Last Saturday’s UFC 227 delivered a night of thrilling fights, and as with any other match, only one can be declared the winner.
However, for new UFC featherweight fighter Matt Sayles, it was quite a rough loss as he suffered a severe injury. Sayles is just a UFC newcomer and a winner on season 1 of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
He was featured at UFC 227 preliminary portion with a bout against Sheymon Moraes. During the start of the fight, Sayles seemed to be strong, but the judges saw Moraes as the stronger rival, with each giving him 29-28 on the scorecards.
Eye Pokes May Have Caused Sayles to Lose
Even accidental eye pokes hurt, what more when they’re done in a fight? But of course, in MMA, referees don’t punish fighters for eye pokes.
This has been one of the most controversial issues in the UFC, with a lot of fighters obviously getting poked in the eye. There were no reports of fighters seriously getting injured from eye pokes, but not until today.
In a recent episode from ESPN+’s Ariel & The Bad Guy, Sayles’ team said to Ariel Helwani that the “eye pokes were damaging and affected his sight, ended up losing an important fight for him.”
Because of the eye pokes, Sayles suffered from a torn retina and is required to undergo laser eye surgery to repair it.
No Deductions on Moraes
Throughout the course of three rounds, Moraes landed a total of four eye pokes on Sayles, but it didn’t result in any point deductions.
Listen to Helwani’s breaking news via ESPN+’s Ariel & The Bad Guy:
👃 update from today’s show:
Matt Sayles suffered a torn retina as a result of the multiple eye pokes suffered in his loss to Sheymon Moraes at UFC 227, according to his team. He’s undergoing laser eye surgery tomorrow. Worth noting, no points were deducted during the fight. pic.twitter.com/E1tvOdaf2Y
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) August 8, 2018
Fans Share Their Thoughts on the Issue
Now, people are left wondering how worse it has to get before things like these are prevented. Aside from eye pokes, extreme weight cutting also poses dangerous threats to the health of fighters.
In reply to Helwani’s breaking news, people are calling out the UFC finally to do something about it:
They have to be more strict about these eye pokes, it's becoming a joke now. I remember when Jake Matthews was fighting the leech (forget his real name) at 221, Matthews got his eyes gouged out after he had a submission locked in. He still won the fight but still, disgraceful
— Max (@BorussianMyth) August 9, 2018
Sounds like a good idea.
Point deduction on the first one and disqualification on the second.
— Ben Dindonker (@aslc11) August 9, 2018
You know who to ask…
— Damn It Dan (@DanymalDan) August 8, 2018
This guy understands Sayles
Ouch retina reconstructions are tough and can result in loosing the sight in your eye. Took me 2 ops to have mine fixed after it starting detaching and the docs gave it a 50% chance of actually working. Luckily I've got away with just wearing glasses for reading.
— Oli Baseley (@OliBaseley) August 9, 2018
Let’s hope not, bro.
Maybe after someone goes completely blind they will address this issue
— JUSTFIGHT (@braddy_robert) August 8, 2018
Sayles was added to the UFC 227 lineup after knocking out Yazan Hajeh just 1:57 into their fight on the second season of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series a few months ago.
Watch the video below to see the intense match between Sayles and Moraes at UFC 227:
After his defeat, he is now 7-2 in his professional career. Sayles is currently training under the wing of Eric Del Fiero and Dominick Cruz at Alliance MMA.