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Priscila Cachoeira defends eye-gouging in last UFC fight, bemoans calls for her firing

Cachoeira faces Ji Yeon Kim at this weekend’s UFC Vegas 49.

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UFC flyweight Priscila Cachoeira is set to meet Ji Yeon Kim at tomorrow’s UFC Vegas 49. The Brazilian lost her previous bout, to Gillian Robertson, by rear naked choke at UFC 269 in December.

Robertson’s win over Cachoeira has been somewhat overshadowed by the actions the Brazilian took during the fight. While Cachoeira was caught in the fight-ending choke she clearly attempted to claw at Robertson’s eyes.

Thankfully, Cachoeira’s attempts did not injury Robertson or affect the outcome of the fight.

Cachoeira faced a wave of criticism for her attempted eye gouges, from fans, media and fighters.

In an interview with MMA Junkie Cachoeira defended her actions, claiming she went for her opponent’s eyes without thinking.

“Mistakes happen and it was automatic,” she said at this week’s UFC media day. “I didn’t mean to do that, but as soon I left the cage I said sorry to her. I apologized to her, and I’m sure it’s not going to happen again.”

“I didn’t like (people saying I should be cut from UFC),” Cachoeira continued. “I didn’t, but especially from other UFC fighters because they know how hard it is to be here, how hard we’ve got to work to train, to cut weight on a fight week. I didn’t like.”

The 10-4 Cachoeira debuted for the UFC in 2018 against Valentina Shevchenko. Against Shevchenko she suffered one of the most brutal one-sided, and prolonged, beatings ever witnessed in the UFC. The amount of punishment taken by Cachoeira in the fight was so severe that referee Mario Yamasaki has not worked a UFC event since. The fight finally ended towards the end of the second round, when Shevchenko locked in a rear-naked choke.

Cachoeira then lost to Molly McCann and Luana Carolina, both by unanimous decision. She rebounded from those three losses with a sensational 40-second uppercut KO of Shana Dobson in 2020. She then beat Gina Mazany by standing TKO before then losing to Robertson.