Cat Zingano may have avoided a serious injury on Saturday.
The one-time bantamweight title challenger saw her first foray at 145 pounds end in disastrous fashion when a high kick from Megan Anderson ended their contest just 61 seconds into the opening round of their UFC 232 preliminary bout at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. But it wasn’t the impact of the strike that put Zingano away.
Replays clearly showed that Anderson’s toe scraped Zingano’s right eye, causing Zingano to turn away with her eyes closed and come to a stop against the cage. Referee Marc Goddard stepped in to wave off the bout once he saw that Zingano was in danger and no longer defending herself.
Later in the evening, Zingano provided an update on the status of her eye on Instagram, writing that she was worried it was “ruptured” but she was expected to be “ok tonight.”
Zingano also asked how a “toe digit poke” during a fight should be handled in comparison to an eye poke caused by a finger, which is a far more common infraction.
That question had been addressed by veteran MMA official “Big” John McCarthy, who praised Goddard on social media for his handling of the situation before going on to explain that “a fighter cannot control toes in the same fashion they can fingers. That’s why we do not call toe pokes to the eye.”
Feel so bad for @CatZingano , but that was the absolutely right call by @marcgoddard_uk Cat was kicked with a legal kick, it was a toe that caught her in the eye, but it was not illegal and is not the same as being poked with a finger— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) December 30, 2018
You punch with a closed fist. If you sustain an eye injury based upon a legal punch the eye injury could lead to you losing the fight via TKO. A fighter can not control toes in the same fashion they can fingers. That’s why we do not call toe pokes to the eye #AskBJM https://t.co/GVjEUXVEhd— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) December 30, 2018
Also in regards to Zingano’s injury, the UFC told ESPN that she suffered an eyelid laceration that was taken care of on site. Zingano was not transported to a hospital.