Dan Hardy doesn’t believe the UFC gloves are optimal for MMA fights today.
The topic of eye pokes during pro MMA competition has been a hot one for quite some time. Combat sports fans have witnessed fights end prematurely due to the unintentional foul. In fact, it’s what marred the first meeting between current UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards and Belal Muhammad, which ended in a no contest. It’s sure to be the main selling point of their inevitable rematch whenever the UFC makes it official.
It’s become a big problem in MMA, and Hardy has noticed that eye pokes seem to occur more frequently under the UFC banner.
Dan Hardy On What Causes Accidental Eye Pokes
A former pro MMA fighter and current analyst, Dan Hardy knows a thing or two about how athletes deal with MMA gloves. He believes he has pinpointed the reason why we see so many unintentional eye pokes in MMA. This is what he had to say on his YouTube channel:
“It’s a really difficult situation because there are a lot of fighters that don’t intend on poking their opponent in the eyes,” Hardy said. “It’s like no one’s intending on doing that. Sometimes it’s out of carelessness, sometimes it’s out of habit. You’ve gotta remember, a lot of fighters they spar in boxing gloves. So, in circumstances when they’re sparring in boxing gloves and their opponent runs at them, they post. What they’re doing with their hand inside the boxing gloves is irrelevant because the fingers are covered. As soon as they take that boxing glove off and put gloves on where their fingers are exposed and they do the same thing, then it becomes problematic.”
Hardy also admitted that officiating should be more stern in this regard.
“I will say, though, that if the punishments were more stringent I do feel like it would happen less, and I feel like if they fix the gloves it would happen even less again,” Hardy said.
Why UFC Gloves Aren’t Up To Snuff
“The Outlaw” went on to share his belief that the fighter gloves used by the UFC have been quite ineffective when it comes to preventing the foul. In fact, Hardy doesn’t believe there’s been much change in the design of the gloves to prevent the fingers from being too loose.
“I’ve got a load of different versions of UFC gloves from the old ones that didn’t have the Velcro across it, you had to slide it, all the way to the newest versions and it’s pretty much the same thing. The cutout piece of padding I don’t think has been changed ever. Ever since this model of gloves has been used I think the standard’s been pretty much the same, and I just don’t think they are the right gloves for this modern day of mixed martial arts. I think people are not quite fully adapted to fighting without big gloves on.”
This is a problem that has plagued some key fights in MMA, even in instances where the foul doesn’t end the fight. Time will tell if the UFC heeds Dan Hardy’s advice and makes a change to prevent this from happening as frequently.
Here is the full video of Hardy breaking down what’s wrong with UFC gloves: