Conor Heun's run in Strikeforce didn't go as well as he may have hoped, as he compiled only a 1-3 record in four bouts for the promotion. More unfortunate than his lack of success is his story of what has happened to him due to injuries suffered in the cage.
Heun told MMA Weekly that he declared medical bankruptcy shortly before the UFC acquired Strikeforce following a few surgeries.
Now, after three surgeries following his loss to Ryan Couture, Heun looks to be suffering similar financial setbacks, this time learning that the UFC's medical coverage is a bit more limited than he expected:
"I had torn labrums and I had what’s called an avulsion fracture, where my hip flexor was too tight so it pulled part of the pelvis where it attaches, it pulled like a chunk of the bone off. So the doctor went in and said well we’ll repair the labrum, but here on the right side you’ve got a mild case of hip dysplasia and it predisposes you to hip injuries, you know having the labrums tear when you’re grappling. So the left side it tore but he said it doesn’t look like it’s going to be susceptible to re-injury," Heun explained.
"The plan was go to in on the right side, they were going to repair the labrum, and do some stuff in there and then do this PAO (Periacetabular Osteotomy) where they basically change the way the femur fits in the pelvis to avoid contact between the ball of the femur and the labrum moving forward with martial arts."
Knowing that he was getting his injuries fixed once and for all made Heun a happy man, but it didn’t take long for a dark cloud to once again circle overhead when he found out that Zuffa’s medical insurance would not cover the preventative surgery.
"The problem is the UFC’s insurance basically said that doing the PAO was to prevent a future injury or was based on a pre-existing condition, and that wasn’t necessary. Of course they don’t tell the doctor that before he does the surgery because he could have just gone in and repaired the labrum, and when it tears the next fight we’ll repair it again," said Heun.
According to Heun the UFC's plan covered about $200,000 of his surgeries but stuck him on the last surgery, saying the claim was denied.
But yesterday Heun tweeted out the following:
The @ufc said they were going to cover my surgery but not my rehab. So far I've got 30k in unpaid med bills and 9k already in collections.— Conor Heun (@ConorHeun) January 5, 2014
Still, the idea that a medical plan for athletes doesn't cover getting the athletes in the best shape possible with necessary surgery, or that the rehab for the surgery won't be covered seems the height of ridiculousness.
In the MMA Weekly article Heun also says that the promotion offered him a fight with Pat Healy on January 12 but he couldn't take the fight as he was on crutches and he was informed that he would receive his release instead.