Priscila Cachoeira had a turbulent weekend in Las Vegas.
“Pedrita” took on Gillian Robertson in the first bout of the UFC 269 preliminaries this past Saturday at T-Mobile Arena and prior to fight night she missed weight badly at Friday morning’s official weigh-ins, coming in at 129 pounds. That wasn’t the end of the controversy for Cachoeira, who went on to lose by submission late in Round 1 and was lambasted on social media for what looked to be an illegal attack on Robertson’s eyes as she tried to escape a rear-naked choke.
Regarding the weight miss, Cachoeira was fined 30 percent of her purse and the Brazilian fighter said she failed to make weight because she fell ill days before flying from Brazil to Las Vegas. Battling a flu and fever, she still decided to take the fight.
Speaking with MMA Fighting on Tuesday, “Pedrita” said she was angry at herself for getting taken down and losing a fight “I had everything to win,” but denied attempting to gouge Robertson’s eyes on purpose to try to defend the choke.
“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.”
As for comments online asking for her release from the UFC as punishment for not making weight and eye gouging her opponent, Cachoeira said “I’m still in the game and will come back stronger.”
“I’ll fix my mistakes,” Cachoeira said. “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.”
The first-round loss dropped Cachoeira's overall UFC record to 2-4, while Robertson set the record for most submission wins in women's UFC history.