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Jon Jones on eye pokes during fights: 'I realize that I do it'

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Esther Lin

Over the course of his career, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has endured criticism for committing eye pokes during his fights.

This was no more evident than during his most recent title defense, a unanimous-decision win over Glover Teixeira at UFC 171.

On Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Jones addressed the criticism. And while he admits he uses techniques and stances which occasionally end in eye pokes, he denied any malicious intent.

"I realize that I do it," Jones said. "I realize the criticism that I got from it. It's not on purpose. If you watch my fights, a lot of the times when guys get poked in the eyes, it's me extending my arm in a reactionary way. I do put hand on people's foreheads to maintain distance. That's what you saw in the Teixeira fight, but to say I am purposely poking people in the eye it's just inaccurate. You can call it what you want."

Jones says he's going to work to make sure the eye pokes don't happen, moving forward.

"I don't believe it's dirty," Jones said. "It's something that I do instinctually, it's something that I need to work on. It's just something that happens."