After a 19-month layoff, Zoila Gurgel earned a decision win against Casey Noland in a back-and-forth fight.
Gurgel had suffered a knee injury that required surgery and kept her out of action until Friday night.
In the first round, Gurgel came out quickly and landed a right hand that sent Noland backing up against the cage. After a short exchange in the clinch, “The Warrior Princess” was able take Noland down and land in half guard.
Noland was able to reverse the position and land in side control but was never able to do any damage and stayed in the top position for a majority of the round. As the round ended, Gurgel was able to reverse the position and get back to her feet.
Noland came out aggressive in the second round and pushed Gurgel up against the cage. “KO” was able to control Gurgel up against the cage and land knees to the legs and body of Gurgel.
The Bellator women’s champ was able to eventually take Noland down and landed in half guard. Gurgel worked her way to the north-south position and locked in a kimura.
Noland was some how able to escape the near submission and get back to her feet to as the second round ended.
Noland started the third and final round by holding Gurgel up against the cage. Gurgel was able to create some space and began landing elbows that opened up a cut on Noland’s head.
Gurgel took Noland down to the ground to try to finish the fight. After not being able to do any damage on the ground, Gurgel stood back up and fired off leg kicks to the downed Noland.
Noland was able to get back to her feet and push Gurgel up against the cage but the round would end before she had a chance to do any damage.
The fight would go to the judges and all three judges scored the fight 29-28 in favor of Gurgel.
With the win, Gurgel moves her record to 12-1 and has now won 7 straight fights.
With the loss, Noland drops to 4-3 and is now 0-2 in Bellator.