On August 29th, Silvia Gallo, the mother of UFC and Strikeforce veteran Jorge Gurgel, was hit by a taxi while crossing Madison Avenue and 79th Street in New York City’s Upper East Side. She was killed almost instantly, despite the incredible efforts of several bystanders to save her.
Jorge had spoken to his mother some 40 minutes before the accident. She was running a few final errands before departing the city to begin a year-long stay in Ireland, where she would work as a Pilates instructor. The conversation they had was brief, but nothing short of foreboding, as MMAJunkie reports:
She literally said, ‘If you die tomorrow, everybody’s lives will still go on. You don’t need to take care of everybody. I want you to get rid of all the bad energy in your life. You have to get rid of all the crazy.
It was of those mom speeches.
Jorge’s mom was always his biggest supporter, even if she couldn’t find it in her to attend her son’s fights in person. Recalled Gurgel, “Everywhere we went (she said), ‘This is my son. The fighter I talked about. This is the fighter.’ She was just so proud.”
But at the same time, Silvia was also the strongest proponent urging for his retirement. It was “never his true calling,” she would tell him. After 12 years and nearly 25 professional bouts, Gurgel had done as much as he could as a fighter. But as a coach, there was still plenty of life left in him.
“If you continue to fight, you’re never going to give your students or the future generation a fair chance,” she told him.
And in keeping with his mother’s wish, Jorge Gurgel has decided to retire from mixed martial arts competition.