LAS VEGAS – Priscila Cachoeira remains firm in her stance that her eye gouge on Gillian Robertson at UFC 269 in December was entirely accidental, and she thought the backlash was too harsh.
Cachoeira (10-4 MMA, 2-4 UFC) got caught in a rear-naked choke by Robertson in the opening round of their bout. Instead of tapping out from the submission, or peeling the hands to escape, Cachoeira dug her fingers deep into the eye of her opponent. It didn’t help, because she lost anyway, but the dirty tactic resulted in great outrage from the MMA community.
There were calls from fans, media, and fighters for Cachoeira to lose her spot on the roster after the blatantly illegal action. Instead, however, she’s been granted a main card spot at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 202 event, as she takes on Ji Yeon Kim (9-4-2 MMA, 3-4 UFC) in a women’s flyweight fight.
Cachoeira said she’s turned the page on her controversial action, and said nothing of the sort will take place in future fights.
“Mistakes happen and it was automatic,” Cachoeira told MMA Junkie through an interpreter at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 202 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.”
Cachoeira admits all the negative feedback after her loss was tough to deal with. There were many people questioning her character, but she said none of the reactions hurt more than those from her fellow fighters.
“I didn’t like (people saying I should be cut from UFC),” Cachoeira said. “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.”
An emphatic win over Kim at UFC Fight Night 202, which takes place at the UFC Apex and streams on ESPN+, would help Cachoeira put some distance between her previous fight and allow her to move forward. A loss could put her in a tricky spot, though, as it would mean four losses out of six UFC appearances.
Cachoeira said she’s not focused on the potential fallout, however, and merely plans to execute inside the octagon.
“I’m ready to put my strategies,” Cachoeira said. “I’m going to take the actions inside the octagon.
Gillian Robertson def. Priscila Cachoeira at UFC 269: Best photos
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