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UFC 252: Daniel Cormier shuts down ‘stupid’ eye poke conspiracies ahead of Stipe Miocic trilogy

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“I’ve gotten thumbed to the eye by Stipe before,” Cormier said. “It’s not like he’s never thumbed me in the eye.”

UFC 226: Miocic v Cormier Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who also held gold at 205 pounds, will try to recapture the division crown when he tangles with Stipe Miocic in the UFC 252 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, scheduled for Sat., Aug. 15, 2020 inside UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.

They probably would have settled their long-standing score much sooner, but Miocic needed additional time to recover from an eye injury suffered during their second go-round. An injury that “DC” insists was not intentional and that any claims to the contrary are quite simply, fucking stupid.

“I’m not trying to poke the guy in the eye. That’s fucking stupid,” Cormier told MMA Fighting. “Why would I ever do that? I don’t wish long term damage to this guy’s eye. I don’t wish that the guy can’t see out of his freaking eye. That’s crazy. One of my friends and co-workers deals with that, Michael Bisping. I don’t want to see another guy having to deal with that. That’s crazy. I’m not trying to poke this guy in the eye.”

Bisping suffered one of the worst eye injuries in the history of modern UFC, one he blames on former rival Vitor Belfort during “The Phenom’s” since-banned TRT phase. Until MMA comes up with better gloves, which need exposed digits for ground fighting, eye pokes are likely to continue.

“That first fight, I kind of poked him in the eye but the issue with that was sometimes when I spar and because I’m shorter, I have the 16-ounce gloves, I can kind of flick my hand towards guys and hit them when they’re a little bit out of range,” Cormier said. “I think that’s what happened the first time. The second time, once I think my knuckle got jammed into his eye but that’s not a finger. I kind of punched and the thumb was tucked into a fist but the knuckle got him in the eye.”

Cormier (22-2, 1 NC) captured the 265-pound title by stopping Miocic (19-3) at UFC 226 back in early 2018. “DC” would later cough up his crown in their UFC 241 rematch, and is expected to retire from combat sports with (or without) the belt around his waist.