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Pedro Munhoz releases statement after UFC 276 no-contest, says Sean O’Malley eye poke caused ‘scratch in the cornea’

UFC 276: Munhoz v O’Malley
Pedro Munhoz
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Pedro Munhoz took to social media following his fight with Sean O’Malley to discuss the unsatisfying end to their UFC 276 contest.

The bantamweight contenders opened Saturday’s main card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but it was hardly a show-stealer as the bout was called off less than two minutes into the second round after the action was paused by referee Jason Herzog to address an eye poke to Munhoz. Munhoz informed officials that he could not see and the bout was subsequently stopped and ruled a no contest due to the accidental foul.

Fighters Bryce Mitchell, Randy Brown, Sergio Pettis, and Elias Theodorou were among those skeptical of Munhoz being unable to continue, but the Brazilian veteran has since posted a video explaining his side of the story.

“To explain briefly what happened in the fight against Sean O’Malley, I was poked in the eye in the first round but kept fighting, and was hit with a low blow shortly after,” Munhoz said via Instagram (Portuguese translation by MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz). “The fight restarted and we exchanged a few strikes. In the second round, that’s when I suffered another eye poke. I couldn’t see anything for 20 minutes. I was taken to the hospital and they used a special eyedrop that made my eye numb so they could open my eye.

“They did an exam and the medical report I have is that there’s a scratch in the cornea all the way around it. I couldn’t open my eye because of that and couldn’t see anything. The referee asked if I could see at all and the doctor decided to stop the fight. That’s what happened tonight.”

This is the first time in Munhoz’s 28-fight career that he was unable to continue due to a foul. Munhoz has previously gone to decisions with multiple elite bantamweights, including Dominick Cruz, Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar, and current champion Aljamain Sterling. He also holds a first-round knockout victory over former UFC champion Cody Garbrandt.

In his post-fight interview, O’Malley stated that he believed Munhoz was looking for a way out. He also tweeted that he is the “first man to finish Pedro.”

UPDATE: As further proof of the damage done to his eye, Munhoz also released the medical report he received from the hospital on Saturday night, which notes an “abrasion of the right cornea” along with the medications used to treat him.

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