MMA fans react to the brutal eye poke Justin Tafa suffered at UFC Jacksonville

Justin Tafa

Justin Tafa had a brief yet disastrous trip to the Octagon on Saturday night as the promotion returned to the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena for UFC Jacksonville.

Tafa was scheduled for a main card appearance against heavyweight debutant Austen Lane, and things started off well for the heavyweight scrappers. Throwing heavy leather in the early going, it looked as though fans would be in for a real treat. However, things took a turn for the tragic just 29 seconds into the matchup when Tafa threw a looping counter-left and was met with a finger directly to his right eye. Though unintentional, it was an especially egregious foul as the slow-motion replay clearly showed that Lane’s finger went at least one knuckle deep into Tafa’s eye socket.

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The contest was immediately paused, and things began to look especially serious when fans saw Justin Tafa’s eye begin to drip blood and swell profusely. To his credit, Tafa used his full five minutes in an attempt to recover, but with his sight compromised, the referee had no choice but to call for a stoppage, dubbing the bout a no-contest.

Many fans were horrified at the sight, likening it to the brutal eye poke Belal Muhammad suffered against current welterweight world champion Leon Edwards in 2021. Bro, take this guy to the hospital ASAP, before he loses his sight,” MMA coach Eric Nicksick tweeted in response to the incident.

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MMA Twitter Reacts to Justin Tafa’s Nasty Eye Injury from UFC Jacksonville