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What about Jorge?

Jorge Gurgel

It has been said before by UFC President Dana White, and echoed more recently by UFC Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta; It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose in the UFC, leave nothing in the octagon and your spot is safe with the promotion.

While that may be the case with fighters such as Wanderlei Silva, Chuck Liddell and Stephan Bonnar, dare I ask the question; What about Jorge?

Let me just issue this disclaimer: This is not a fluff piece on Jorge Gurgel although it may seem like it from the initial glance. The truth of the matter is that I’ve never been a humongous Gurgel fan. Not that I didn’t respect the man, I do, he’s just kind of flown under the radar for me until recently.

I’m a big fan of exciting fights. Who isn’t right? With that being said, I’m the type of guy that pays close attention to which two fighters are awarded “Fight of the Night” bonuses after every UFC.

That’s why it struck me as odd when it was announced that Jorge Gurgel was released from the UFC following his FOTN performance against Aaron Riley. Gurgel lost a close decision, but he fought his heart out and put his health on the line for us, the fans.

I couldn’t imagine how the UFC would release a fighter after such an exhilarating performance, especially since the fighter in question had a track record for bringing the crowd to it’s feet time and time again.

Let us not forget that Gurgel had previously been awarded FOTN honors with the UFC when he edged out a hard fought decision against Diego Saraiva at UFC 73.

How many other UFC fighters have earned two, or even one FOTN bonus while competing on the undercard?

According to Gurgel himself in an interview with MMAJunkie.com following his release from the UFC , the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt admitted that it was a habit of his to abandon his strong grappling background in favor of striking to insure an exciting performance for the UFC salary paying fans.

“(UFC announcer) Joe Rogan, everybody asks me. ‘Why don’t you do jiu-jitsu? You’d be in the top of the guys in the weight class if you would do jiu-jitsu.’ But I always get caught up in not being boring” confessed Gurgel.

“I have so much fun striking, and I love it so much,” continued the current Strikeforce lightweight. “And the high that I get that I look for when I train is to be in the octagon in heated exchanges. And we’re just going crazy punching each other, moving from a head kick or something. And the crowd goes from watching the fight to, ‘Wow.’ That’s what I feed on.”

This is why it struck me as extremely odd when I heard Lorenzo Fertitta quoted as saying that laying it all on the line basically insures your spot with the UFC during a Q&A session at the recent UFC Fan Expo.

“I don’t care if you win or lose. I don’t care about your record. I want you to come and fight,”said Fertitta. “If you come and fight and you lay it all on the line, then you will have a spot in the UFC.

“Perfect example. Look at Wanderlei Silva. Does anybody care that he lost his last fight? No, he is a bad dude and I would want to watch him fight every single time.”

But what about Jorge?

14 COMMENTS
  • munche says:

    Jorge Gurgel was brought in because he was a friend of Rich Franklin and couldn’t beat anyone other than people who went nowhere in UFC. Fight of the Night honors or not, he never won any traction with fans. I never looked forward to any of his fights.

    If nobody wants to see you fight, and you can’t beat anybody worth damn, then there’s no need to keep you on. Every guy he beat in UFC is back in the small shows now, and even the guys who’ve beaten him in UFC are still lower level contenders in UFC if they haven’t already gone back to the small show.

    Gurgel’s skill level is fighting local show guys. He doesn’t have the chops to hang in the big leagues, and that’s why he’s been booted back down. The only reason Strikeforce picked him up is he has more name recognition than the average local guy due to being on TV.

  • Jstew3785 says:

    What about him?

  • metalmulisha says:

    @munche
    What did Gurgel sleep with your girlfriend or something? Otherwise that’s a lot of hate for a guy you don’t even know.
    To say Gurgel’s skill level is that of a guy fighting on some local show is more than a case of just being a hater it’s asinine.
    As far as him just being brought in because of Rich Franklin you could say that about nearly every guy that’s cast on TUF. It’s all in who you know and who’s getting a favor done for them. Do you think Jason Guida or Lance Evans for example would have been given the chance to be on TUF if not for their connections?

  • Angry Mike says:

    Maybe Gurgel should consider striking for two rounds and attempt a submission win in the third. If his BJJ is as good as everybody says, he’d win more often. He’d get his rocks off striking, the fans would enjoy the show, and UFC would be satisfied that he won. His unwillingness to play to his strength is bizarre.

  • munche says:

    @metalmulisha

    You’re right about the other fighters, and about TUF fighters in general. If this was a post saying “What about Seth Petruzelli?” or “What about Jason Guida?” I’d be replying in kind.

    Gurgel is out of the UFC because he’s at a local show level. This isn’t to downplay the guy…look at his wins. Look at his losses. Every guy he’s beaten has flunked out of the UFC and is now fighting in local shows. Even the guys who beat him aren’t making much noise.

    let’s look at his UFC opponents:
    Lost to Aaron Riley, who then lost his next fight to Shane Nelson
    Lost to Cole Miller, who then beat Junie Browning. This is probably the best opponent he’s fought.
    Win over John Halverson, who’s last fight was in Superfights MMA
    Lost to Alvin Robinson, who proceeded to lose to Nate Diaz and Mark Bocek
    Win over Diego Saraiva, who then left UFC and has fought in various small shows, most recently PFC 12
    Win over Danny Abbadi, who’s most recent fight was in FFI – Ultimate Chaos
    Lost to Mark Hominick, who then went on to mixed success in TKO and WEC at a lower weight, most recent fight Affliction: Banned.

    Notice a trend? None of his opponents have been successful in the UFC, the ones who haven’t gone back to the small shows are bouncing around the bottom tier of the division in UFC. Even with this caliber of opponent, he still lost more than he won.

    Going 3-4 against the lowest tier of competition in the UFC is a pretty good sign that you need to go fine tune your skills at the small show. Good for him that he managed to find work in Strikeforce, I’m sure he’s making more money than KOTC or wherever would pay him. He’s fighting local show/UFN undercard caliber guys, but in Strikeforce that’s main card material for him, so good for him. Doesn’t mean he needs to be in the UFC.

  • PlagueAngel says:

    Totally agree with munche. He was just stating the obvious facts/opinions about Gurgel and not being a hater. He cited specific examples and well thought opinions on this article. The Jiu-Jitsu thing is such a copout, if you watch his fights his jiu-jitsu game does not transition well to mixed martial arts. He has never finished anyone in the UFC and most of his fights went to decision. That does not make anyone excited. That is why he was cut by the UFC…AMAZING! I personally was not excited to see Jorge fight on any of his fights. To say that Munche was being asinine against Jorge is simply foolish or asinine.

  • edub says:

    Gotta agree with Munche. Jorge is a great jiujitsu player. But it does not translate well to mma. He got beat up on the ground by Alvin Robinson. He got choked out by Cole Miller in a great fight. Hes a really nice guy and he likes to put on a show, but he just is not on the UFC level.

  • cage_rage says:

    I don’t blame the UFC for releasing him. He has done nothing to improve his game or even evolve as a fighter. I personally have never thought any of his fights were exciting. His striking is sub-par and his BJJ does not seem to be a factor. He goes in there, gets his face smashed, and loses.

    UFC fans don’t want to see him anymore. Give the opportunity to someone else.

  • metalmulisha says:

    Maybe it’s just because I’ve been to a lot of local shows in New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, and Iowa that I’ve seen the local talent at these small shows and to compare guys on this level to Gurgel is not only unfair it’s crazy.

  • s13 says:

    If you recall, Cole Miller tapped him out and I believe he was a purple at the time so I’m not even impressed with Jorge’s ground game what so ever. That is unheard of in the world of jiu-jitsu unless your name is BJ or Rickson.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    In my opinion the UFC should lose half of its fighters and use the money it saves to get the cream of the crop.

  • mac wilson says:

    Jorge has some skill but he if he can’t get over his inability to use a gameplan, then he’ll never be a legit threat to any top tier talent.

  • munche says:

    metalmulisha,

    It isn’t to say that Gurgel wouldn’t be near the top of the heap in the bigger local promotions, but he’s still not on UFC’s level.

    Think about it this way, who in the UFC do you think he would be likely to beat?

  • Patrickk says:

    Seems like Jorge messed himself up. I’m sure Joe Silva, Dana White, and the Fertitas analyze everything in a fighter’s career BEFORE they release them [unless it’s something like War Machine did]. Therefore, they know that Jorge is a great fighter, but he just wasn’t using his skills the right way.

    I’m sure it is very awesome to get the crowd to cheer for you when you stand and bang. However, you HAVE to win in order to be anything in this organization. I think even Stephan Bonnar might get released or just put off for another year or so after his loss to Mark Coleman. Some things just can’t be put up with…ya know?

    Sorry though Jorge, you’ve learned a valuable life lesson…fight to win, not to please.

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