A Reddit thread accused Cormier of poking Miocic in the eye moments before he scored a knockout win at UFC 226, but DC says the eye pokes were never intentional.
“I’m not purposely doing that,” Cormier said to MMA Fighting. “I’m not purposely poking him in the eye. That first fight, I kind of poked him in the eye but the issue with that was sometimes when I spar and because I’m shorter, I have the 16-ounce gloves, I can kind of flick my hand towards guys and hit them when they’re a little bit out of range. I think that’s what happened the first time. The second time, once I think my knuckle got jammed into his eye but that’s not a finger. I kind of punched and the thumb was tucked into a fist but the knuckle got him in the eye.”
Miocic and Cormier would meet for a second time at UFC 241, where Miocic reclaimed the heavyweight title with a fourth round TKO win.
DC says that he doesn’t want to see anybody deal with any serious eye problems, much like retired former UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping does.
“I’m not trying to poke the guy in the eye. That’s f**king stupid,” Cormier said. “Why would I ever do that? I don’t wish long term damage to this guy’s eye. I don’t wish that the guy can’t see out of his freaking eye. That’s crazy. One of my friends and co-workers deals with that, Michael Bisping. I don’t want to see another guy having to deal with that. That’s crazy. I’m not trying to poke this guy in the eye.”
UFC 252 takes place on Saturday, August 15 from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada with Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.