Perennial “Fight of the Night” earner Jorge Gurgel is scheduled to take on fellow lightweight fighter KJ Noons this evening at Strikeforce: Houston. Gurgel recently caught up with Sherdog.com to discuss the bout, what he plans on doing differently to catch a win over Noons and where he thinks that win will carry him.
The Brazilian-turned-Ohioan doesn’t see himself as an underdog against Noons but believes that he may be in the minority with that opinion.
“I think the promotion thinks I’m an underdog,” said the Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt. “They obviously love KJ and why not? He’s a good guy, he’s got a great boxing record, a great Thai boxing record, a great mixed martial arts record. He’s beaten a lot of great, top fighters. So they might think that I’m the underdog. I don’t like maybe the feeling of being counted out by some sponsors and maybe the organization as a whole but winning this fight gives me what I’ve always wanted. I’ve been on this run for a title shot for twelve years and beating KJ Noons Saturday will give me that title shot and no one is gonna take Saturday away from me. I promise you that, Saturday is my day.”
Interestingly enough, Gurgel and Noons both believe that, with a win over the other this evening, the victor of tonight’s bout will earn a title shot against Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez.
“Whoever gets their hand raised on Saturday gets a title shot,” Gurgel stated. “That’s the way I see it, that’s the way he sees it and there’s no where else Strikeforce can [take it].”
Gurgel is currently coming off of a November 2009 loss to Billy Evangelista and is 2-4 in his last six fights. Most of his losses have came by way of decision when he abandons taking the fight to the ground to work his vaunted ground game in favor of engaging in striking battles. Gurgel promised that he would do his best this time around to fight smart and to not allow himself to be baited into a slugfest.
“I promise you that I will do my best this time to fight like I should and not like how I want to,” said Gurgel.
Gurgel and Noons meet this evening at Strikeforce: Houston at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.