It was a battle of two of the best female flyweights on the planet, but to the casual fan, they would have likely had no idea that Gurgel was a Bellator champion after watching the bout as Eye took complete control, finishing "The Warrior Princess" with a standing arm triangle in just 58 seconds to put a stamp on her first major televised appearance with the promotion.
Prior to her star-turn, Bellator had been building Eye up with several appearances on the promotion's preliminary card but she proved without a doubt that she belongs in the upper echelon of women 125-pounders with her emphatic finish of the strawweight champ.
Eye was so excited after the solid showing that she actually lost her voice the entire day following the event, but that didn't stop her from talking to MMAmania.com during a guest appearance on The Verbal Submission to talk about her exciting submission of Gurgel, whether the hatchet had been buried between the two and when we can expect to see her again in this exclusive interview.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): This must have been a pretty surreal past weekend for you.
Jessica Eye: Oh, it was insane. Obviously Friday night, getting the victory was just a dream come true for me. In so many ways, I was able to really put my mark on the world. We celebrated hard. I'm not much of a partier but when there's good reason to, an accomplishment was met like I did this past weekend, we definitely had fun.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): That fight against Zoila Gurgel was 58 seconds of crazy. You dropped her in the first exchange and then you're attacking with at body lock and the standing arm triangle. That's a pretty rare submission to pull off. Was it just something you saw, like the neck was exposed and you dove on it, or is that a submission you work on a lot?
Jessica Eye: Well it's definitely something I've been working on for a long time. The arm triangle is one of my favorite movies and I practice it a lot on the ground. I hit it a lot in training but how the move got set up in the fight was basically we didn't go in there expecting to knock her out or submit her. I was going to put the pressure on her and I knew from watching her videos, she backs straight up when someone throws straight strikes. When we met in the center of the cage and I was throwing the 1-2's, she backed straight up and I was able to hit those five strikes that I got on her and when it dropped her, I continued moving forward.
I did a wrestlers arm tie and I took her back and with my right hand I had her wrist and as I brought my other arm up, I let go of her wrist and she turned away from me. It turned her right into where that choke was. I really really enjoyed this past year learning how to wrestle and I felt like I had complete control over her. I don't want to take anything away from Zoila but when I got my hands on her, I felt her strength wasn't at the same level as mine.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): The last time we saw a standing arm triangle was Matt Riddle at UFC 149 but even then, after he locked it in standing, he went to the ground to finish it off with the typical side control leverage. What made you think you could still finish it standing?
Jessica Eye: Because I'm a lot taller than her. I was over an inch taller than her. Maybe I'm not 5'5 and she's not 5'4 because when I got in front of her, I was a good two inches taller than her so when I got a hold of her, I felt taller and I knew I could use the fence as leverage, just like you would use the ground. I used the fence to help finish the choke and with my body pressure, it gave me a chance to finish the choke instead of taking it down. Once I got the right hand in front of the face, I knew I could get it tighter. I didn't even realize she went out until the ref touched me to stop it.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You two had some bad blood heading into the fight. The pre-fight promos were pretty harsh with the back and forth and it got testy at the weigh-ins. Did that get squashed now that you've fought each other or not? What's the feeling like between you two now?
Jessica Eye: Well obviously Zoila and I have some personal differences. We weren't friends before and we won't be friends now. Fighting is a type of sport where some people fight and they find themselves being friends afterwards. I don't think that's the case with me and her. I feel like there's some mutual respect. Like I did exactly what I said I was going to do. Both of us can say it wasn't an accident. It was strictly that I am a better and superior fighter to her.
At the same time, I don't want to take anything away from her. She's a very successful woman in this sport and without her success and the things she's accomplished, it might not have made my victory look as good as it did. I'm glad it panned out the way it did and we had the beef that we did because it boosts our stocks.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You came out of this fight pretty unscathed. How quickly are you looking to turn it around and fight again?
Jessica Eye: Even if I had gone the full 15 minutes, I'd have been back in the gym on Monday. I hope they keep me active. I know we're gonna look to pick something up maybe February if not in Bellator than with the NAAFS. I like to stay busy. It's not about taking a fight and enjoying the fruits of your labor for weeks at a time. I love showing people what I can do.
You can follow Jessica on Twitter @JessicaEvilEye
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Were you impressed with Eye's dominance of the Bellator champion? Does she have what it takes to be the face of Bellator's women's division?
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