After years of advocating for new mixed martial arts (MMA) gloves that lower the chance of eye pokes, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) may finally be finally taking Joe Rogan’s advice.
Rogan revealed on his most recent “Fight Companion” for UFC Beijing that the promotion might be making a change to its fingerless glove. Co-host Brendan Schaub brought up the topic of eye pokes, and how Neil Magny had blamed his poor performance against Santiago Ponzinibbio partially on a poke.
”That’s a real problem, man, and there is a solution in the works,” Rogan said. “I can’t talk about it, I’m sworn to secrecy.”
”Goggles!” Schaub suggested. (What?)
”They have a better glove design that they’re working on right now,” Rogan revealed. “That someone is working on. I can’t say anything. I’ve already said too much.”
Obviously, that’s not a lot of information to work with, but given Rogan hedged on it being UFC working on it, we have to wonder if maybe a Reebok glove is incoming? Or a partnership with another manufacturer?
The key change needed to lower the number of eye pokes is in the shape of the glove. Many MMA gloves have a rounded pad that keeps the fingers curled, while UFC gloves as they exist now are stiff and pull the hand open, leaving the fingers extended. Which, of course, causes more eye pokes.
Of course, it doesn’t help that there’s rarely a downside to poking your opponent in the eyes ... sometimes several times in one fight. But, if a new glove is on its way in that takes into account this simple curved shape that many other gloves have already adopted, that’s very good news for fighters and their corneas.