UFC President Dana White is not on board with the narrative that an eye poke is to blame for Daniel Cormier's loss against Stipe Miocic at UFC 252.
Former two-division UFC champion Cormier suffered a unanimous decision loss to UFC heavyweight champion Miocic on Saturday, August 15. DC suffered an accidental eye poke from Miocic in the third round of their bout, but White says the eye poke is not an excuse.
“You can’t look at the eye poke and take that away. There were two eye pokes – they both got poked in the eye, and that eye was hurt before the poke,” White said after the event (via Farah Hannoun & Ken Hathaway of MMA Junkie). “We’ve got a big group text that goes on, and I was like, ‘There’s something wrong with Cormier’s eye,’ and then he got poked after that. That didn’t help, but they both got poked – you can’t use that as an excuse. I think his eye was hurt before the poke and the poke definitely didn’t help. But you can’t look at the poke and say, ‘Oh, the poke.’ Stipe got poked hard, too. They both got poked.”
Cormier suffered a torn cornea due to the eye poke, but no surgery is needed to repair the damage at this time. Eye poke or not, one thing White says is that Cormier and Miocic competed in a great fight at UFC 252.
“It was an awesome fight,” White said. “I had it 2-2 going into the last round. It was the fight everybody thought it was going to be, and it was exciting. How tough are both of those guys? I mean, both guys get poked in the eye, both guys got rocked. They fought their hearts out. It was an incredible heavyweight championship.”
A defeated Cormier retired after the fight, ending a decade-plus professional MMA career.
UFC 252 took place from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, August 15. Miocic defeated Cormier by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) to cap off their trilogy.