Priscila Cachoeira didn’t do much to ingratiate herself to UFC fans this week after first missing weight for her fight with Gillian Robertson, and then attempting an eye gouge after becoming stuck in a fight-ending submission.
It was a week to forget for Cachoeira, and one which might well cost the Brazilian flyweight her spot on the UFC roster.
First, she came in heavy when she stepped on the scales on the eve of her fight with Canada’s Robertson weighing a full 3lbs heavier than her contracted weight limit.
As if the spotlight wasn’t already on her, Cachoeira proceeded to attempt to escape what proved to be the pivotal submission move towards the end of the first round by repeatedly gouging Robertson’s eye – all while the referee intently scrutinized the sequence from just feet away.
In the end, Cachoeira’s attempt to avoid a loss proved fruitless as she tapped into submission with just a single second remaining in the opening frame.
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) December 11, 2021
“Look at this, she definitely looked like she was trying to stick her finger in her eye,” Joe Rogan said on the broadcast while analyzing the finish of the fight.
“100%, that’s so dirty.“
“Oh my goodness, she did it again,” added Daniel Cormier.
“That’s so dirty,” Rogan again exclaimed.
“Cheating, missing weight… scratching the eye. That is so nasty.“
I mean that was straight up thumb into the eye. Robertson still strangled her. That's probably it for Cachoeira.
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) 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
Honestly shocked we don't see more desperate eye gouges from fighters stuck in the RNC. Top tier cheating by Cachoeira, there
— Health Commissioner (@BoxingBusch) December 11, 2021
“I mean that was straight up thumb into the eye. Robertson still strangled her. That’s probably it for Cachoeira,” said one fan, predicting that the Brazilian might soon be handed her pink slip by the UFC.
“Buzzer beater [rear-naked choke] from Gillian Robertson to start the card off… Cachoeira was deadass tryna eye gouge Gillian to get out of it, doesn’t work, taps anyways… That was wild,” said another.
A third wrote: “Honestly shocked we don’t see more desperate eye gouges from fighters stuck in the RNC. Top tier cheating by Cachoeira, there.“
The sequence also incited a curious debate: what is a referee to do if they observe a clear and obvious foul in a potential fight-ending sequence such as this? An eye gouge can obviously lead to serious and even permanent damage to a fighter – but an official could risk the wrath of a fighter and their team if they were to pause the action to discipline a fighter in such a scenario.
What's the actual correct play from the referee's perspective? It's an obvious foul but he can't stop a checkmate sequence like that. Feels like a bit of a blind spot in the ruleset, no pun intended.
— John Balfe (@JohnBalfe) December 12, 2021
Personally think that he waits until either the sub or escape and if there’s an escape he stops and takes points away.
— Kieran Fitzpatrick (@Kieranfitzz) December 12, 2021
In jiu jitsu intentional eye gouging by an opponent is DQ especially if it stops you from continuing the submission..
— ّ (@mediterralien) December 12, 2021
“What’s the actual correct play from the referee’s perspective? It’s an obvious foul but he can’t stop a checkmate sequence like that. Feels like a bit of a blind spot in the ruleset, no pun intended,” asked one.
“Personally think that he waits until either the sub or escape and if there’s an escape he stops and takes points away,” said another.
A third noted that the jiu jitsu community has a plans in place for such an event: “In jiu jitsu intentional eye gouging by an opponent is DQ especially if it stops you from continuing the submission.”
Either way, no harm was done on this occasion (at least hopefully) and Cachoeira will certainly face stern questions as to her future with the organization for such a clear and obvious violation of the rules.
And just to cap a truly horrendous evening for her, she was also docked 30% of her purse for failing to make the 125lbs weight limit.
Better luck next time Pricila, if indeed there is a next time.