When I said Jessica “Pink” Eye would be Zoila “Warrior Princess” Gurgel’s first solid opponent since winning the belt, to be honest, that was pretty much based on her 8-1 record. I’d never seen her fight (her two previous Bellator wins were dark matches), and it’s hard to judge someone’s resume when you don’t recognize any names on it. But Eye needed only 58 seconds to make the most of her TV debut, as she dropped Gurgel right out of the gate, then choked her out cold with a standing arm triangle.
Of course Gurgel retains her strawweight belt, not that it counts for much these days. There hasn’t been a women’s tournament at any weight since she won the first (via debatable split decisions) over two years ago, and thus no challengers. She’s stuck with non-title fights until Bellator either does another tourney or says “fuck it” and breaks its own rule about title shots, and each loss in the meantime (and to some extent even a win) devalues her belt. Whether she’ll return to 115 after this remains to be seen, though the slim pickings for opponents is perhaps a bigger factor.
Next up, former bantamweight champ Zach Makovsky also dropped a showcase match to a main card noob in Anthony Leone, who won his second consecutive split decision since moving down from featherweight. In an odd twist, this retroactively became the main event when the Shamhalaev-Martinez featherweight final was cancelled just before it started. Apparently the athletic commission pulled the pin at the last minute when they caught Shammy puking up food poisoning in the locker room. And you call sauna accidents an injury curse? Pshaw. That was just an undercard match on a day’s notice.
Anyway, the FW final is postponed to this Friday’s now-stacked Bellator 84 card, joining the Held vs Jansen lightweight final, and the heavyweight final/vacant title match of Volkov vs Hale. On the undercard, Felice Herrig gets a 115 lb rematch with some girl she’s beaten before, so maybe there’ll be opponents at strawweight for Gurgel after all.
Speaking of injuries, Christian M’Pumbu was supposed to finally defend his light heavyweight title on that card, until Attila Vegh pulled out last week. Worse, the fans chose Paul Daley vs War Machine to kick off Bellator’s January debut on Spike, but War managed to get double-injured with a fibia fracture and ACL tear, so that one’s postponed too. As the saying goes, promoters make plans and the Gypsy Curse Lady laughs.