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30 Dec, 2018 13:54

UFC fighter Zingano reveals gruesome toe-poke eye injury that led to TKO defeat (PHOTOS)

UFC fighter Zingano reveals gruesome toe-poke eye injury that led to TKO defeat (PHOTOS)

UFC women’s flyweight Cat Zingano has shared pictures of the bizarre eye injury caused by a toe poke to her face, leading to her TKO defeat against Megan Anderson on Saturday night.

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.

READ MORE: 'Daddy's home': Jon Jones KOs Alexander Gustafsson to win light-heavyweight title at UFC 232

Many, however, suggested that Zingano had simply been unlucky to get caught with the shot.

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.”

READ MORE: UFC 232: Jon Jones beats Alex Gustafsson to win light-heavyweight title in LA (AS IT HAPPENED)

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.   

READ MORE: ‘Baddest woman on the planet’: Reaction to Nunes' stunning UFC 232 win over Cyborg