The Impacts of Eyepokes in MMA – Sanabul Skip to content
The Impacts of Eyepokes in MMA

The Impacts of Eyepokes in MMA

Eye pokes in MMA can have devastating effects on fights.

When a fighter gets eye poked and a stop in the action is called, you’ll often hear fans booing. They may boo:
(1) the fighter who poked the other fighter in the eye whether it was an accident or not,
(2) the fighter who was eye poked because they (ignorantly) think it doesn’t have a big impact and that the fighter should keep going, or
(3) because everyone else is booing and they want to fit in

Don’t let the crowd commotion distract you from the potential impact that an eye poke can have:

(1) End of a fight, due to a doctor’s stoppage
This will happen after the doctor tests the fighter and his vision after an eye poke. If the doctor examines the fighter and determines that their vision is compromised beyond a reasonable amount for them to continue to fight, they will stop it to save the fighter from themself (and taking unnecessary damage, especially if they cannot see properly)

(2) Lasting vision damage
This will likely be determined in the time after a fight, but if an eye poke is serious enough, a fighter’s vision may be damaged or limited after the fight. Not being able to see out of one eye is bad when fighting, but it could be worse if they have to deal with it later on in life. If an eye swells up due to punches, this would be considered temporary vision loss because the bruising will go away over time. If an eye is damaged and cannot be repaired, this permanent damage to vision will have other consequences outside of the cage

(3) Negative impact on reputations/careers
If an eye poke is accidental, the fighter who poked (despite how apologetic they are about the accident) may have fan-sentiment turned on them. Instead of being a fan-favorite, the crowd may turn on them and start hating on them. On the other side, fans may no longer support the poked fighter because from what they saw, the poke wasn’t that bad. Well, only the fighter who was poked knows and feels how bad the poke truly was. It doesn’t take much to irritate an eye and even compromise vision (ex. eyelash in eye is annoying - now imagine a fighter who has been doing combat sports and strength/conditioning training for months pushing their fingers into your eye… yeah)

In addition, if a fight is stopped this way, fighters may not get their full purse (pay), which means less money for them + their teams. This could be devastating, as unfortunately mma fighters already aren't paid as highly as other athletes who may have less risk involved in their sport (ex. Golf. not knocking golf, but facts are facts).

If the “fans” booing after eye pokes actually knew the potential impacts that the poke could have, they would likely stop doing it (or at least the ones with understanding and compassion would).

Careers and reputations of both fighters could be damaged, in addition to the vision of one. It’s a lot more serious than it looks on tv from the comfort of our homes.

But to be fair, these same “fans” would likely boo as soon as grappling starts or when mixed martial arts fighters… mix the martial arts in the mixed martial arts fight they are in. Crazy, right? All this does is show their knowledge (or lack of) when it comes to training and actually competing.

Thank you for reading - we hope this article was informative and that more people would be more appreciative of the health sacrifices that these fighters make for our entertainment and enjoyment!


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