Fresh off of her win this past weekend, Zoila “The Warrior Princess” Gurgel will next face Jessica “Evil” Eye at Bellator Fighting Championships 83 on December 7th in Atlantic City, New Jersey. MMARising.com confirmed the featured flyweight matchup with Bellator officials this afternoon.
Gurgel and Eye were initially in talks to face off at Bellator 78, but a lingering foot injury delayed Eye’s return to the cage and Gurgel instead went on to post a Unanimous Decision win over Casey “KO” Noland. The Ohio-based rivals are now set to clash in five weeks in a pivotal bout for both.
Gurgel (12-1-0) became the inaugural Bellator women’s champion at 115 pounds in 2010, but the weight cut became too severe and she opted to return to her former home in the flyweight division following her title win. She managed just one fight in 2011, however, as a torn ACL kept her on the sidelines for the next 18 months. While rehabbing her injury, Gurgel continued to work on her ground game in order to develop her overall MMA skills and she showed flashes of her new-found abilities in the bout against Noland this past weekend. Ring rust may have played a factor for Gurgel in the fight, but she picked up the pace in the later rounds and closed out the fight strong to take the Unanimous Decision win.
Eye (8-1-0) has also had to battle through her own share of injuries this year. She brought a four-fight winning streak into an August bout with veteran contender Angela Magana and, despite competing with a fractured foot, Eye was in control of the fight from start to finish. All three judges scored the one-sided bout for Eye, who totalled her biggest win in the process. Bellator officials had hoped to match up an all-Ohio showdown between Gurgel and Eye on the Bellator 78 card, but Eye’s foot injury required additional time to heal. The fast-rising star will be ready to go in December and she is eager to compete for the third time under the Bellator banner as she continues to climb the flyweight ranks.
Bellator still hopes to stage a 125-pound women’s tournament in 2013, but has elected to book a number of flyweight superfights in the interim. The bout between Gurgel and Eye pits two of the top female flyweights in the sport against each other and the winner will likely be seen as a favourite to capture the tournament title should a grand prix proceed next year.
Bellator Fighting Championships 83 takes place on December 7th at Caesars Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.