Priscila Cachoeira is apologizing for those blatant eye gouges she used as a defense against Gillian Robertson at UFC 269 this past Saturday and insists they were not done intentionally.
Robertson submitted Cachoeira via rear-naked choke in the first round of their catchweight fight, but there was a brief moment before the fight-ending move that was being discussed for all the wrong reasons. As ‘The Savage’ continued to squeeze the neck of her opponent, ‘Pedrita’ was seen fishing around for Robertson’s eye and jamming her thumb in it in an apparent attempt to free herself from the choke. It didn’t work, and Cachoeira tapped with just one second left in the round.
Cachoeira received a lot of backlash from fans and pundits, including UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, who repeatedly pointed out the illegal move during the broadcast that night. She has been made aware of the uproar and told Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting on Tuesday that she honestly never intended to gouge the eye of Robertson. The 33-year-old also revealed she apologized directly to Robertson on more than one occasion since the fight.
“It wasn’t my intention to [gouge] her eye when she was on my back, I didn’t know it was going in the direction of her eye,” Cachoeira said. “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? 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.”
Robertson has accepted the apologies and moved on from the unfortunate experience. During her post-fight press conference, she told assembled media that she doesn’t have “any hard feelings” towards Cachoeira.
Since joining the promotion, Cachoeira has had a rough run under the UFC banner. She most notably made her debut against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Anders three years ago and was subject to one of the worst one-sided drubbings in UFC history. Shevchenko finished her via second-round rear-naked choke.
Back-to-back losses to Molly McCann and Luana Carolina followed before Cachoeira scored her first two UFC wins, which were knockouts of Shana Dobson and Gina Mazany. Though she appears eager to resume her UFC career after the loss to Robertson, not everyone is on board with that as calls for her immediate release from her UFC contract have been made.