Eye pokes in UFC fights are practically an epidemic, but it appears the promotion is finally attempting to resolve the far too frequent fouls from occurring during fights.
In a video clip shared by Chris Presnell of MMA Ecosystem, UFC 287 competitor Gilbert Burns can be seen showing off the new glove which works by curving the wearer’s fingers downward while in a relaxed state. In theory, this makes it less likely that a fighter will defend against an attack with outstretched fingers resulting in an unintentional eye poke.
“I love it because… People don’t see it, but it kinda makes your fingers go down so there’s less eye pokes,” Burns said while trying on the new gloves. “I like it.”
Looks like the UFC will use new gloves on Saturday that try to prevent eye pokes, slightly bending the fingers downward. pic.twitter.com/Mqap3tif3Z
— Chris Presnell (@mmaecosystem) April 6, 2023
UFC Light Heavyweight Zac Pauga Reveals the Gloves Have Been in Use Since the Beginning of the Year
Commenting on the clip was The Ultimate Fighter season 30 runner-up Zac Pauga who revealed that the gloves have been in use by the fighters since the beginning of the year. H had nothing, but good things to say about them.
“Interesting that this is just now being covered, we’ve been using these new gloves all year and they are honestly amazing,” Pauga added on Twitter.
It’s nice to see that the UFC is finally doing something to combat the common occurrence of eye pokes inside the Octagon. For years it appeared as though the promotion just dismissed it as a necessary evil, akin to blows below the belt. The promotion has taken some steps to aid fighters that suffer an eye poke mid-fight including providing them with ample time to recover and even allowing them to wipe their eye, but in extreme cases, entire fights can be called off if the foul is brutal enough.
Perhaps the most vicious eye poke in UFC history came in March 2021 when current UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards squared off with streaking contender Belal Muhammad. 18 seconds into the second round, Edwards inadvertently poked Muhammad in the eye. It was an especially grotesque infraction as Edwards had practically gotten knuckle-deep in Muhammad’s eye, causing the Chicago native to scream out in pain. Fortunately, he suffered no long-term damage, but it was more than enough for fans to once again call on the promotion to do something.
Two years later, it looks like they finally have. As to whether or not these new gloves truly help prevent eye pokes in the Octagon remains to be seen.