After years of advocating for new MMA gloves that lower the chance of eye pokes, the 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 their fingerless glove. Co-host Brendan Schaub brought the topic of eye pokes up, 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,” Joe 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 on, but given Rogan hedged on it being the 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 eyepokes 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.