Chris Weidman TKO Win Over Bruno Silva Amended To Technical Decision After Controversial Eyepokes

After suffering nothing but setbacks in recent years, former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman appeared to have sealed a picture-perfect TKO victory over Bruno Silva on UFC On ESPN 54 when a flurry of strikes midway through the third round sent his opponent to the canvas, but all was not as it seemed.

As the ecstatic 39-year-old jumped out of the cage to celebrate in style after what amounts to only his 2nd victory in the past 7 years, replays of the fight-ending sequence began to emerge showing that two of the three apparent punches that had put Silva down were actually clear eyepokes in quick succession, explaining why Silva was clutching his eye as he fell and was quick to protest when the referee ended the fight.

Silva will surely have been feeling particularly hard-done-by due to the fact that he had also been eyepoked on two other occasions during the fight, with the second of those being misinterpreted by referee Gary Copeland, who mistakenly believed that both fighters had eyepoked each other (replays showed Silva’s thumb had grazed Weidman, but his fist was correctly closed at the time, while Weidman’s contact on Silva was due to open fingers).

And unfortunately for Silva, Copeland also failed to spot the two eyepokes that followed later to end the fight, leading to the outcome initially being announced as a TKO victory for Weidman.

And though Weidman didn’t deny that an inadvertent eyepoke may have occurred at the end of the fight, the former champ appeared to be wholly unapologetic about any effect that had on the outcome in his post-fight interviews.

“I got poked in the eye too, but this is my advice to Bruno,” Weidman said in his Octagon interview with Michael Bisping, who coincidentally only has one eye as the result of being eye-poked in the Octagon years ago. “Much respect to him, and it looked like I touched his eyeball when he was coming in. You can’t drop to the ground like that if your eye gets poked.

“You’ve got to stand. If the refs sees it — you can’t just drop. He did that like three times, and it caught up to him.”

On reviewing the footage the commission decided after the fight that a TKO victory was not the correct outcome, and instead amended it to a technical decision in Weidman’s favor (30-27 x3) instead.

There’s no doubt that, eye-pokes aside, Weidman had actually been having a good fight, but his post-fight claims that Silva might have been “looking for a way out” feels off and it seems some of his fellow fighters believe that he was very fortunate the fight wasn’t declared a no-contest.

“That’s just wrong man. With every thing that comes with losing a fight, I feel for Bruno.” – Sodiq Yussff

“I’m sorry but there’s some favoritism taking place here.” – Brian Kelleher

“Wow double eye pokes to the finish . That was wild!” – Derek Brunson

“Unfortunate but that’s a no contest.” – Terrence McKinney

“They are taking a look at it. It might be turned to a No contest. ??” – Alan Jouban

“Common it has to be No Contest!!!” – Diana Belbita

“I’m happy for Chris for everything he’s gone through, but man, that was some nasty work with the jab cross eye pokes.” – Will Brooks

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.