For the first time since her controversial victory over Randa Markos, Luana Pinheiro has spoken out.
Pinheiro made her UFC debut this past weekend after her first round knockout of Stephanie Frausto on the Contender Series earned her a contract. While her performance on the show had many fans excited to see her in the octagon, her first fight in the UFC didn’t exactly go as planned.
Headlining the preliminary card against Markos, Pinheiro got off to a strong start, using her judo background to land a number of high impact throws. However, in the final minute of the first round, a scramble led to Markos landing an inadvertent and illegal upkick.
The commentary team, most notably UFC lightweight Paul Felder, were quick to downplay the severity of the blow and even suggested on-air that Pinheiro was exaggerating the effects of the shot. However, Pinheiro lay on the ground for several minutes and the cage-side physician eventually ruled her unable to continue. After the fight, Markos and her team said that they too believe Pinheiro oversold her injury in order to get the disqualification win.
Pinheiro has since taken to Instagram to address her DQ victory. While she says that the fight didn’t go the way she had planned, she didn’t bring up any of Markos’ statements.
“Hey guys!!! I’m passing by to first say I’m fine!”, Pinheiro wrote. “Secondly, I want to thank everyone for their support, both before and after the fight. I want to thank all my team who worked so hard with me to get to our best version for this fight.”
“No one wanted this victory more than me and no one feels more than I do for the fight,” she continued. “I imagined a thousand possibilities for my arm to end up standing up and none of them was the way it ended up. But regardless of how the breakdown didn’t go how I wanted it and how I worked for it, I’m happy for all work I made to arrive well prepared for the fight. I’m going to work hard to continue to pursue my evolution and bring out the best version of myself in the upcoming challenges. Thank you for everything and let’s go, we still have a long way to go!”
While Pinheiro may not have mentioned the accusations made by Markos and the commentary team, you best believe she has heard them. She has shown she has the skills to be a force in the strawweight division, but now faces an uphill battle to get into the good graces of most fans. It will be interesting to see how she carries herself and performs going forward.
Do you think Luana Pinheiro sold her injury to get this DQ win? Let us know!