UFC scrapper Priscila Cachoeira has defended herself over a repeated eye gouge on her opponent that was described as “so dirty” by broadcaster Joe Rogan in his live analysis of the Brazilian’s defeat.
On a weekend to forget at UFC 269 in Las Vegas, ‘Pedrita’ missed weight badly ahead of her fight with Gillian Robertson.
The 31-year-old flyweight then clearly appeared to poke her finger in Robertson’s eye at close range in a fruitless and unedifying attempt to stop ‘The Savage’ from submitting her.
Fans were horrified by the footage from the first-round stoppage. “She definitely looked like she was trying to stick her finger in her eye,” Rogan told viewers, while former champion Daniel Cormier pointed out that Cachoeira had gone at Robertson’s eye more than once.
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) December 11, 2021
I don't call for a UFC release often, but release Priscila Cachoeira. That shit doesn't belong in this sport. #UFC269
— Daniel Vreeland (@GumbyVreeland) December 11, 2021
“100 percent, that’s so dirty. Cheating, missing weight… scratching the eye. That is so nasty.”
Cachoeira has now insisted that the gruesome move was a last-ditch attempt to stay in the fight with no malice involved.
“It wasn’t my intention to [gouge] her eye when she was on my back,” the disgraced brawler told MMA Fighting of her first defeat in more than two years.
“I didn’t know it was going in the direction of her eye. My intention was to go for her neck and push it.
“That was my intention but I was desperate, almost snoring, and it’s a matter of survival, right?
— Jonathan Ramos (@1JonathanRamos) December 15, 2021
“Unintentional” Yeah ok…
— Morning Kombat (@morningkombat) December 15, 2021
“I want to get it off. But it wasn’t my intention to hit her eyes. Never. I’m a professional and I’ve already apologized to her in person and via Instagram, and she was super cool.
“Critics will come, right? There’s no other way. I’ll wait for the dust to settle and work to come back stronger.”
Fans were predictably unconvinced. “I’ll believe that when my sh*t turns purple and smells like rainbow sherbet,” scorned one.
“Even if somehow the first one was unintentional, she felt the eyeball and did it again. Ludicrous, I tell ya,” said another.
Cachoeira, who was was fined 30 percent of her purse for her weight miss, said she had fallen ill days before arriving in Las Vegas but had taken the fight despite having flu and a faver.
— mufc jord (@mufc_jord) December 15, 2021
“Unintentional” I'll believe that when me shit turns purple and smells like rainbow sherbet.
— Lock The Pick (@LockThePickMMA) December 15, 2021
“I’ll fix my mistakes,” she added to the outlet. “I apologize once again for what happened. It won’t happen again.
“It was a matter of survival, right? But I didn’t know I was gouging her eyes. She was on my back – how would I know? If I had to suffer any punishment it would come at that moment.”
A smiling Robertson said after the fight that she had hoped the referee, who appeared to be intently inspecting the situation, would stop the contest.
“I don’t even think he gave her a warning because there was two that were pretty clear that I felt [involved a] thumb straight in my eye,” she said.
“But I was just trying to squeeze, squeeze. Before the first one, I actually felt her body go limp a little bit, so I thought she was out and then I felt the thumb go straight in my eye. I was like, ‘Oh, she’s not out. OK.”
— Billy Barnes (@braythirteen) December 15, 2021
even if somehow the first one was unintentional, she felt the eyeball and did it again. LUDICROUS I TELL YA!
— Carlos Boozer (@Michael_Aquin0) December 15, 2021
The fighter who set a submissions record on the night said she had “let it slide” over her rival’s saga on the scales.
“Sometimes I guess you don’t really know what’s going through her head,” she added.
“I don’t know. She was probably in a moment of desperation, didn’t really have a defense, so her defense was her eye gouge.
“I don’t necessarily have any hard feelings towards her for that or professionally.
“Like I said, it’s not great to miss weight, but other than that, it is what it is. We fought it out and we can hug at the end of the day.”