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UFC President Dana White calls for a rule covering eye pokes

April 30, 2013|By Houston Mitchell
  • UFC President Dana White wants to a rule adopted that would address eye pokes in MMA fights.
UFC President Dana White wants to a rule adopted that would address eye pokes… (Buda Mendes / Getty Images )

One of the undercard fights on Saturday's "UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen" ended because of an eye poke, and UFC President Dana White wants to do something about it.

During the Ovince St. Preux-Gian Villante fight, St. Preux accidentally poked Villante in the eye. Referee Kevin Mulhall stepped in and checked Villante, then asked him if he could see. Villante said he couldn't, so Mulhall stopped the fight. Why? There is no rule that covers eye pokes, because fight rules were written for boxing, not MMA, and boxers rarely get poked in the eye.

White was unhappy with that, and stated his case in a post-fight news conference.

“Mulhall said, ‘Can you see?’ Villante said, ‘I can’t see,’ so the referee stopped the fight," White said. "Villante said 'I can’t see' because he got poked in the eye. Give him a minute. But apparently there’s no poke-in-the-eye rule here. If you get kicked in the groin, you get five minutes to recover from it. There’s nothing in the rules about a poke to the eye because in boxing there is no poke in the eye. Guys don’t get poked in the eye anymore in boxing.”

White is calling for a change in the rules.

“What needs to happen is that ABC [the Assn. of Boxing Commissions] needs to get together, and we need to come up with a few things,” White said. “We really need to revamp some rules and regs.”


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