Australian UFC heavyweight Justin Tafa is furious after taking a brutal, unintentional poke in the eye that left him bleeding and having his eyeball ripped out on Sunday morning.
The 29-year-old’s fight against Austin Lane lasted just 29 seconds and dominated to a no-contest following one of the many particularly nasty eye punches in recent UFC Fight Night history in Jacksonville.
At the start of the opening round, Tafa launched a left hook only for Lane to land a left hand in Tafa’s face.
Lane’s fingers dug into each of Taff’s eyes, prompting referee Dan Miraggiota to call a timeout.
The Aussie’s eyes immediately swelled up and began to bleed, forcing the fight to be called off.
Justin Taffa thought he had his eyeball ripped out after Sunday’s accident
“I honestly thought my eye was ripped out,” Tafa advised Announce the sun after the match. “So I turned and walked away,”
“The first thing I thought was, ‘Can I see my kids again?’
“I didn’t even care about the fight, I thought my eyeball was out of my face.
“I just hope it’s not too much damage. Everything’s a blur now. I can see your face, but everything’s just a blur.
The no-contest decision does not sit well with Tafa, who claims he deserved the win.
After the battle, he posted a photo of his injuries on Twitter and pleaded his case.
“I should get my WIN bonus,” he wrote afterwards.
“It’s a DQ.”
Lane, a former Jaguars NFL player, apologized for the incident on Twitter.
Tafa says his first thought was whether he would ever get to see his youngsters again
Taff was irritated by the incident and believes he deserves a successful bonus
“Not the way I wanted it to turn out,” he wrote.
“That shit’s on me and I hope your eye is okay.”
The UFC commentary team was shocked at the devastation and clearly concerned for Tafa’s well-being.
“It’s as bad as it gets, it’s half the mark and Taffa latched onto it,” John Anick mentioned when replay confirmed the incident.
“His hand went into his eye,” mentioned UFC nice Daniel Cormier.
UFC pros also took to social media to share their concerns and disgust.
“That eye poke was mean, oh my god, his eye is bleeding,” Australian star Casey O’Neill wrote.
“Get that man to the hospital, Jesus,” Brian Kelleher said.
“Ugh, that was a bad stab, he needs to go to the hospital,” wrote Belal Muhammad