UFC fighter Zingano reveals gruesome toe-poke eye injury that led to TKO defeat (PHOTOS)
Competing on the undercard of UFC 232 in California, US fighter Zingano was caught with a left foot to the face by her Australian opponent in the first round.
Zingano staggered back against the fence, clearly in distress, as Anderson stepped in to land more punches before referee Marc Goddard called off the fight.
Close-up shots of the incident showed that the US fighter had been caught in her right eye by Anderson’s left big toe, causing a cut to her eyelid that was initially feared to have done serious damage.
Zingano has now taken to social media to show pictures of the damage and to allay fears that her eye had been ruptured.
"I was worried my eye was ruptured. They say I’ll be ok tonight.
"Thanks to everyone for your concern. What are your thoughts on a finger digit poke vs a toe digit poke being ruled a tko?" the fighter wrote.
The veteran brawler, 36, was referring to the rule whereby finger pokes to the eye can allow a stoppage for a fighter to recover, while there are no similar guidelines for toe pokes.
Indeed, UFC 232 headliner Jon Jones had a second-round pause in his bout against Alexander Gustafsson after a finger poke later in the night.
Many, however, suggested that Zingano had simply been unlucky to get caught with the shot.
It's def a TKO... you have control over your fingers, less with your toes... but it was unfortunate. Unlucky.— Sam Archer (@Sarrrcher) December 30, 2018
True but also not supposed to kick toes first. Definitely a tricky situation, tough to call— Jesse McDaid (@JesseMcDaid) December 30, 2018
Big John said the call was legit.— WMMA Retweets W/Jeremy Ginger (@jginger77) December 30, 2018
Happy you’re ok! Super unlucky, hope you get a rematch— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) December 30, 2018
Anderson, meanwhile, defended her actions in following up with an attack on her stricken opponent before the fight was waved off, saying: “I was just doing my job… She looked away and didn't answer what he [the referee] was saying and he finally stopped it.”
With the defeat, Zingano, who stepped up from bantamweight for the contest, slipped to a record of 10-4 overall, while Anderson improved to 9-3.
The Australian, 28, is seen as a potential challenger to new women’s featherweight champion Amanda Nunes, who dismantled Cris Cyborg in the pair’s co-main event later on at The Forum in Inglewood.