Bryan Battle, Ange Loosa nearly come to blows after no contest (VIDEO)

The fight with Bryan Battle and Ange Loosa was called off after an accidental eye poke resulted in Loosa being unable to continue.
Bryan Battle and Ange Loosa
Bryan Battle and Ange Loosa / UFC

Bryan Battle and Ange Loosa nearly had an even bigger fight after their official bout was called off just one minute into round two.

Taking the co-main event spot at UFC Vegas 88, both Battle and Loosa had their nights cut short after just six minutes due to an eye poke rendering Loosa unable to continue. After Bruce Buffer made the official decision, the two welterweights got in each other's faces and had to be separated.

Battle, who was controlling the fight up until the stoppage, initiated the heated exchange by calling Loosa a "p****" in anger. Loosa responded by yelling back: "I f****** kill you!"

After Loosa was escorted out of the cage, Battle was given a post-fight interview with Michael Bisping. Still heated, Battle claimed Loosa was "looking for a way out" and declared he would be open to a rematch "anywhere, anytime."

"You can't tell me he wasn't looking for a way out," Battle said. "He looked at me right there just a second ago and looked at me like he wanted to fight. You're telling me you wanna fight now but you couldn't fight a second ago? Bulls***. F**** p**** b**** mother f*****.

Bryan Battle and Ange Loosa had an in-cage altercation at UFC Vegas 88

"I'm that dude. That's what happens when dudes get into the cage with me. They look for ways out. They all want to talk big and talk all this s***. Once they feel these hands, once they feel this strength, they don't wanna be in here with your boy. He was looking for the first way out possible. If he wants to run it back, I'll run it back anywhere, anytime. I'll run it back next week, I don't give a f***."

The eye poke that ended the fight occurred in a close-quarter exchange with Loosa attempting to initiate a clinch. Battle used his right hand to frame and extend the range but caught his thumb into the left eye of his opponent.

With just one full round recorded before the stoppage, Battle had won round one from all three judges' scorecards, using his length and speed to out-strike Loosa while effectively defending takedown attempts. As the fighters walked out, the commentary team noted Battle's desire to show off his improved cardio, a tactic that was seemingly in full display through six minutes.

Battle, 10-2, entered the fight as the betting favorite on the heels of back-to-back wins over AJ Fletcher and Gabe Green. Since becoming The Ultimate Fighter in 2021, Battle has gone 5-1 in the UFC entering UFC Vegas 88, having also picked up wins over Takashi Sato, Tresean Gore and Gilbert Urbina.

Loosa also entered the fight with consecutive wins, defeating Fletcher and Rhys McKee after dropping his promotional debut to Mounir Lazzez.