Saturday’s UFC Vegas 52 card began with a bit of controversy. The welterweight bout between newcomer Dean Barry and former CM Punk opponent Mike Jackson ended in a disqualification due to an eye gouge committed by the former.
Here’s the clip of the said moment. For squeamish folks, watch at your own risk.
Not a very good start for Barry’s UFC run, which not only had an eye gouge but a low blow from him prior, as well. In his post-fight statement, the 29-year-old Dublin-based fighter began with an apology and explained what led to the poke from his end.
“Firstly, I just wanna say, ‘Look, sorry about what happened tonight,” Barry said in an Instagram video he posted. “It was unintentional, I didn’t mean to poke him in the eye. I tried to frame off, after I threw the flying knee, I tried to frame off and do it again. And I caught him in the eye.
“They said backstage that it was very… like they’re taking that very strict if anyone did poke someone in the eye. I was lighting him up at the time and I felt very heavy out there. It’s not me weight class, I felt really off. At the start, I felt a bit… obviously, getting the jitters for the first fight in the UFC.”
He then took a shot at Jackson.
“To be honest with you, I thought he took the easy way out there. Didn’t want to stay, didn’t want to continue fighting. Even when I kicked him low, he was talking on the ground…
“Like, if you get hit in the nuts, you can’t be talking like that. The same with the eye poke. Straight after the ref called the fight off, he was fine. Both eyes opened perfectly. He said he can’t open his eyes…”
Barry said he would take a rematch “in a heartbeat” if offered but would prefer a lightweight bout, as well.
As for Jackson, he says he holds no ill feelings toward Barry.
“I felt the burn. My balls were burning. They were burning hot for a little bit,” he told reporters during his post-fight scrum. “And again, this is a fight. And I don’t wanna go out there with some burning balls. And then, like, this dude throws another spinning back kick and crushes me in the face, or something, ‘cause I wasn’t prepared. Then fast forward to the eye…
“I don’t have any hard feelings or anything like that toward him. It’s a fight, at the end of the day. And it was just a fight that went to disqualification for some crazy shit that happened.”
UFC Vegas 52 marked Jackson’s first professional win, as he improved to a record of 1-1 (1 NC). His UFC 225 fight with pro-wrestling superstar CM Punk was originally a unanimous decision win for “The Truth,” until it was overturned to a No Contest when he tested positive for cannabis.
Barry, meanwhile, drops to a record of 4-2.