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MMA star Cat Zingano considering appeal after 'toe poke' defeat at UFC 232

MMA star Cat Zingano considering appeal after 'toe poke' defeat at UFC 232
UFC fighter Cat Zingano says she is considering an appeal after suffering a TKO loss to Megan Anderson when her opponent's toe went into her eye during the contest.

The women's featherweight bout at UFC 232 on December 30 saw the two contenders face off in a contest that many hoped would create the next new contender for the women's 145lb world title.

But the fight ended abruptly after just 61 seconds when a high kick from Australian contender Anderson saw her big toe connect with Zingano's eyeball and eyelid.

Also on rt.com UFC fighter Zingano reveals gruesome toe-poke eye injury that led to TKO defeat (PHOTOS)

Speaking to ESPN's Ariel Helwani, Zingano explained the extent of her injuries, saying: "I have a damaged iris, damaged retina, hemorrhage in the back of my eye, increased globe pressure and of course the laceration.

"They want me back at the doctor every three to four days to make sure there's no detachment on the retina.

"Right now, they have to keep it dilated and on steroids for the next two weeks to keep the pressure down."

Zingano also said she was considering filing an appeal against the result, which was awarded to Anderson via TKO after referee Marc Goddard stopped the contest the moment it became clear that Zingano was unable to continue.

The unusual end to the contest opened a debate over whether a "toe poke" should be treated the same as an eye poke by a fighter's finger, which results in a warning or a point deduction to the offending fighter, while the fouled party is permitted five minutes' recovery time.

However, respected MMA referee John McCarthy said there was a clear difference between being poked in the eye with a toe, as opposed to a finger.

"Feel so bad for @CatZingano," he tweeted after the fight.

"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."

And when asked why toe pokes are treated differently to finger pokes, McCarthy continued: "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."

For her part, Zingano has tried to stay upbeat following the disappointing nature of her loss.

She even took to social media to share a message with her fans online, tweeting a pic of her eyes with the message: "S**t happens, grab a shovel. Could be better, could be worse. 'Eye'll be back' with a vengeance."

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