Justin Gaethje sounds off on UFC eye-poke controversy

Justin Gaethje is one of many fighters who have been asking for the UFC glove design to be changed.
Justin Gaethje
Justin Gaethje / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Justin Gaethje is one of many UFC fighters who reacted to several eye-poke controversies at UFC Atlantic City on Saturday. The event had two fights end due to eye pokes, though neither was initially ruled due to the poke.

The first incident occurred during the main card fight between Nursulton Ruziboev and Sedriques Dumas. In the first round, Ruziboev poked Dumas in the eye and while Dumas was trying to protest it Ruziboev capitalized and found the finish. Dumas immediately argued the stoppage but Ruziboev was awarded the knockout and the card moved on.

In the very next fight, Chris Weidman and Bruno Silva both ate and handed out eye pokes throughout the contest. But in the third round after already eating two eye pokes, Silva dropped to the canvas in pain and Weidman finished the fight. In the replay, it was determined that Weidman had poked Silva twice in the exchange. The original TKO win was overturned to a technical decision for Weidman.

But Gaethje, the sitting BMF champion wasn't blaming the fighters for the fouls, he was blaming the UFC's glove design.

"Too bad UFC don’t want to change those sh*t gloves," Gaethje tweeted. A fan replied asking, "Why the hell won't they use [Trevor] Whittman's gloves already." Gaethje replied, "Because it wasn’t their idea lol."

Justin Gaethje calls out the UFC for 'sh*t gloves'

Gaethje also explained why the current gloves actually encourage more eye pokes. "These gloves force you into a bad position when your hand is relaxed. They cut the circulation off to the fingers. They put so much pressure on the hand between the fingers…," he tweeted in replay to a fan.

Several MMA fighters replied to the tweet as well. UFC fighter Terrance McKinney said, "Onx gloves are the best" and former UFC fighter Louis Smolka wrote, "This kinda stuff is the reason why MMA isn’t taken seriously."

After the fight, Weidman blamed Silva for his reaction to the eye poke without taking much accountability for his out stretched fingers.

“I got poked in the eye too, but this is my advice to Bruno. Much respect to him, and it looked like I touched his eyeball when he was coming in. You can’t drop to the ground like that if your eye gets poked," he told Michael Bisping in the cage. “You’ve got to stand. If the refs sees it — you can’t just drop. He did that like three times, and it caught up to him.”

This is absolutely not the first complaint about the gloves and it will not be the last.


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