Aussie UFC heavyweight Justin Tafa finds himself seething with anger following a horrific and unintended eye poke that left him bloodied and momentarily fearing his eyeball had been torn out.
At UFC in Jacksonville, the 29-year-old’s match with Austin Lane lasted only 29 seconds. It was declared a no contest after one of the most scary eye pokes in recent memory.
In the opening round of the match, Tafa unleashed a powerful left hook. Lane ended up blocking it by inadvertently jabbing his left hand into Tafa’s face. Lane’s fingers made direct contact with both of Tafa’s eyes, leading referee Dan Miragliotta to swiftly intervene and call for a timeout.
A luta entre Justin Tafa e Austen Lane pelo UFC Jacksonville terminou sem resultado após Tafa não conseguir se recuperar de uma dedada involuntária sofrido. pic.twitter.com/s1psPESUat
— MMA Melotto (@MMAmelotto) June 24, 2023
Tafa’s eyes instantly swelled up, causing blood to flow and ultimately forcing the bout to be called off.
Justin Tafa shared the incident with the Herald Sun after the match. He revealed: “I thought my eyeball had been ripped out, honestly. That’s why I turned around and stepped away.”
Tafa continued: ” I thought my eyeball had come out of my face. I just hope it’s not really bad damage. Everything’s blurry now. I can see your face, but everything’s just blurry.”
The decision to rule the match a no-contest did not sit well with Tafa, and he firmly believes that he deserves the victory. Taking to social media following the bout, he posted a photo of his injuries.
Tafa then wrote: “I should get my WIN bonus that’s a DQ 🤦♂️”
Lane is a former NFL player for the Jaguars, He expressed remorse for the unfortunate incident via Twitter. He wrote: “Not how I wanted it to go down. That s*** is on me and I hope your eye is alright.”
The commentary team covering the UFC event expressed their horror at the injury, clearly displaying their concern for Tafa’s well-being. “That’s as bad as it gets, that’s half the digit and Tafa was leaning into it,” remarked Jon Anik as the replay showcased the incident.
UFC icon Daniel Cormier chimed in, saying, “His entire hand went into his eye.” Meanwhile, Australian star Casey O’Neill wrote, “His entire hand went into his eye.”
Brian Kelleher exclaimed, “Get this guy to a hospital jeez ”
Additionally, Belal Muhammad commented: “Ugh that was a bad poke he’s needs to go to the hospital.”