Since beating Jessica Aguilar at Bellator 31 in one of the most controversial decisions of 2010, the fans and fighters have been clamoring for a rematch. Gurgel agreed to the fight to be held in late October on a non-title basis. However, after an injury to Aguilar booted her from the fight, Gurgel got matched up with Carina Damm at Bellator 57 in mid-November.
Unfortunately, Gurgel was then forced out of the fight when she tore her ACL while training. The injury is expected to keep her on the sidelines for at least the rest of this year, as it requires surgery. After the injury, Gurgel was force to reach out to fans for financial assistance to help pay for the procedure based on the expense involved.
In a conversation with MMAWeekly, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney discussed Gurgel’s health and recovery, saying, “She’s had a serious injury, she’s had the kind of injury that’s going to take time to recuperate from. It’s not one of those injuries where you can get some therapy and it can kind of work itself out. It’s going to take time. But the essence of getting that situation taken care of the right way, the essence of giving her the best possible chance of getting back in the Bellator cage, is to take care of it with the right doctors, the right rehab, the right attention to detail. It’s not about rushing it and getting in the first person who agrees to cut the leg open. It’s about doing it the right way, and that’s the process that we’re trying to follow.
“If Zoila follows that process she’ll be given as good an opportunity as you can possibly have with the severity of the injury she has to recuperate fully,” Rebney continued.
Rebney also revealed Bellator will cover the cost of the surgery, explaining, “I’ll say the same thing to you that we said to Zoila and to (husband) Jorge Gurgel – we’re going to take care of it, we’re going to get you through this and we’re going to get it covered by insurance and all of it will be covered. All of it will be taken care of and it will be fine, it will get worked out and it will get taken care of, but those things don’t happen in the matter of a day, or 48 hours, or 72 hours.”
Robney was also asked about what he would need to do help Gurgel, stating, “You have to go through a process, you have to fill out the paperwork, you have to take steps for it to get done. I understand the angst and the anxiety because as an athlete who lost half of his senior year playing as a full scholarship running back at a major college, I understand as an athlete you’re like ‘open me up, fix it, get it done right now’. But you’ve got to take a step back and a breath and say let the process work itself out. Let the insurance take care of what needs to be taken care of, and it will be taken care of. We said it from the very start and we said it to her and we said it to her husband. We’ll get it worked out.”
Gurgel is Bellator’s 115-pound champion and the first (so far only) person to beat long-respected Japanese phenom Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii. “The Warrior Princess” is 11-1 in her career and has emerged with her hand raised in six straight scraps.
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR