It’s the scenario that everyone fears whenever there’s an eye poke in MMA. Maybe this time it won’t just be an annoyance. Maybe this time it won’t just result in a couple minutes of blurred vision. Maybe this time a fighter will end up with permanent damage. Maybe worse.
When longtime mixed martial arts veteran Cody Stevens stepped into the cage, at Honor FC 6 on August 19th, the idea that he may never fight in MMA again likely never crossed his mind. However, that’s likely the reality, following what ended up on the books as a TKO loss via doctor’s stoppage against Aaron Mitchell in round 2.
During a routine striking exchange, Mitchell’s hand found it’s way to Stevens’ face, and his thumb to Steven’s eye. And it kept going, right into the socket.
“If you haven’t been following, I ruptured my globe – which is the entirety of the eyeball – on August 19th, which was also my birthday,” Stevens announced, in a video posted to Facebook. “This injury required emergency surgical repair. From the get-go the outlook has not been promising.”
“Initially they were going to remove the eye that night, as it had been ruptured so severely and lost a lot of it’s contents – meaning fluid inside the eye. Miraculously the surgeons were able to suture it together, thankfully. Sutures that would hold it together, but we knew we would need a few more miracles for the eye to ever function again, even at a very low percentage.
“Because the globe is not healing, the eye is continuing to shrink and cause me pain. It is painful to open my left eye even. So we are now discussing removal options. Now that I have had time to process this, I know that there are other things I want to do that I cannot do if this eye is not removed.”
Stevens has posted a number of photos providing his condition to his Instagram, including video of his eye exam. The post below includes a snapshot of the fateful moment.
“The Wolverine” also went on to say, in his Facebook video, that he hopes to continue his grappling career, as well as coaching following the likely removal of his damaged eye. And he made it clear that he would “do it all over again” given the chance, as well as saying that he isn’t looking for pity from anyone.
Stevens began fighting as a professional back in 2008, running out a 7-1 record, with wins over eventual UFC fighter Donny Walker and Bellator fighter Nate Jolly. Beyond his early success, he’s had fights with current UFC talents Calvin Kattar, Wilson Reis, and Jimmie Rivera, as well as taking on Shinya Aoki in ONE FC – and a win over Charles Bennett. All part of a 26-fight career spanning a decade. Hopefully he continues to find success outside the cage, even if his time in it seems like it may be at an end.