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Former UFC star Poliana Botelho details her battle with breast cancer

LockerRoom Team
13 October 2023

In a stunning revelation that has sent shockwaves through the MMA community, UFC veteran and current Bellator fighter, Poliana Botelho, disclosed her ongoing battle with breast cancer earlier this year. The 34-year-old Brazilian, known for her strength and athleticism inside the cage, is now showcasing a different kind of courage as she fights against a formidable opponent outside of it.

Upon the initial diagnosis, Botelho admitted to feelings of confusion and disbelief. "At first, you don't believe it. I was like, 'What? I eat well, I'm healthy. I don't drink, I don't smoke. How?'" she explained. The shock lingered even as she started her treatment, questioning why someone like her, young and fit, had to face such a formidable adversary. "There's no explanation. The first day I arrived at the clinic, I looked at the nurse and said, 'What am I doing here?' It didn't add up," Botelho recounted.

However, as the treatment progressed, Poliana Botelho found strength in positivity. Sharing her journey on social media, especially on Instagram, became a powerful outlet for her, providing inspiration to others dealing with similar challenges. "As hard as the disease was, I wanted to give my best. I wanted to show people what I was actually going through," Botelho expressed. She emphasized the importance of maintaining a positive outlook even during the darkest moments.

Despite the physical and emotional toll of the disease, Botelho's transparency on Instagram has not only helped her cope but has also served as a beacon of hope for others. She received messages from people expressing gratitude for motivating them to step out of their homes on challenging days.

While Botelho has embraced the power of positivity, she acknowledges the evolving nature of her struggle, both physically and mentally. The fighter, now in a different phase of her treatment, is dealing with changes to her personal image, grappling with the impact on her body. As she faces these challenges, she opts for a more reserved approach until she finds a way to navigate this aspect of her journey.

Poliana Botelho's career has been marked by resilience, starting from her early days in the Brazilian regional circuit to her notable stint in the UFC. She has faced formidable opponents inside the cage, and now, with a different adversary, her story of strength and determination continues to inspire.

As the MMA community rallies behind Poliana Botelho, her battle against breast cancer serves as a powerful reminder of the indomitable spirit that fighters possess both inside and outside the octagon.

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