Daniel Cormier has been ready for his alternative to settle the rating with UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic ever since their rematch ended however a world pandemic and an eye fixed surgical procedure has delayed the combat for nearly a complete yr.

Of their first assembly in 2018. Cormier gained with a first-round knockout however afterwards there have been allegations that an eye fixed poke occurred earlier than the end which will have altered the route of the combat. Months later when Miocic was requested concerning the eye pokes in an interview with MMA Combating, he declined to deal with it.

Then got here the rematch the place Miocic exacted his revenge however as soon as once more the attention pokes apparently performed a component with the Cleveland native struggling an injured retina that required a process to restore the harm achieved. Miocic was pressured to take time without work as a result of harm and his agent Jim Walter later launched a press release saying the two-time champion “sustained a significant retina harm from a number of eye pokes” and that he would return when “he’s wholesome sufficient to compete.”

There are even whole threads on Reddit devoted to the “did he or didn’t he” side of the attention pokes within the fights between Cormier and Miocic.

In response, Cormier addressed the state of affairs in a latest interview with MMA Combating the place he spoke concerning the alleged eye pokes that occurred in each fights.

“I’m not purposely doing that,” Cormier mentioned. “I’m not purposely poking him within the eye. That first combat, I sort of poked him within the eye however the subject with that was typically after I spar and since I’m shorter, I’ve the 16-ounce gloves, I can sort of flick my hand in direction of guys and hit them after they’re slightly bit out of vary. I feel that’s what occurred the primary time.

“The second time, as soon as I feel my knuckle acquired jammed into his eye however that’s not a finger. I sort of punched and the thumb was tucked right into a fist however the knuckle acquired him within the eye.”

Sadly, eye pokes in MMA have grow to be an all too frequent bi-product of open fingered gloves when fighters have interaction in hanging exchanges on the ft.

Referees usually warn athletes to maintain their fists closed as a result of a lot of them gauge distance or arrange mixtures by placing a hand ahead with fingers prolonged.

The foul additionally occurs frequently when one fighter is attempting to push away from one other with their fingers and a finger will inadvertently get jammed into the attention.

Eye pokes have pressured some fights to be stopped prior to now with others struggling irreparable hurt due to accidents suffered in a kind of incidents.

Cormier is aware of all too nicely how these fouls can have an effect on a combat in addition to the long run harm achieved from repeated eye accidents. That’s why he refutes any declare that he’s ever poked Miocic or anyone else within the eye on function however fairly it has solely occurred by accident by means of the traditional course of a combat.

“I’m not attempting to poke the man within the eye. That’s f**king silly,” Cormier mentioned. “Why would I ever do this? I don’t want long run harm to this man’s eye. I don’t want that the man can’t see out of his freaking eye. That’s loopy.

“One in all my associates and associates offers with that, Michael Bisping. I don’t need to see one other man having to cope with that. That’s loopy. I’m not attempting to poke this man within the eye.”

Miocic is aware of his sight could by no means be 20/20 however he instructed MMA Combating earlier this yr that his imaginative and prescient has vastly improved since having the process on his retina. Being cleared by his eye physician was a significant hurdle in reserving the trilogy with Cormier in August at UFC 252.

“I might have been again means earlier,” Miocic mentioned concerning the eye harm. “It’s positively means, means, means higher. I’ve acquired spots right here and there, I don’t assume it’s something out of the extraordinary. I wanted glasses normally with the retina or not.”

Whereas Miocic was confronted with the extra critical harm, replays have proven that each fighters could have handled eye pokes of their earlier conferences however Cormier definitely holds no sick will in direction of his upcoming opponent for what occurred.

“I’ve gotten thumbed to the attention by Stipe earlier than,” Cormier mentioned. “It’s not like he’s by no means thumbed me within the eye. He’s caught me within the eye earlier than. No matter.”

As their third combat quick approaches in August, Cormier understands that each side of his two earlier conferences with Miocic will probably be dissected together with the attention pokes.

All Cormier can promise is that there has by no means been a single occasion the place he’s egregiously tried to hurt Miocic and he definitely wouldn’t want that on his worst enemy a lot much less somebody he respects as a lot because the reigning UFC heavyweight champion.

“We’re sporting these little gloves and we prepare with 16-ounce gloves,” Cormier defined. “So typically you do issues that you simply do with the 16-ounce gloves that you would be able to’t do with the four-ounce gloves. I don’t purposely attempt to poke this man within the face.”