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Though an inadvertent eye poke from Stipe Miocic hindered Daniel Cormier’s vision for the second half of their UFC 252 title bout, it looks like “DC” will be able to avoid surgery for the torn cornea he suffered on Aug. 15.
"The first week and a half, [the eye] was really bad, it wasn't opening, and it was completely blurry, but now it kind of feels like an eyelash is in it," Cormier said during his ESPN show on Monday. "I went and saw the doctor last week, and he told me I'm probably not going to have to have surgery, just kind of rest and recover. And today it feels good, but just feels like something in there, you know when you get an eyelash and can't get it out? It's just right in the corner.
"It was concerning initially, because they didn't know how severe the impact was going to be going forward. They didn't know if I was going to have to have surgery and do all these other things. Luckily I was able to recover, and I feel better, and I prefer not to have surgery.”
Cormier lost a competitive unanimous decision to Miocic in their trilogy at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. While reiterating his retirement plans in a post-fight interview, “DC” also expressed frustration at being limited due to the eye poke. On Monday, however, Cormier said the final verdict was correct.
"I thought Stipe fought a good fight. I thought him and his team had a great game plan to fight," Cormier said. "I thought he won the fight. He did a good job and he deserved to have his hand raised.”
Miocic was forced to undergo eye surgery following the second bout with Cormier at UFC 241, and it was approximately a year before the Ohio-based firefighter was fully ready to return to the Octagon. Having been on both sides, Cormier realizes there was no ill intent behind the accidental foul. In Round 1, action was briefly halted when the American Kickboxing Academy product unintentionally poked Miocic in the eye again.
"Things happen. He made a mistake," Cormier said. "I don't think he tried to do it on purpose. It is what it is. We're fighting with four-ounce gloves that don't have finger covers. I harbor no bad feelings.
"In the first round I was almost sad, like ‘God dang it, this again.’ You don't want that stigma of being a dirty fighter, that's one thing I'm not. I'm not poking this guy in his eyes on purpose. Unfortunately it's the gloves that we fight with.”
Cormier also once again confirmed that UFC 252 was his final MMA bout.
"Yeah, it's over. And I'm not sad about it. I'm going to miss it, I'm going to miss the training camps, I'm going to miss the fights, there's nothing like a fight week, but you have to understand when it's your time. I feel it's time.”