Jorge Gurgel will be heading back to his home country of Brazil in just a few days. He is headed back home to reconnect with those roots that are the foundation of the man he is today.

Everything Jorge is, started from the seeds of jiu-jitsu that were planted back in Brazil. He is returning to the homeland to reconnect with old friends, with family, with the sunshine and to surround himself with the familiarity and security of it all.

Jorge will meet up with old training partners now Black Belts in their own right; the guys he grew up with, rolled and sweated with perfecting their art of jiu-jitsu.

Fifteen minutes after being released from the UFC, he was signed with Strikeforce. That does not happen with ordinary fighters. Jorge Gurgel is not only an extraordinary fighter but an extraordinary person.

Jorge spoke with PRO MMA – about his release from the UFC, getting ready for his trip to Brazil, getting back to his roots of jiu-jitsu, and helping to take Strikeforce to the next level.

PRO MMA: Hi Jorge, how’s it going? I hear you are about to leave for Brazil. What is the purpose of your trip if I may ask?
JORGE: Yes I am going to rehab my jiu-jitsu and finally get to see my family. I will be training every day and will be able to go and train with guys I grew up with such as Marcus Aurelio and other BJJ black belts.

PRO MMA: Your manager sent me an email a week or two ago letting me know you had been released from the UFC. Did you have any idea that was coming or was it completely unexpected?
JORGE: I knew it. I knew it was coming. Even though Dana would always come and tell me that I had a great fight, I knew I had lost so there was always a chance, so it was no surprise. I don’t blame Joe Silva, I like him a lot. In my opinion, they were all lackluster performances. It was my own fault. So I need to fix that and get back there when I deserve it.

PRO MMA: How were you able to sign with Strikeforce so quickly? As soon as we heard your were released from the UFC, it seemed almost immediately you were already signed with Strikeforce. How did it happen so fast?
JORGE: I knew that much, that it would be no problem signing with someone else because of the way I fight. Whatever else, I knew I was going to have an offer. I didn’t know it was going to be that quick and I was going to be that happy with it. I want to try and make Strikeforce grow, as well as myself. I’m coming in as a hired gun at 155 lbs. It’s a great new beginning for me and I look forward to it.

PRO MMA: When they notify you that you are being released from the UFC, how does that happen; is it a phone call from Joe Silva or an email or a letter; how does that work? Did you have a chance to speak with Dana White about your release; if so what did he say?
JORGE: We get a short one page email saying, “Jorge…this…that…the result of your loss in your last fight had to do with this decision. Good luck, blah, blah, blah.” So within fifteen minutes I was signed [with Strikeforce] and ready to rock and roll. I’m going to keep that email forever. I’m going to frame it and I’m going to look at it everyday. It’s just a stepping stone that’s all it is. I have not spoke with Dana. I’m always going to be there because I have so many guys in the UFC.

PRO MMA: Would you ever fight for Affliction? I had read something that said you would not fight for their organization because of Dana White’s dislike for them.
JORGE: I would fight for anybody if I was released from the UFC. I never said I wasn’t going to fight with Affliction. As soon as the UFC would release me, I would like to fight for anybody that is willing to give me a good contract. I never even knew that Dana didn’t like Affliction because I don’t read the magazines or anything.

PRO MMA: I think you will be a great addition to Strikeforce and it will be very interesting to see how you match up against some of those guys. Have you been given any indication on when your first fight may be and who it will be against?
JORGE: No, I have no indication of who it’s going to be against, when, or where it will be. I just had elbow surgery so I will be rehabbing that and going to Brazil to train my jiu-jitsu, get healthy in the sunny weather and then come back ready to face a training camp. So I’m guessing January or February. I never ever chose who I fought. That’s not my job. My job is…I always tell everybody…you give me a name, give me a date, and give me a location. That’s all I need and I will show up ready, put my hands up and go to war. Whoever Strikeforce thinks will be good for me, I’ll be there, I’ll show up…don’t worry…I will be there.

PRO MMA: Is there a certain time period you have to wait after leaving the UFC before you can fight again?
JORGE: No, I could fight tomorrow if I was healthy…I think so, I’m not sure.

PRO MMA: I know you’re probably sick of this question …(Jorge interrupts…”I know what’s coming…why don’t you use jiu-jitsu? Why don’t you practice what you preach? Man come on, use your jiu-jitsu”) …but I have to ask it. Are we going to see more of your ground game in Strikeforce?
JORGE: I think people want to see me doing jiu-jitsu more than they want to see Paris Hilton [laughs]. Everybody says, “Jorge, what is going on, why don’t you do what everybody knows you can do, take the fight to the ground with jiu-jitsu?” I got so sick of hearing that, I just want you to know that I’m going to be a completely different fighter at Strikeforce. I’m going back to my roots to Brazil and put on my gi and have a lot of fun with my friends and I’ll leave it at that.

PRO MMA: Do you think not using your ground game and relying mostly on your striking caused you to lose some of your fights while in the UFC and ultimately led to you being released?
JORGE: Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s no secret. Everybody knows how I fight. I love to strike. I love to have fun and I never think I’m losing. I have so much fun in there and I never really get hurt, no one knocks me out or knocks me down and it’s such a high with the people screaming and I’m in the heat of battle and then the fight is over and the other guy gets his arm raised, I’m like fuck, I can’t believe that just happened. I was completely unfocused on the outcome. I’m not going to force the takedown because I don’t do that, I have fun standing. If they want to take me down because they don’t want to stand then fine. But I’m going to change things around to fight where I am best. There are fights I could have won very easily if I had just used jiu-jitsu. Everybody knows that too. Even my mom say, “Jorge why you not use your jiu-jitsu?” My fans and friends have gotten so frustrated with me for not representing and using my jiu-jitsu so I am willing to change and return to my roots.

PRO MMA: So you plan to make some changes in your fighting, how will your first fight in Strikeforce look?
JORGE: Here’s my plan, I’m going to Strikeforce and for my first fight I’m going to take him down real quick and submit him in like a minute, then go back and get the microphone and say “Ok, here it is. Here’s jiu-jitsu. Everybody happy? Now can I go back to brawling and having fun and losing decisions?” Then I will walk out and go back to losing decisions.[laughs]

PRO MMA: I really look forward to following your career in Strikeforce and wish you the best of luck. Do you have any final words you would like to share or any shout outs?
JORGE: I want to say thanks to everybody, they have been so supportive and I don’t deserve that much but I’m so grateful to have it. I have a great team and a lot of support from my students and tons of fans, more than I ever thought I would have. I’m going to keep fighting and getting better. I look forward to next year. And to all my sponsors thank you very much, they know who they are.

-Jack Bratcher

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