Following the match-ending second eye poke of Alan Belcher in his bout with Michael Bisping at UFC 159, many were quick to criticize the UFC five ounce gloves used as the issue. Storngly advocating a change in design was UFC commentator Joe Rogan. When UFC president Dana White was asked about a possible change in gloves, White pointed out that even with fingered gloves would share the same issue.

“That’s the glove that’s approved all over the country by all the Athletic Commissions,” said White. “Alright, let say you had gloves with fingers on them, you could still poke people in the eye with them. With a boxing glove, they used to have problems back in the 70’s and maybe early 80’s with guys getting thumbed in the eye. Cause those old Everlast gloves used to look like a lobster claw and guys used to get thumbed all the time, then they made the attached thumb to it. I just don’t know how you would do it in MMA with the grappling.”

Newly hired UFC hall-of-famer Matt Hughes also shares White’s sentiment, as heard on he recent BJ Penn Radio Show.

“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.”

Hughes does have a point, as certain fighters do cause eye pokes at a higher rate than others. The former champ is not only giving his opinion in his new position with the company. He’s looking to help with fighters life before, during and after their performances in the octagon.

“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.

Photographer: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports