In May, Brazilian MMA fighter Kinberly Novaes won a fighting championship, snagging the Noxii 115 Pound Title and inspiring celebration from her fans. What Novaes didn’t know is that she was three months pregnant at the time of her win—and she only learned that she was expecting after she kept failing to make weight for a big fight on August 21st.
This story could have ended terribly, but according to reports, Novaes and her unborn child are both healthy. She won’t be fighting this Friday, but she wouldn’t have found out about the baby if she hadn’t decided to seek medical advice for her inability to lose weight in the weeks leading up to the fight. The doctor told her she was 24 weeks along.
From MMA Fighting:
“I’m a little stubborn, I don’t like to go to the doctor,” Novaes said with a laugh. “I’ve been feeling sick for a while, colic, headaches and cramps. I was feeling tired recently, couldn’t even run, and it was really tough for me to cut weight. I was cutting weight for my RFA debut, but couldn’t lose weight. I did a stricter diet four weeks before the fight, and I actually gained 2.2 pounds in six days. I was desperate. I realized my belly was hard, so I thought I had some intestine issue. I took laxative and other things, but a guy that does massages for me told me to go to the doctor.”
“I finally decided to go to the hospital, and the doctor immediately asked me if I was pregnant,” she continued. “I insisted I was not, that I had an intestine issue, but he asked for a blood test. One hour later, he told us I was pregnant. I cried a lot, ran out of the hospital, but I realized that was good news. I thought I was sick, but I had a baby instead.”
UPROXX reports that Novaes wouldn’t have fought while pregnant if the promoters of the event in May had required any kind of testing to be done before the fight. Unfortunately, the Noxii championship was not regulated by Brazil’s MMA Athletic Commission. What that means is that, while fighters were asked to submit HIV and hepatitis tests, those that didn’t still weren’t pulled from the ring because, according to promoter Bruno Barros, “they all wanted to fight.”
Great that he’s taking responsibility—although his reasoning is bullshit—but this isn’t a “my bad” situation. Barros didn’t accidentally short-circuit the auditorium or undersell tickets. Instead, he chose to make as much money as possible instead of protecting the people engaging in activities that require one to be in optimal physical condition, putting the fighters into even more danger than can be expected from being in the ring. Hopefully, this incident will shed some light on unregulated MMA fighting in Brazil.
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