File this under: “You Don’t See This Everyday” and close it with a #ThankYourLuckyStars hashtag.
Female mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters have a much different set of potential problems — many more then their male counterparts — and pregnancy is chief among them.
Brazilian Strawweight contender, Kinberly Novaes, fought and defeated Renata Baldan on May 17, 2015, to win the Noxii 115-pound title. Unbeknownst to her, however, she was three months pregnant at the time.
In fact, she didn’t discover the baby growing in her belly until she was encountered trouble cutting weight for her bout agaisnt Jocelyn Jones Lybarger, which was set to go down on Aug. 21, 2015 under the RFA banner.
Novaes immediately visited her doctor, worried that something could have happened to her unborn child when she realized that she competed while pregnant, according to MMAFighting.com.
“We did a morphology ultrasound last week and the doctor said I’m 24 weeks pregnant, almost six months, and my baby is healthy and strong. I was worried because I trained hard, fought, cut weight. I suffered a lot to make weight for my last fight, couldn’t dehydrate properly, and I was already training to fight again next week, but the doctor said everything is fine.”
“I’m a little stubborn, I don’t like to go to the doctor. 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. 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.”
Upon discovering the news himself, Noxii promoter Bruno Barros took the blame, admitting that asking for pregnancy tests prior to the fight never crossed his mind.
“I didn’t ask for the exam. That’s the truth. I didn’t even think about the possibility of a woman fighting while pregnant, going through a camp and dehydrating and everything. That was my first event. I asked for HIV and hepatitis tests, but some fighters didn’t send me the results. I didn’t pull them out of the fights because they all wanted to fight. Some fighters claimed they had no money to pay for the tests, others said they didn’t have time to do it, but that’s my fault that I let them fight anyway. But thank God everything is fine with the baby.”
Thankfully, all is going well with Novaes’ pregnancy — she and her child dodged a major bullet.
But, the unforeseen incident is a true eye opener for all MMA promoters to ensure all proper testing is done prior to getting bout agreements signed.
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