UFC president Dana White says the UFC “has looked at” alternative MMA gloves to curb eye pokes, one of the sport’s biggest problems.
On nearly every fight card we have instances of a fighter being poked in the eye. Most of the time the fighter is able to recover somewhat and continue fighting, albeit at a disadvantage in some cases, such as in the Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier rematch. In some instances, the eye pokes are so bad that the fight is called off completely, such as in the first meeting between Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez.
At UFC Vegas 11, the topic of eye pokes came up once again. In the co-main event, Donald Cerrone was the victim of multiple eye pokes by his opponent Niko Price. Although Price wasn’t intentionally trying to injure his opponent, the referee took a point away, which ultimately affected the outcome of the fight as it led to a draw.
Following UFC Vegas 11, White was asked by reporters if the UFC is considering new gloves that will help with the eye poke problem. While White said that he isn’t sure what the answer is, he confirmed the UFC is looking at alternate pairs of gloves.
“Yeah, it’s been crazy lately. Tonight, obviously, was real bad, but uh, yeah, I don’t know what we figured out. We’ve looked at different things. I mean, we have looked at it. I don’t know what the answer is for that, especially now,” Dana White said.
In the past, there have been talks about the UFC going to a potential curved glove design which would force fighters fingers downward. But so far nothing has changed. Rule changes in recent years mean that fighters are no longer allowed to stick their fingers straight out, but unfortunately it still happens more often that it should.
What do you think the solution to curbing eye pokes in MMA is?