Hughes: Eye pokers are responsible for eye pokes, not gloves


UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes recently appeared on BJ Penn Radio and discussed his three-month-old role  as UFC Vice President of Athletic Development and Government Relations.

Last year Sports Illustrated reported that 78% of NFL players are bankrupt two years after retirement. And that figure is undoubtedly dwarfed by the numbers from the top ranks of boxing, where for generations the biggest names in the sport's history die penniless.

The few figures who end up successful like Henry Cooper, George Foreman, and Oscar De La Hoya are the exceptions that prove the rule. Part of Hughes job is an attempt to correct that.

“Athletic Development is very new to the UFC,” said Hughes. “It could deal from everything from life before the UFC, life after the UFC, life during the UFC.”

“Making someone a better athlete all the way to financial development, helping guys figure out what they’re going to do with their money they make in the UFC,” said Hughes.

Hughes feels the other half of his role, government relations, is the easy part.

“Government Relations is very easy, I’ve been doing that for years,” stated Hughes. “I just try to talk positive, and answer any questions somebody had about the safety or the sport at all.”

One aspect of government relations that has proven challenging is legalizing MMA in New York, but Hughes says it is just a matter of time.

“Definitely in three years," said Hughes confidently. "Next two years I’d say 50-50, this year I’d say 75% against it. But it will happen, there’s no doubt about it.”

“UFC is always working on getting, if not legal, better rules in states for the fighters in the UFC.”

Saturday night at UFC 159 two fights were forced to go to the judges score cards early due to eye pokes, causing some to call for a redesign of the MMA glove. Hughes, said it is not the glove, it the man attached to the fingers that is responsible.

“I don’t see how you can blame it on the gloves,” said Hughes. “It comes down to the fighters making mistakes with their hands.”


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tags: UFC   Matt Hughes (detail)  


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Recent Comments »

6ULDV8 site profile image  

5/7/13 7:04 PM by 6ULDV8

Enforce no sticking fingers into your opponent's face.  Crazy I know, but it justmight work.   Why does this upset Fallon Fox so much anyway?

andyman011 site profile image  

5/7/13 2:42 PM by andyman011

Quoted the wrong thing

andyman011 site profile image  

5/7/13 2:40 PM by andyman011

Only if the meth user got rewarded instead of punished

6ULDV8 site profile image  

5/6/13 5:00 PM by 6ULDV8

^Easy peasy

andyman011 site profile image  

5/6/13 4:58 PM by andyman011

One warning, points right after.

6ULDV8 site profile image  

5/6/13 4:43 PM by 6ULDV8

How about insist on closed fists to strike?   Sounds so crazy it just might work!   Zuffa, make it happen.

RedDragons site profile image  

5/6/13 3:16 PM by RedDragons

Great thread and an issue that seriously needs addressing. I agree that a point deduction for ANY poke would help stem occurrences. But, it really comes down to a guy's stand up many have mentioned, the "pawing" style of fighters like Jones just naturally lends itself to higher rates of poked eyes. Going to be a tough issue to minimize.

Ninja mon site profile image  

5/6/13 3:00 PM by Ninja mon

I agree with Hughes 100%! Something needs to be done about this asap! Eye pokes are serious, and can permanently damage someones vision! People have been getting away with this crap for way too long, and have been doing it on purpose! Same with grappling matches, some dirty mofos out there!

Jaybrone site profile image  

5/6/13 2:32 PM by Jaybrone

I tend to agree. I also hate when a ref warns a guy 4-5 times about grabbing the fence or shorts or the like and never takes a point.