Kinberly Novaes, who recently fought inside the MMA octagon and won while she is three months pregnant, admitted that all of those events were never in her plan.
Brazilian fight circuit MMA veteran Novaes, who has a record of 8-2, was able to defeat strawweight Renata Baldan 4-2 during the Noxii Combat 1 event held last May 17.
Like with all fighters, Novaes had to cut weight in order to make it to the weight division. This weight cut process, however, was particularly tough according to Novaes. She admitted that she didn’t have any clue on what was slowing the process of her weight cut down.
“The only thing that felt different, compared to other fights, was some difficulty in making weight. Weight-cut week was very painful and draining. I was very dehydrated. I felt bad on weigh-in day. But I felt fine during the fight. We fought for three rounds. I won by decision. I felt nothing different during the fight itself,” Novaes said during an interview with MMAjunkie.
Since everything went back to normal, Novaes went back to training. After her MMA victory, she soon received an offer to be a part of a bout to be held in South Dakota. This fight was an event under Friday’s RFA 29, an organization that has proven to be one of the pools that the UFC is getting their fighters from; Novaes can definitely use this chance as a way of getting visibility in North America and a possible opportunity in the UFC line up. While she was training and preparing for the fight though, she revealed that she felt something was wrong.
“I increased the training intensity for that fight. Toward the end of preparations, I noticed how difficult it was to shed weight. I was being very careful with my diet, but I couldn’t lose the weight. I was far above the ideal weight. Every day I felt more fatigue, muscle cramps, and my legs felt especially tired. Toward the last few weeks, my immunity was very low. I was training hard, but I always had a cold. Everyday, something else was off,” she said.
Aside from this, her weight continued to be a problem. Since she still didn’t know that she was pregnant, she opted to take her weight cutting program to the next level in order to reach the target 116-pound weight in time for the MMA fight.
“With less than a month to go, I started a very strict diet. I was constipated, and I thought that might be the culprit. I drank tea, took laxatives, had massages. Nothing worked. With three weeks to go, I was getting desperate. I started having abdominal pains. I started experiencing colic, and my stomach felt hard. I thought it was constipation or perhaps a more serious illness. I thought it might be my appendix,” she said.
With her health issue getting more serious, Novaes decided to see a doctor to see what was really happening. When she got to the emergency room, a doctor concluded that she might be pregnant. Novaes didn’t believe this and requested for an X-ray to make sure that this was not the cause of her discomfort. Women who are possibly pregnant are not allowed to undergo radiological procedures such as X-rays, so the doctor opted to get a blood test instead. The blood tests proved that the Brazilian fighter was indeed pregnant.
Novaes learned that she was actually 25 months pregnant, which means, she fought Baldan (and won) while she was three months pregnant. So how did the pregnancy go unnoticed?
“I’ve looked into this, and I’ve talked to my doctor about it. It’s very common for athletes to be unaware of a pregnancy. Firstly, high-performance athletes usually don’t menstruate due to excessive physical effort. Also, the musculature itself makes it so the pregnancy takes longer to show. The symptoms can be confused with normal tiredness or illnesses that occur during training. There have been several cases like this. Some athletes didn’t know they were pregnant until they went into labor,” she explained.
The Brazilian MMA fighter mom-to-be said she was thankful that the doctors assured her all is well with her pregnancy even though she was active in the sport and she had fight cramps. Novaes is expecting a baby boy this coming November.