We’ve been seeing a lot more eye poking than usual in UFC.
UFC 159 was riddled with two decisions due to eye pokes and other injuries. It’s an issue that’s been around for years and Dana White is looking to fix it.
“We actually have started to work on a new glove that actually curves your hand. Like the glove is curved like a ‘U,’ so you can still open your hand, but your fingers don’t point straight out.”
Sure it sounds like an easy fix, but its no where near that simple. Changing the gloves like that will create a big problem with fighter’s grappling abilities. White has an answer for that one too. It lies in the fighters themselves.
“Guys need to keep their damn hands closed. You can’t reach out toward the face with the hands open in a fight. You can’t do it.”
It’s not that fighters are trying to poke each others eyes out. It’s a natural reaction to reach out and gauge the distance or push away from your opponent. This is a sport that relies a lot on instincts, it’ll be hard to get fighters to ignore something like that when trusting all their others.
This issue may never go away despite the attempts to limit or eliminate eye poking. The UFC is in the early stages of developing this glove. It will take time, once the gloves are fully developed, to integrate them into the sport, Coaches will have to teach their fighters to stop pawing out, referees will have to be tougher with calls and the fighters themselves will have to get comfortable with the new gloves.