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Bellator sticks its female champ on the prelims

(because why would you ever even try to market someone like this)

With women’s MMA on a bit of a roll with Ronda Rousey and that whole Invicta thing, you’d think Bellator would be eager to get back into the fray as their 115 pound WMMA champ Zoila Gurgel (formerly Frausto) finally returns from an ACL injury. Strangely, that is not the case. Instead, Zoila has been stuffed on the prelim portion of this Friday’s Bellator card. Here’s Bellaprez Bjorn Rebney explaining this lil headscratcher:

“Zoila’s been plagued by injury after injury over the last 19 months, having not fought since March, 2011. We felt that the best road back for her did not include rushing her into a major fight against one of the top-ranked women in the world. This is not a world title fight as it’s made significantly north of the 115 weight limit where she holds our title. Depending on how Zoila feels and performs on Friday, we can then determine the next appropriate step back.”

Oh, I see. So this is all about giving Zoila a soft rebound fight after a long layover. Not about punishing her for all the negative things she’s said about Bellator over the past two years – the accusation that they brought her in to lose, that they welshed on helping with her ACL injury costs, that they disappeared her after her injury and continue to pretend she doesn’t exist. Yeah, darkmatching her has nothing to do with all that.