After dealing with the first bout of depression in his entire life, submission specialist Jorge Gurgel (12-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) will next fight at UFC 91 against Aaron Riley (26-10-1 MMA, 0-2 UFC), who returns to the UFC for the first time in nearly three years.
Gurgel today told MMAjunkie.com
) that bout agreements have been signed for the Nov. 15 fight, which takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Gurgel, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, looks to rebound from his disappointing submission loss to Cole Miller at UFC 86.
Although seemingly on his way to a tough-fought unanimous-decision victory in the July bout, Gurgel ran into disaster in the fight's final moments. While scrambling for position after securing a trip-takedown, Gurgel was trapped by Miller's triangle choke and forced to tap out with just 12 seconds remaining in the fight.
It would have been Gurgel's fourth UFC victory in a five-fight span. Instead, he suffered just the second submission loss of his career -- and his first in nearly five years.
"It was extremely difficult for me," Gurgel said. "I never in my life -- never in any circumstance -- I've never been depressed. Depression can't get to me. I'm always happy. I don't get depressed. But, I got to the point where I couldn't sleep.
"My parents were disappointed. My family was very hurt, and the first words out of my step-dad's mouth, as soon as he walked down the aisle in the arena (at UFC 86) and saw me -- he goes, 'This is the first time in my life, Jorge, that I saw a fighter win and lose a fight in the same fight.' And that quote has never left my head because that's exactly what happened. ... I lost my focus for one second, and it cost me 14 minutes and 30 seconds of beating [Miller] up. It was my best fight yet. I didn't even have a black eye, but I just lost focus for that split second."
After such a stunning and stinging loss, Gurgel heard the same thing over and over from friends, family and fans.
"It was either 'tough break' or '[expletive] happens,'" Gurgel said. "I'm just ready to get in there and put it behind me."
Standing in his way is Riley, who returns to the octagon for the first time since a first-round TKO loss to Spencer Fisher at UFC Fight Night 3. Ten fights and four years earlier, the former PRIDE and BodogFIGHT veteran made his UFC debut with a unanimous-decision loss to Robbie Lawler.
Since his latest UFC appearance, Riley has posted a 3-2 record in a variety of organizations; the losses came to notables Eddie Alvarez and Ryan Schultz.
Riley, a former Golden Gloves champion who made his professional MMA debut as a 16-year-old in 1997, has won seven of his past 10 fights.