Inadvertent eye pokes have been a lingering problem in the UFC. Many fights have been stopped because of such occurrences, most recently at UFC 276’s main card pairing between Sean O’Malley and Pedro Munhoz.
But this one took a turn for the worse. O’Malley accidentally poked Munhoz in the right eye with his outstretched fingers as he defended the attack, resulting in the latter being unable to continue to fight on. The bout was subsequently halted, resulting in a No Contest verdict at the 3:09 mark of round two.
A lot of people are pinning the blame on the UFC glove design, long-time analyst Joe Rogan being one of them, as he’s been calling for a change. During his post-fight scrum, O’Malley shared the same sentiments.
“We gotta figure out something with those gloves, ‘cause when you’re wearing those gloves, they almost make your hand want to open. You have to, like, really make a fist,” O’Malley told reporters.
“So if we just have gloves that kind of forces your hand to make a fist, I think that would help a lot.”
O’Malley, however, isn’t letting Munhoz off the hook, stating the Brazilian was “looking for a way out.”
“Someone do a poll on Twitter and see if he was looking for a way out. I really believe that was best-case scenario for Pedro. I was piecing him up, I was way faster than him. He couldn’t hit me, couldn’t hurt me,” he said.
“A hundred percent that’s what’s going on in my mind. I’ll have to rewatch it. I was piecing him up, I didn’t get hit once. He came in there and said, ‘I’m gonna kick his legs, try to take him down.’
“He tried kicking my legs, it damaged him more. He couldn’t get me up against the fence, he couldn’t take me down. I was dominating that fight.”
First man to finish Pedro— Sean O'Malley (@SugaSeanMMA) July 3, 2022
O’Malley keeps the same win-loss standing at 15-1, with a No Contest verdict now on his record. Munhoz also retains his 19-7 slate, but now adds one more NC verdict to his name.