Jorge Gurgel has had a bad habit of striking with strikers. A brilliant jiu-jitsu practitioner, he hadn't suffered devastating consequences until tonight. Gurgel played K.J. Noons' game and almost had his head knocked off. In the first three minutes of the fight, Gurgel was tagged by 20-of-44 shots. It only got worse from there. Noons nearly knocked out Gurgel with a left hook at the end of the first. Then at the start of the second, he finished it quickly when landed a nasty combination with straight right followed by a left hook. Referee Kerry Hatley stopped the fight at 0:19 of the second giving Noons the victory but it wasn't without controversy.
Once Noons dropped Gurgel, he looked to Hatley to save Gurgel. The ref hesitated so Noons unloaded with three more lefts on the helpless Gurgel. Then as the overmatched official listlessly moved in to stop the fight, Noons delivered a right knee. One problem, Gurgel was still on the ground. The blow was clearly illegal. Showtime color voice Mauro Ranallo screeched in protest. Texas officials apparently decided the knee was legal or simply didn't see it.
When Showtime's Gus Johnson entered the cage he probed Noons with four questions but shied away from asking him about the illegal blow (pictured).
"Jorge is great opponent," said Noons (9-1). "He was staying away from my hands trying to get me into his gameplan but I have that killer instinct."
There was also a question on the left hook that nearly knocked out Gurgel (13-7) at the end of the first. Showtime never showed a replay with sound. It appeared that the punch landed as the bell sounded. Ranallo and others thought it may have come just after the bell.
In all, Noons landed 41-of-80 strikes while Gurgel was just 21-of-67. Clearly, Noons landed the heavier shots. Gurgel was bleeding around both eyes and his nose. He could barely stand at the end of the fight. Noons' face was unmarked.
- Jorge Gurgel