Most people wouldn't enter an MMA ring even in top physical condition, but a female fighter from Brazil claims that she fought and won a fight earlier this year while 12 weeks pregnant.
Speaking to SB Nation, Kinberly Novaes revealed that during her win over Renata Baldan on May 17, she was pregnant, but not aware of it. The news of her pregnancy was broken to her when she was training for next fight with Jocelyn Jones Lybarger on Aug. 21.
Despite her best efforts to cut down her weight to make the 115-lb. limit, Novaes was shocked to find that her weight was actually increasing. Suspicious about the reason, Novaes had a medical exam and learned she was several months into her pregnancy.
"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,” Novaes told MMAFighting.com. “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.”
Through some quick math, it dawned on Novaes that she was 12 weeks pregnant when she brawled with Baldan back in May.
“But the doctor said everything is fine,” she added.
While she is fortunate that her baby is fine, it could easily turned out very different on another day. It is unfathomable how Novaes wasn't examined before a fight. The fault, as per the fight promoter Bruno Barros, was his.
“I didn’t ask for the exam. That’s the truth,” Barros told MMAFighting.com. “I didn’t even thought about the possibility of a woman fighting while pregnant, going through a camp and dehydrating and everything.”
MMA has come a long way in the past decade but negative headlines like the one that would have occurred in case of a miscarriage for Novaes would've been devastating for the sport. It's why MMA authorities over in Brazil should make sure that fighters go through proper medical examination both before and after fights, which is the norm over in the U.S.