Jon “Bones” Jones and Dominick “The Devastator” Reyes are ready to throw down at UFC 247 on February 8th.
With Jones’ well-known track record for eye pokes, Reyes has already commented that he plans on warning referees about the potential for the infraction during the fight. Jones has been criticized over the years for eye pokes. He’s been warned by referees many times in the past, but has never faced a point deduction for the offense.
In 2016, the fighter openly admitted to eye pokes in the documentary ‘The Hurt Business’. In the documentary, Jones is preparing for his fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 214. “So, Daniel Cormier is saying before the fight that I’ll end up poking him in the eyes at some point and the reason why he says that is because I do poke people in the eyes,” he said. “It’s very illegal, but I do it”.
At UFC 172, Jones repeatedly poked Glover Teixeira in the eye causing the fighter to suffer a torn labrum. In a post-fight interview with Ariel Helwani following the fight, Dana White admitted he was disappointed with Jones’ fighting technique. “We’ve got to stop that stuff. The openings of the hands and putting the hands on the face are something bad, but it happens with guys who have reach. They do that a lot.”
In 2018 on Joe Rogan’s Fight Companion podcast for UFC Beijing, Rogan revealed that a new style of UFC glove was in the works. Glove design has been a hot topic in the UFC for years, with the shape of the glove being blamed for the number of eye pokes in the organization. Most MMA gloves use a rounded pad design which allows the fingers to curl. For example, Rizin FC uses a design shape that allows the fingers to point downward. The promotion has not had any significant eye pokes in its history.
In 2014, Bellator debuted the new “Powerlock” MMA glove which were constructed to promote “proper hand form and technique” and minimize the risk of hand injuries according to Bellator’s official announcement. In contrast, the stiff design of UFC gloves pulls the hand open leaving the fingers extended. Fighters are still awaiting the new UFC glove design that was creating noise two years ago.
We have yet to see what this weekend’s fight between Jones and Reyes has in store concerning the eye poke department. In the meantime, open your eyes to five of Jones’ most famous eye poking moments.
- Jones vs. Glover Teixeira (UFC 172)
- Jones vs. Daniel Cormier (UFC 182)
- Jones vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (UFC 128)
- Jones vs. Rashad Evans (UFC 145)
- Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson (UFC 163)