The eye poke Nik Lentz suffered against Arnold Allen could have had career-ending consequences.
Lentz suffered a unanimous decision defeat to Allen when they met in the former’s return to featherweight at UFC Raleigh earlier this year in January.
The 36-year-old notably suffered an eye poke during the fight and it led to him having triple vision during the contest.
“I ended up having triple vision,” Lentz said in a recent interview. “From that moment on, it was like four-and-a-half minutes left in the fight, I was fighting three guys. I was just trying to hit the one in the middle, I guess. I didn’t work it out at the time.
“I never had this happen, but in the fight, I was trying to close the eye, but it turns out it’s really hard to try to close your eye when someone is trying to punch at you. It just automatically opens.”
Lentz’s Vision Didn’t Return To Normal
After his eventual defeat, things only got worse as he further detailed his experience in what was a “scary” nine months.
“After the fight, I couldn’t even get out of the cage. I couldn’t see the steps. I couldn’t see anything. My vision didn’t return to normal for nine months after that until I had surgery. I went and had to see a series of doctors. No one could really figure out what the problem was. The eye had healed, but I still couldn’t see right. I still had terrible double vision. I went to specialists and specialists and specialists, and finally I found one.
“(The doctor) pretty much straight-up said, ‘I might be able to help you but there’s a greater chance than half that we could do something and nothing could happen and your eye is just not going to work right.’ If it hadn’t fixed and I had not (stopped seeing) double, I would’ve had to remove the eye because seeing with one eye is better than seeing double. When they were both together, I had terrible double vision, so I couldn’t do anything. It was a scary nine months. There were a lot of times where this might have been it. This injury might have been my career. It might have been onto the next phase of life.”
Fortunately for Lentz, that wasn’t the case as he is now set to return to action on the UFC’s January 16 card on Fight Island where he will meet Mike Grundy in featherweight action.
Lentz will be looking to snap a two-fight losing skid and return to the win column for the first time since February 2019.