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Francisco Rivera will appeal loss to Urijah Faber at UFC 181 due to eye poke

Bantamweight Francisco Rivera plans on appealing his submission loss to Urijah Faber due to an eye poke sustained moments before the finish.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

UFC 181 featured a second controversial conclusion to a bout outside of the main event when Referee Mario Yamasaki failed to notice a blatant eye poke that brought about the end of the preliminary fight between Urijah Faber and Francisco Rivera. It was an unfortunate ending to an entertaining fight - one that will force Rivera to appeal the result.

"When I felt it, I covered myself," Rivera said. "I was trying to tell the ref: 'My eye! My eye!' I felt Faber hitting me. I couldn't see. He was on my left side and I couldn't see out of my left eye."

Following the win, Faber was showered with boos  - a rarity for the ‘California Kid' in itself. When asked by Joe Rogan to explain the situation, Faber was adamant that he did not notice Rivera get poked in the eye.

"I just saw (the eye poke) on the replay," Faber said. "I didn't know it the minute I got him in the eye. That's unfortunate. You don't wish that on anyone. It's unfortunate for him, but I go out there to finish fights."

Nevertheless, Rivera plans on appealing the eye poke because of the impact it had on the end of the fight. It marred what was a surprisingly close, competitive fight and stole Rivera's opportunity to shine.

"Everybody is making a big deal about how many [submissions] he has," Rivera said. "It sucks for me. It's not like he dropped me and subbed me. He really, really poked my eye. Accidental or not, what am I supposed to do, fight with my eyes closed?"

Transcription taken from

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