Yet another high profile fight has been affected by an unintentional eye poke. The UFC glove situation really needs to be addressed. After a 600-day layoff due to fights repeatedly being cancelled, Leon Edwards was set to return and reestablish himself as one of the top welterweights in the world against up-and-comer Belal Muhammad. Unfortunately, in the second round of a fight likely being won by Edwards, an errant thumb to the eye forced a stoppage and no contest, ruining Edwards’s comeback and, more importantly, possibly causing permanent damage to Muhammad’s eye. Now was this due to Edwards likely being cursed? Probably. Can we also place a solid amount of the blame on the cheap-ass gloves the UFC uses? Absolutely.
For Fucks Sake, These UFC Gloves Are All Older Than Me
The UFC has been using the same, subpar gloves for a long time. And that’s not because the technology behind MMA gloves hasn’t improved, it absolutely has. The biggest issue with the gloves the UFC uses isn’t that they’re stiff as all hell or have awful padding (both of which are true); it’s that they encourage the hand to be open flat when the fighter isn’t intentionally making a fist. This leads to many fighters accidentally (or intentionally, cough cough Jon Jones cough cough) poking their opponents in the eye when gauging distance or framing the head. What other promotions have figured out is that you can make gloves that naturally form a bit of a fist when neutral and have a thumb guard (rocket science stuff, right?).
There’s really only one (dumb) reason someone would be opposed to a glove change. It’s that more finger protection would lead to less grappling. This is unfounded for two reasons: you can still easily straighten your hand and grip with the new gloves. Again, other promotions such as PRIDE FC and Bellator, have figured this out and grappling hasn’t faltered at all. Another reason the UFC likely hasn’t made any improvements is that the gloves are made and branded by the company, and we all know how much Uncle Dana likes that branding.
Let’s hope that this incident makes the company rethink their gloves as soon as possible. Hopefully their new equipment deal with Venum leads to them making the gloves when the deal officially begins. God knows Reebok can’t do shit about it. If you won’t take my word for it, maybe you’ll take Rogan’s DMT-fueled opinion: