Eye gouging was one of the few rules incorporated into early UFCs because dear lord, you can’t just have people sinking their fingers into the soft gooey sockets of their opponents. And while there’s no shortage of accidental eye pokes in MMA due to the open fingered gloves worn by fighters, you don’t tend to see a lot of legit intentional gouging going on.
Which just makes the case we just witnessed at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia all the worse.
The incident happened during a fight between Jake Matthews and Li ‘The Leech’ Jingliang. Matthews was dominating the fight in the first, catching Jingliang with a series of shots that dropped him to the canvas. It was only by holding onto Matthews’ gloves that Jingliang managed to survive the first round. In round two, Matthews once again got Jingliang into a bad position, catching the Chinese fighter in a guillotine choke. A desperate Jingliang reached up and stuck two fingers right into Matthews’ eye.