Matt Brown Points to UFC Gloves, Not Chris Weidman, for Eye-Poke Controversy

Veteran UFC welterweight Matt Brown criticized the design of UFC gloves, arguing that they contribute to frequent eye pokes during fights and calling for a design change to prevent further injuries.

Chris Weidman‘s eye pokes, not a punch, led to his victory over Bruno Silva at UFC Atlantic City. This was evident from the replays. Matt Brown, a seasoned UFC welterweight, was far from pleased.

He wasn’t upset because the fouls were severe or Weidman intentionally cheated. It was the persistent issue that has plagued UFC for almost two decades that irked him. The problem? The gloves.

“Every [fighter] I guarantee was sitting there watching that saying the same s***,” Brown vented on The Fighter vs. The Writer podcast. “When are we going to fix these goddamn gloves?” He was frustrated about the number of eye pokes that occur due to the gloves’ design.

The standard UFC glove, according to Brown, forces fighters to extend their fingers. To make a fist, it requires effort and force. During a fight, it’s a natural instinct to gauge distance and put your hand out, which often leads to eye pokes.

Brown even revealed a behind-the-scenes secret. His coaches would warm up his gloves before he wore them. This made the material less rigid and easier to form a fist.

“It’s hard to make a fist with the glove they have,” Brown explained. “Our corners are in the back for a good 30 minutes, stretching, pulling, twisting, manipulating these gloves any way they can so it’s easier to make a fist.”

After his win, Weidman blamed Silva for his reaction to the eye pokes. Silva fell to the ground, covering his head, which led to a flurry of punches before the fight was stopped.

Brown sympathized with Silva. He understood why Weidman said what he did, but he also felt for Silva, especially when replays showed Weidman’s fingers had raked across both eyes.

“What’s Chris Weidman supposed to say?” Brown said. “Is he supposed to say, ‘I didn’t earn that victory.’ You can’t hate on Bruno Silva for doing exactly what he did. I don’t care how tough you are.”

Brown was critical of the fight’s initial TKO win for Weidman, which was later changed to a technical decision victory. He didn’t think it made sense, especially since the fouls directly led to the fight’s conclusion, and none of that was Silva’s fault.

“No one wants to see a victory that way,” Brown said. “It should have been a no-contest. I don’t think anybody’s going to disagree on that.”

Brown was also critical of the refereeing that night. “Just terrible reffing all night, I felt like. I think everybody felt like [that], just one mistake after another. Just terrible reffing.”

Brown believes the solution is simple. Change the construction of the gloves. He pointed out that other organizations have already addressed this issue, but the UFC refuses to do so.

“The PRIDE glove went all the down [the finger] and it was already curved,” Brown said. “You had to force your hand out. It wasn’t a hard force, like you didn’t have to flex hard to open your hand, but if you just completely relaxed your hand, your hand was basically in a fist.”

Brown is baffled as to why the UFC hasn’t fixed this issue yet. Eye pokes seem to occur at least once during every event, and several fights have been stopped due to the severity of the injury.

“It’s insane to me,” Brown said. “It has blown my mind forever that this wasn’t fixed a long time ago — with all of the technology, improvements, and money and everything that they have, and this is the last priority on the list.”

Brown ended with a call to action. “How many eye pokes are we going to have to see before someone steps up and says, ‘This is a problem, let’s do something about it?'”

You can catch new episodes of The Fighter vs. The Writer every Tuesday. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and iHeartRadio.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -