Sunday, March 17, 2013
Zoila Gurgel Interview
Since returning from a long break due to severe injury, Zoila Gurgel has gone 1-1, defeating Casey Noland and then losing to Jessica Eye. She now will make her Invicta debut on April 5th when she faces Jennifer Maia in one of the nights most anticipated fights. She says she feels better now than at any time since the injury and is looking for a Fight of the Night performance and working her way towards a title shot.
Q: You have had two fights since your return, physically how have you felt?
A: I was told I would always be able to feel it. Training for the first fight I didn't put too much stress on it. I didn't do the same strength and conditioning workouts as I usually do. I really didn't use it as much as I usually do, with all the kicking and weight training. They wanted me to baby it a little bit. It felt o.k., then again, I didn't over-work it. That first fight, even though I felt in shape, it was a little weird after being away so long. It was kind of foreign to me. It had been so long that everything was weird to me. When I was there fighting, it wasn't comfortable to me, it wasn't what I was used to. I wasn't happy with that performance and the way I felt. After that fight, I jumped right into the next fight and it felt a little better to do that, I wanted to shake off the last performance and do something better. Going into the next fight, I was able to sue it more and do more weight training with my knee. I wasn't doing as much kickboxing as I used to, but I felt it was enough. Going in, I felt ready, better than the first fight. But shit happens haha. I wasn't able to sue anything I wanted in that fight. It was going in and making a mistake and getting beat right away. I felt better mentally and physically but compared to now, I am able to use my knee more and using the coach from when I first started Muay-Thai. All my power is coming back. It is finally starting to even out. It will always be a little fatigued and sore when I use it but I am finally happy after so long.
Q: The last fight with Jessica Eye, there was an obvious dislike between you two, you said you made a mistake, do you think that dislike caused you to make the mistake?
A: Yeah, I knew right off the bat when I took the fight that it would be a factor if I let it. I knew it right off the bat, I knew it, especially because my first loss against Miesha Tate was the same thing. It wasn't a dislike for Miesha, it was the things she said about me and me coming back with "I don't even know this girl and she is talking all this trash." When it came to Miesha, I was still new to the sport and didn't think it would pay a toll on me. Coming into the fight I was so angry at Miesha, I just wanted to rip her head off. No game-plan, just go in and kick her head in the third row. It was the same thing with this fight. But this fight, I already knew all that, I knew what it would do to me. It was easier at first cause I stayed away from social media, even in interviews when I was told what was said, it was like "if that is what she has to say, that is what she has to say". When it came down to going and the producer of Bellator telling me "she said this, you have to sell this fight, you can't just sit there and let this be said about you". It pissed me off, the things they told me she said. I was like "fuck it, whatever" and I just went off. Doing that made me more angry and when it was time to go, I was so angry. I never went into a fight that angry. Like no other fight, I walked straight into her, I don't ever rush in, I sit back and throw a couple shots, but that fight I went straight at her and made that mistake and it cost me.
Q: Afterwords you did the post fight hug and seemed to handle it well right after, are you proud of that?
A: For me, there is only one way. Regardless of win or lose, I knew then and there it was wrong of me to act the way i did and be involved in that. I did what I felt was right not what everyone thought I should do. After the fight people asked why after all the things that were said, and I didn't do it for just her, I did it for me. It felt better to do that. She deserved the win, she did what she had to do and I respect that. I did what I felt I needed to do to make things right for me.
Q: Moving on from that, with what Invicta means for women's MMA, how excited are you to fight for them?
A: Moving on from Bellator is the biggest relief for me. It feels like I have a home now, a place to do the things I love to do and be appreciated for it. Who wants to go to a job where they aren't appreciated for the work they do, putting everything they love into it. I feel like I will be appreciated for my work at Invicta and it makes me so very happy to be there.
Q: How do you feel you match up with Jennifer Maia?
A: Actually, we come from the same type of background. She comes from Chute Box and has good submission skills and I come from Muay-Thai and I believe my submission game is better than what it started out as. It will be a good fight. Coming from Brazil, I don't know if it will play a toll but I am ready for the best Jennifer Maia there is.
Q: Coming from Brazil, can coming from so far have an affect on her?
A: It really depends on the fighter. If she is mentally tough enough to take that into consideration and go after it, I don't think she will have a problem. Time will tell. I am ready for the best Jennifer Maia, but if she has problems, we will see that night.
Q: Do you think she will stand at all with you or try and go right to the ground?
A: I don't think she will. I think after the first few exchanges she wont wanna stand to be honest. From then on it will be trying to get me to the ground and if she does, I don't think I will have a problem there either. She looks to be a good tough fighter but I have never been as ready for a fight. I think I will pose a lot of threats to her.
Q: You are known for your stand-up do you feel your ground game is under-estimated?
A: Of course! Out of the fourteen fights I have had, I have not spent more than maybe a round on the ground. People are gonna under-estimate what they haven't seen. I have done a few grappling tournaments but you cant take that into consideration, especially when punches are involved. The only two losses I have had are to submissions so they are gonna want to take me where they feel I am weak and I don't have a problem with that at all.
Q: Coming off the lose, how important is this fight for you?
A: It's motivated me. People need those losses, especially to win as much as I have. You need them to re-motivate you and that has what it has done to me. I hate the feeling of losing, especially when i feel I have prepared myself to every extent. To lose, especially being a competitor for so long, it is not a feeling I like so I push myself past my limits every single day. Anything can happen in a fight but but I push myself to polish everything I can to make sure it is not a possibility.
Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: If not Fight of the Night, I would like to get back to what I have done, which is why I came back to California, to get my striking on point, where I started. A win is a win, but to do it in spectacular fashion would be amazing. With women going to the UFC and all this spotlight on women's MMA, I would love nothing more than to make this my best performance, whether it is a minute, two minutes, fifteen minutes, make it the best performance ever.
Q: With you and yours sister Stephanie both fighting with Invicta, would you want to be on the same card with Stephanie for them?
A: Of course! I have before and coming up to this fight I thought it may be a possibility. It is crazy with the emotions of her fighting, but we have such a connection,w e feel stronger and feel better. It would be amazing to fight again on the same card, it fuels us.
Q: Any idea what you want after this fight, or just taking it one at a time?
A: One at a time for now. I would love nothing more than to get those losses back, but I don't see that any time soon now that I am with Invicta. I wanna make my way back to the top. Maybe after this I will get a chance at a title show with either Barb (Honchak) or Vanessa (Porto). Not looking past Jennifer but I wanna be back on top of the division and I see myself doing it.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Anyone who has helped me out. My husband (Jorge Gurgel) has always been there, he will be here in a few days to finish out camp. My sister has been here day after day training her but off with me, she is my main training partner. When it comes to striking or the ground she is one of the better women to be here with me. My mom, I don't thank her enough, she deserves the world and has gotten me to this point in my life. My family and team at JGMMA and the guys here helping me Jasper Tayaba and Alan Fried. I have been with Jasper from day one, he helped me to be a world champion. My fans and supporters, through thick and thin, people who stayed by my side. Thank you Jason for this interview.