MMA fighter wins title in Brazil while three months pregnant

Excuse me? Yes, that headline is correct. Kinberly Novaes (8-2) was able to outpoint Renata Baldan (4-2) at Noxxi Combat in Joinville, Brazil to win the promotion’s strawweight title back in May.

Now, Novaes and her boyfriend, fellow MMA fighter Jacson Carvalho, learned that she won the title while three months pregnant.

Novaes was struggling to cut weight for her RFA debut when she was accompanied by Carvalho to the hospital. That is where the couple learned the news that Novaes is 24 weeks pregnant and that she was carrying the child when she stepped into the cage.

“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 “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.”

The good news is that everything is fine and she is expected to give birth to a fully healthy baby boy.

The troubling thing, however, is that the Noxii event was not regulated by the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) and the promoter, Bruno Barros, did not properly test the fighters.

Barros has since admitted to his mistakes and, like everyone else, is happy that the situation didn’t turn tragic.

“I didn’t ask for the exam. That’s the truth,” Barros told “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 even, 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.”

Let’s hope that this kind of situation leads to further awareness and promoters ensuring that they are putting all of the fighters on their cards through the proper testing.

This situation could have been a lot worse, so hopefully it is used as a learning experience and it never happens again.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to Fight Sport

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