Nik Lentz has revealed that he almost needed to have his eye surgically removed after a poke in the eye in his fight vs. Arnold Allen.
Finger pokes have become a regular sight on UFC cards. Fans and media alike have wondered whether the gloves themselves could be upgraded to help prevent this from happening. Lentz almost had to have his eye taken out after he was poked by Allen at UFC Fight Night 166: Blaydes vs. Dos Santos in a fight he lost by unainmous decision, which will only heighten the call for the UFC to address this issue.
“(The doctor) pretty much straight-up said, ‘I might be able to help you but there’s a greater chance than half that we could do something and nothing could happen and your eye is just not going to work right,'” Lentz said (h/t MMA Junkie). “If it hadn’t fixed and I had not (stopped seeing) double, I would’ve had to remove the eye because seeing with one eye is better than seeing double. When they were both together, I had terrible double vision, so I couldn’t do anything. It was a scary nine months. There were a lot of times where this might have been it. This injury might have been my career. It might have been onto the next phase of life.”
Lentz is now taking on Mike Grundy at UFC Vegas 7 and having been through a traumatic period. Lentz will be hoping to take advantage of the attention that will be on the featherweights given the main event. And after the year he has had, he enters the Octagon with a sense of calm and appreciation for what he has and what he is fighting for.
“It’s been one of the hardest years, but also me and fighting have never been best pals. It’s something I’m very good at, but I’m an antisocial person. I never wanted to be in the public light. There were parts of fighting that maybe, in the back of my mind, I always thought I didn’t like it. When it was taken away from me, I sort of had to switch that mindset," Lentz admitted. "I started seeing all the things that I loved about it and the things that it’s given me. Maybe I take it for granted. All my friends are fighters. All my friends are coaches. My entire life has revolved around this sport. This is where I grew up. This is where I became a man. (Since coming back), a certain pressure of the fight world has been lifted.”