Torn ACL Knocks Women’s Champion Gurgel Out of Bellator 57

By Mike Whitman Oct 20, 2011
Bellator Fighting Championships 115-pound women’s titleholder Zoila Gurgel has torn the anterior-cruciate ligament in her knee and will be unable to fight as scheduled at Bellator 57.

Gurgel (Pictured, File Photo) tweeted the news on Thursday. “Warrior Princess” had been scheduled to square off with Carina Damm in a non-title 125-pound attraction at the Nov. 12 event, but she will instead undergo surgery to repair her injured knee.

“I just took an MRI of my knee yesterday. I completely tore my ACL,” Gurgel wrote. “If it was up to me, I still was planning on fighting. I am able to still move forward and box, and I am very confident in that and my cardio. But [the] Doctor and [my] coaches said, ‘No way in hell!’ So it’s off to surgery hopefully soon and back into training ASAP.”

Gurgel has won six straight contests, falling only once as a professional. Following her lone defeat at the hands of current Strikeforce 135-pound titlist Miesha Tate in March 2010, Gurgel defeated Rosi Sexton only months later to qualify for Bellator’s third-season tournament. Fighting at a lighter weight than ever before, Gurgel earned three wins in as many months to capture Bellator’s inaugural 115-pound championship.

Following her victories over Jessica Penne, Jessica Aguilar and Megumi Fujii, Gurgel was most recently successful in a non-title 125-pound scrap against Karina Hallinan, earning a unanimous decision for her efforts at Bellator 35 on March 5.

It is not currently known whether Bellator is seeking a replacement for Gurgel at Bellator 57 or if the organization will simply scrap the contest and potentially use Damm on a later date, as is common with late withdrawals.

Featuring the finals of the Chicago-based promotion’s fifth-season welterweight tournament, Bellator 57 will see Ben Saunders take on Douglas Lima at Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario. The winner of that contest will be awarded a guaranteed title shot against the winner of Ben Askren’s upcoming title defense against Jay Hieron.
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