Bellator women’s champion Zoila Gurgel suffered a torn ACL in training, and then realized that paying for the surgery to repair the injury was beyond her means at present. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney spoke to MMAWeekly Radio this week about Gurgel’s injury and he stated that the promotion will make sure Gurgel is taken care of, but patience is the key.
“We said it from day one," asserted Rebney." And I understand it because I was an athlete in college, I played football in college and I understand how injuries work. I understand that when you get an injury as an athlete you want everything to happen immediately and for the world to stop and get it fixed. It’s just human nature."
“I’ll say the same thing to you that we said to Zoila and to Jorge, 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.”
“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."
“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."
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Fighter Andrew Closter provides a personal account of Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney's handling of a previous injury.
Bellator - Rebney - Medical Bills
Member Since: 8/21/06
I want to share and experience that happened 5/29/09 in Louisiana at Bellator 9. My very good friend Damien Stelly fought Hector Lomard in the 2nd round of the first Bellator Middleweight tournament.
In this fight Damien's right orbital and cheek were severely fractured, the injury was devastating.
At this time Bellator was still a very young promotion, and I think Bjorn Rebney had already pissed some people off in the way that he was doing some things, I know the original matchmaker split with him not long after, and that not too far down the road I think Jason also left the promotion.
The business reasons behind some of Bjorn's decisions and how he does things are his business and choices.
But I will tell you that after the show that night, as a promoter he was very busy the first thing he did after leaving the arena around 1AM was come to the hospital to check on Damien.
He didn't just drop in to make an appearance though, he stayed in the hospital with all of us until almost 5AM when Damien was released.
He followed up weekly to make sure that Damien was getting taken care of and that all of the medical bills were met.
So love him or hate him in how he runs Bellator, I can attest from first hand experience that he cares about the athletes and in my opinion he is good for the sport.
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