Gurgel axed by UFC, signs with Strikeforce - Sports Illustrated

Gurgel signs with Strikeforce

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"I am excited. To me, this is like a new start. I'm coming in fresh. I'm re-motivated and excited to mix things up in Strikeforce," said the 31-year-old Gurgel, a native of Brazil, who relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio a decade ago.

Gurgel was part of the fight of the night in his most recent Octagon appearance, sharing the honor -- albeit in a losing effort -- with Aaron Riley. The loss was the third in his last four appearances, however, so the UFC cut him loose.

Gurgel went toe-to-toe with Riley for the duration of their three-round bout. That's something he enjoys, but may not be the wisest approach if he finds himself in bouts with current Strikeforce standouts, such as lightweight champion Josh Thomson.

"I make some bad decisions because I have too much fun. I have never used my jiu-jitsu in the UFC," he said. "All of my fights in the UFC have been slugfests. People always tell me after my fights that they know I can be one of the top contenders in my weight class. They ask me why I don't use my jiu-jitsu. I have so much fun standing up and I completely think I'm winning all the time."

"I'm going to do a lot of things differently in Strikeforce," said Gurgel. "I will always bring the same intensity and I'm always going to fight 110 percent. I just want to be able to use everything that I know."

The duration of Gurgel's contract was not released.