Tonight, Jorge Gurgel will return to a cage for the first time in 13 months when he faces off against Canadian lightweight, Mike Ricci in the main event of the Titan FC card. While many thought he had retired-even his manager was under that impression-Jorge says it was just a break to rejuvenate and allow for expansion to his ever growing gym. After ramping up his training, he feels he has nothing to prove these days, and is fighting out of his love of the sport and desire to continue competing.
In a recent interview with MMA Sentinel, Gurgel discusses how the itch to compete keeps him in the fight game and the disappointing direction he feels MMA has taken of late. Here's what he had to say:
I was taking a break, and when I first decided, in my mind, it was just gonna be for 3-4 months. It ended up turning into a year; you know, time flies. I just felt that itch. The old cliché from the Rocky movies...I still have something in the basement. All this time, I've been feeling very incomplete. I was born for this, I'm a fighter.
It's not about the outcome. It's not about the wins or getting belts. It's about the journey of the preparation; the training camp, the suffering, the weight cuts. I embrace all of that wholeheartedly. When I'm training to compete is when I feel the most joy.
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Direction of MMA
People know when they see my name on a card, that they're gonna see a good fight. I don't come to win on points. That's not me. I don't like the way this sport is going, personally. It does pay our bills and provide our livelihood, and it's beautiful to see the growth of it, but the fear of getting cut makes for so much laying and praying and running around throwing a jab here and there, looking at the corner saying, ‘Did I win this round? Did I win it?'
I'm either going to win aggressively, trying to finish the whole time, or I will go down on my shield. I will never be a sellout, never going to fight to win rounds on points. That's why Titan chose me to be the main event. I am sure of that.
I've pushed myself to my limits. My conditioning is amazing and I just don't get tired. I'm healthy and happy to do this. I feel no pressure because I have nothing to prove. I have fans all over the place, and the thing is, there's nothing more rewarding than being appreciated for your craft.
The only thing that I think about, is that I really want to display the best fighter I can be. I have never been able to do that in the big show. Do I need to do that? No. Do I want to do that? Absolutely. I want to display my least used asset, my intelligence. I want to use it this time. I don't want to be swinging for the fences in a pissing contest. Mi8ke Ricci is a very intelligent fighter, so I want to go out there and prove my superiority in fighting.
I would have never been a Jorge Gurgel fan. Never. The first thing that would come to mind is, ‘Why don't you use what you made your name from, your jiu-jitsu?' Well, do what I say and don't do what I do [laughs]. When the bell rings, I see red. I have a lot of confidence in my stand-up, and that's how I express myself. The only person that can judge me is the person I see in the mirror every day, and I'm good by that guy.
You can follow Jorge via his Twitter account, @JorgeGurgel