After an ACL tear that forced her off the Bellator 57 card, things seem to be getting worse for Zoila Gurgel. In a development belying the fact that Bellator FC has new corporate sugar daddies who make Oprah look poor, Bellator’s 115lb female champion is taking to the Interwebs to ask for money with her mounting medical bills:
Less than a week after suffering a torn ACL that scratched her upcoming fight with Carina Damm, [Zoila Gurgel] is holding an online fundraiser to help pay for her medical treatment. Gurgel (formerly Zoila Frausto), who is married to UFC and Strikeforce vet Jorge Gurgel, hopes to raise $5,000 for the procedure… A lapse in Gurgel’s health-insurance plan coupled by previous medical bills prompted her to seek outside help.
“By the time I was able to pay that insurance, they canceled on me,” Zoila Gurgel today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “I was trying to find more health insurance and applying, but these places were denying me because of my [existing] bills.”… “We don’t know if [my current insurance] is going to be able to cover it or not,” Gurgel said. “[Bellator] is going to pay for the bills, but the thing is, I wasn’t able to get medical insurance right then and there when I needed it during my training camp (and) before my training camp because of the outstanding bills that we’ve had before.”
“Paying out of pocket to go to the hospital to get an MRI (or) to have surgery is ridiculous, and right now, we’re not at a point where we’re actually able to pay for that out of pocket.” Gurgel admitted that the amount she’s seeking to raise is not likely to cover all of her medical bills but would help pay for the initial phase of treatment. “This surgery can cost anywhere from 35 to 40 grand, so it’s very little compared to what we’re going to need if this health insurance doesn’t go through,” she said.
It is really quite a downer thinking that one of the best female fighters in the world has to beg for money on social networking apps, which everyone knows are the dirty street corners of cyberspace, like some kind of Internet hobo. We’re talking about a fighter who is 11-1 with a victory over Megumi Fujii. And she was willing to fearlessly fight Carina Damm, who barely even counts as a woman anymore due to her profound case of steroid clitoris. She deserves better than this. It seems odd that Gurgel has Bellator’s back on this, as she says that they will pay the medical bills, but at the same time, she needs to pay for this operation out of pocket up front and has lots of outstanding medical bills that somehow didn’t get paid from her other Bellator-related injuries.
Bellator really ought to step up and do something here before our “we aren’t exploiting people” bubble bursts in a seething froth of cadaver ligament tissue. We all like to think that we DON’T simply watch hapless chumps getting taken advantage of by being injured for our amusement in exchange for what often amounts to a bucket of peanut-filled feces in compensation. This is because we aren’t watching XARM. But also, sometimes irrationally, we put the blinders on and figure that the athletes will be taken care of if they get injured. Ever since the Tito Ortiz “pay for my back surgery, biatches” scandal, the UFC has been very good about paying its fighters’ medical bills and getting them health insurance. This is a sad reminder of what can happen when a fighter incurs a training injury in the B leagues, even in a relatively well-to-do promotion.
It should be pointed out, though, that Zoila Gurgel actually has a new car in the garage. So take the foregoing with a grain of salt. Thanks to DJThunderElbows for pointing this out.