. I’m glad I got a finish and got something to prove to everybody that I don’t need the judges to make a decision on whether or not I’m good. I can do it myself.”
With the extremely impressive win, Eye improves to 9-1 as a professional, placing her right into the upper echelon of women’s fighters in the sport of mixed martial arts. Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney stated at the post-fight press conference that a 115-pound tournament is seemingly not in the cards for the next season of the promotion, its first on Spike TV, making a stay at 125 pounds likely for Eye.