There was apparently some controversy in the fight that didn’t get noticed because Barboza allegedly got poked in the eye by Gaethje a short time before the finishing sequence.
Alex Davis, who is Barboza’s manager, would take to Twitter to show that Barboza was poked in the eye by Gaethje:
Not meaning to make excuses, but this did dictate the fight.— Alex Davis (@Alexdavismma) March 31, 2019
Sem querer fazer desculpas, mas isso ditou a luta. pic.twitter.com/3xh5ElQ2oF
Anderson Franca is Barboza’s muay thai coach and he took to Instagram to talk about the alleged eye poke:
Realmente acho q essa luta seria uma das melhores luta do ano, o @justin_gaethje è um excelente lutador, está com certeza entre os melhores do mundo.Temos muito respeito por ele e sua equipe, n sei se o resultado seria outro ou não, mas acredito q a luta teria sido bem mais longa, se n houvesse esse incidente.Agradecemos o carinho de todos, posso garantir q nos doamos 100 porcento p representar nosso país. Grande abraço a todos
Here is a translation of what Franca wrote, provided by Google Translate:
“I really think that this fight would be one of the best fight of the year, @justin_gaethje is an excellent fighter, he is certainly among the best in the world. We have a lot of respect for him and his team, I do not know if the result would be another or not, but I believe that the fight would have been much longer, if there was no such incident. We appreciate the affection of all, I can guarantee that we donate 100 percent to represent our country. Big hug to all.”
There is no word at this time if Barboza or his team plans on appealing the loss that was apparently caused by the eye poke.