The UFC's open-hand gloves have many benefits, especially for the grappling part of the game. But they do have one big drawback: the risk of poking an opponents eye is very high.
We have seen it time and time again, a fighter waving his hands in his opponent's face to distract him or to defend himself, results in a finger poke to the eye. One of the more recent and graphic eye pokes happened during the Urijah Faber vs. Francisco Rivera bout at UFC 181. Rivera got caught by a deep poke and was later submitted by Faber, the poke may very well have cost him the fight.
UFC commentator Joe Rogan has for years been very critical about the eye-poke situation and repeatedly called for a change during live-broadcasts. And while Rogan himself didn't really have a solution other than "we need to do something about these gloves", his bosses have:
"I've had some recent conversations with Dana White and with Lorenzo Fertitta and they're of the opinion, I think, that the fighters need to be penalized more because the gloves have been the same for a long time, but back in the day, eye pokes weren't nearly as much of an issue."
That is true. But MMA striking has not been that versatile 15 years ago. Fighters are way more elusive these days and have evolved from a more brawling style of standup fighting to a more loose style, where they feint and move a lot. Poking an opponents eye can happen. Rogan agrees, but obviously thinks that taking a point away for every eye poke is an adequate solution.
"It happens," said Rogan. "Guys get poked in the eye. It seems like it's inevitable but Dana's opinion is that they should be penalized. Every time there's an eye poke, one point. It's pretty harsh, but you wouldn't do it."
(Transcription taken from MMAFighting.com)
What do you think? Should the UFC deduct points for eye pokes?