UFC: Belal Muhammad’s sickening eye injury sparks calls to change glove design


‘It’s time to fix the UFC gloves’: Belal Muhammad’s sickening eye injury sparks social media outrage with furious fans demanding change to design after bout with Leon Edwards was ‘ruined’ by ‘avoidable’ incident

Infuriated UFC fans have demanded for the sport’s gloves to be fixed after Belal Muhammad sustained a sickening eye injury.

The American fighter was sent crashing to the canvas in agony after Leon Edwards’ finger jabbed forward and accidentally caught him square in the socket.

With Muhammad initially unable to see due to the damage, the bout was waved off – and avid watchers quickly took to social media to loudly appeal for change.

UFC fans have called for the glove design to be changed after Belal Muhammad’s eye injury

Mohammad (right) was accidentally poked in the socket by Leon Edwards on Saturday night

Mohammad (right) was accidentally poked in the socket by Leon Edwards on Saturday night

The welterweight main event on Saturday night was gripped in suspense with Edwards making his return to the octagon for the first time in 20 months.

The aftermath led to uproar over the glove design, however, with Muhammad roaring in pain just 18 seconds into the second round. 

Aljamain Sterling, the newly-crowned bantamweight champion after the divisive illegal knee stoppage against Petr Yan last weekend, led the outrage on Twitter.

UFC chief Dana White tweeted a horrific close shot of Muhammad catching the jab in the eye

UFC chief Dana White tweeted a horrific close shot of Muhammad catching the jab in the eye

‘We need new gloves. Period!’ he wrote. ‘They’re out there. I just don’t understand what we’re waiting for to make these changes.

‘How many more eye injuries do we need to bring these new gloves in, that significantly reduce the spreading of the fingers.’ 

Former UFC contender Dan Hardy, who is now a pundit, presented a similar case, saying: ‘It’s time to fix the UFC gloves.’

Aljamain Sterling led the calls for the glove design to be changed after Muhammad's eye injury

Aljamain Sterling led the calls for the glove design to be changed after Muhammad’s eye injury

Former UFC contender turned pundit, Dan Hardy, voiced his demand for the gloves to be fixed

Former UFC contender turned pundit, Dan Hardy, voiced his demand for the gloves to be fixed

Alongside the fighters and experts, a number of other disappointed viewers expressed their own views – with a number of them directed as chief Dana White.

‘Dear UFC, please do something about the eye pokes,’ one person wrote. ‘Maybe it’s time to change he gloves in the sport.

‘A great fight ended early on something totally avoidable. Sincerely, a fan.’  

Another said: ‘The UFC really needs to change the gloves, the main events [sic] ruined because of an eye poke. This happens way too often for them not to address it.’ 

‘I hope tonight gets Dana and the UFC thinking about some new revisions,’ insisted a third.

‘If we’re getting new fight kits in April, we can clarify some rules and get some new gloves too!’

A fourth moaned: ‘Another fight ruined because the UFC refuses to invest in their gloves.’ 

Muhammad was taken to hospital for treatment soon after the fight was declared a no decision

Muhammad was taken to hospital for treatment soon after the fight was declared a no decision

Edwards said he was left ‘heartbroken’ after the showdown with Muhammad was marred by the poke.

Blood had trickled down his opponent’s face, and doctors were unable to inspect the damage soon after due to the eye having swelled shut.

Muhammad was taken to hospital for treatment and the fight was declared a no decision due to an accidental foul. 

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