Chris Weidman continues to defend his double eye-poke victory over Bruno Silva: ‘MMA is a tough sport’

Chris Weidman questions whether Bruno Silva ever actually got poked in the eye during UFC Atlantic City fight

After scoring a controversial victory at UFC Atlantic City, Chris Weidman thinks Bruno Silva needs to quit crying and suck it up.

Weidman’s return to the win column in The Garden State sent fight fans into a frenzy on Saturday night (March 30). Sadly, his first win since 2020 was mired in controversy. Nearing the halfway point of the third round, Weidman appeared to land a check left hook that sent his opponent crashing to the canvas. However, a slow-motion instant replay revealed that Weidman poked Silva in the eye not once, but twice while failing to connect with the legal strike.

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The action was allowed to play out and initially announced as a TKO victory in favor of Weidman. Moments later, Brendan Fitzgerald revealed during the broadcast that the fight was officially stopped at the point of the two fouls and the contest was scored up to that point with Weidman winning on all three scorecards.

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Bruno Silva and Chris Weidman

Addressing the incident during an appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Weidman seemingly placed blame on Silva and even questioned whether or not his opponent was ever actually poked in the eye.

“You’re gonna get poked in the eye,” Weidman said. “There’s gonna be things that happen. You can’t just drop to the ground, turn around, and expect the ref to know what’s going on in your head and that he’s seeing everything. It’s just a bad habit and bad things happen when you do that. That’s kinda what he got in the habit of. Anytime his eyeball got touched, he dropped to the ground and was crying.

“Obviously, I don’t want to poke him in the eye, but I just also think, what are we turning this into? MMA is a tough sport. Get the ref’s attention. Let them know you got poked in the eye. But dropping and trying to get all this time. Going back to the reply, it’s like, did he really even get poked in the eye? I don’t know. I just think it’s a bad precedent.”

Unfortunately for Weidman, the double eye-poke during the fight-ending sequence was undeniably present. Still, ‘All American’ walked away with a win. Silva has already declared his intent to dispute it with the New Jersey State Athletic Commission, hoping to have the decision reversed and ruled a no-contest.

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Of course, Weidman wasn’t the only one committing eye pokes during the contentious clash. He later shared a grotesque image of his right eye looking disgustingly bloodshot — the result of an eye poke he absorbed during their fight.

Chris Weidman eyeball

Chris Weidman vs. Bruno Silva wasn’t the only fight decided by eye pokes at UFC Atlantic City

Before Chris Weidman and Bruno Silva stepped inside the Octagon, another eye-poke controversy went down during a main card scrap between Nursulton Ruziboev and Sedriques Dumas. Nearing the two-minute mark of the opening round, Ruziboev appeared to poke Dumas in the eye during a striking exchange

Dumas protested once realizing what happened. The referee allowed the action to continue and Ruziboev took advantage of the situation, bum-rushing his opponent and punching his way to a ninth-straight first-round finish.

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Is it time for the UFC to finally do something about the epidemic of eye pokes occurring inside the Octagon?