This Friday night Bellator champion Zoila Gurgel will take to the cage for the first time in eighteen months after suffering a slew of injuries including a torn ACL. Were that not a big enough moment in itself, the bout will also take place in the State she calls home and involves a larger opponent.
However, rather than capitalize on the plethora of promotable storylines, Bellator has instead opted to relegate Gurgel’s return to non-televised status on the preliminary portion of the card. The decision to do so hasn’t sat well with fans with the same also being true of former Strikeforce title-holder Miesha Tate.
Tate went on Twitter over the weekend to voice her opinion on the matter, addressing Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney directly in a message stating, “I cannot believe you would allow your champion to be placed on the UN-televised undercard in her hometown. A champion is a champion regardless if she is fighting up a weight. You use her image to promote the posters and then put her on the undercard?! Blows my mind.”
The outspoken 26-year old, who also happens to be the only person to ever beat the 11-1 Gurgel, also labeled the move as “absurd” and wondered, “Would they have done the same to a male champ?”
In conclusion, Tate made her dislike of Bellator’s approach as clear as could be, adding she would rather retire than ever sign a deal to compete under the company’s banner.
Neither Bellator or Rebney have issued an official response to Tate’s comments as of this report. Gurgel’s fight with Casey Noland at Bellator 78 can still be caught on the promotion’s live stream through Spike.com starting at 7:00 PM EST.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE/BELLATOR