Less than a week after suffering a torn ACL that scratched her upcoming fight with Carina Damm, Bellator's 115-pound women's champion 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.
The injury occurred this past Wednesday as Zoila Gurgel practiced wrestling. An MRI done the same day confirmed that she's suffered a complete tear of her ACL. She initially requested to forgo surgery and requested a cortisone shot, according to Jorge Gurgel, but was told by her doctor not to fight.
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. "I was trying to find more health insurance and applying, but these places were denying me because of my [existing] bills."
Gurgel broke her hand in March at Bellator 35, and at Bellator 25, she suffered a foot injury that required a hospital visit in Chicago. She moved earlier this year from Fresno, Calif., to her husband's adopted hometown of Cincinnati and said the bills didn't follow her.
When she went to the hospital this past week to assess her knee injury, she discovered she was on her own, at least for the meantime.
"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.
Despite his ownership stake in a successful gym in West Chester Twp., Ohio, Jorge Gurgel said he "had dishonest encounters with financial advisors and business partners" that have put him and his family in a bad spot. Hence, the couple is going to the public.
"It's just a test," he said. "God's testing us as a married couple."