The question of how to prevent unintentional eye pokes inside the cage is something that has been discussed for quite some time, however has never really been answered.
Bellator MMA designed a special pair of gloves which leave a fighter unable to fully extend their fingers, minimizing the number of unintentional eye pokes caused by pawing out at an opponents hand.
Recently at ‘UFC Fight Night: Boston’ we saw Travis Browne poke Matt Mitrione in the eye twice. That ultimately lead to Mitrione not seeing as clearly which he says caused him to eat a cross that saw him sustain one of the nastiest eye injuries in the sport’s history.
In the wake of that, Joe Rogan spoke to Bloody Elbow to discuss what can be done about eye pokes:
“I think the fouls, especially the eye pokes, need to be addressed,” Rogan said. “A lot of times when a fighter gets poked very badly and chooses to continue they get beat up. That doesn’t seem fair at all. Something radical needs to be done. Taking a point away isn’t enough. I firmly believe that 99.99 percent of fouls are unintentional. That said, when someone gets badly damaged, maybe where they can’t see, I don’t think one point is enough.
“I don’t think it should be a warning and then a point. If people keep doing it fighters are going to be wounded to the point of potentially losing sight in their eye. Right now, we’re just sticking our head in the sand and not doing much.”
While that may sound slightly harsh if the eye poke is indeed unintentional, Rogan points out that the fighter who was poked in the eye will not be 100% for the remainder of the fight, and that should cost the fighter committing the poking.
“Just because you didn’t mean to damage a guy and effectively take away some of his vision doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be penalized for it. You did it. That guy lost something so his opponent should lose something, as well. Instant point deduction.”
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