Dana White: Eye poke can’t be excuse for Daniel Cormier’s loss to Stipe Miocic at UFC 252

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LAS VEGAS – Dana White isn’t willing to say the eye poke suffered by Daniel Cormier at UFC 252 was the reasons for the outcome of the fight.

UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic (20-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) outlasted Cormier in a five-round battle in Saturday’s main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, putting a close to their historic trilogy.

For Cormier (22-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC), who confirmed he will retire after the fight, the loss had a bit of an asterisk on it. Cormier was poked in his left eye in Round 3, which reportedly resulted in a torn cornea that he said hampered his vision for the rest of the fight.

But White said both Miocic and Cormier got poked in the eye during the fight, and that he noticed Cormier’s eye may already have beenn damaged before he got poked.

“You can’t look at the eye poke and take that away. There were two eye pokes – they both got poked in the eye, and that eye was hurt before the poke,” White told reporters, including MMA Junkie, after UFC 252. “We’ve got a big group text that goes on, and I was like, ‘There’s something wrong with Cormier’s eye,’ and then he got poked after that. That didn’t help, but they both got poked – you can’t use that as an excuse.

“I think his eye was hurt before the poke and the poke definitely didn’t help. But you can’t look at the poke and say, ‘Oh, the poke.’ Stipe got poked hard, too. They both got poked.”

Eye pokes have been a big narrative in this heavyweight championship trilogy. Their third fight took almost a year to get booked. Miocic needed time to recover from his own damaged eye suffered when he was poked multiple times by Cormier at UFC 241 and was worried that the same thing would happen to him again. But it was Cormier who was on the receiving end of an apparently damaging eye poke this time.

The other narrative was who would emerge as the greatest heavyweight in UFC history, and it was Miocic who was able to with his hand raised in the rubber match.

“It was an awesome fight,” White said. “I had it 2-2 going into the last round. It was the fight everybody thought it was going to be, and it was exciting. How tough are both of those guys? I mean, both guys get poked in the eye, both guys got rocked. They fought their hearts out. It was an incredible heavyweight championship.”


Original Article posted by Farah Hannoun

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