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Ondřej Jarůšek
September 4, 2022, 11:00am
Reading time: 9:02

10 Horror Injuries In The MMA: Take A Look At The Pain Professional Fighters Have To Endure

We bring you a selection of terrifying mixed martial arts injuries.

Ondřej Jarůšek
September 4, 2022, 11:00am
Reading time: 9:02
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MMA is a tough sport, and definitely not for everyone, at least at the top level. Professional fighters undergo long and demanding preparations, sometimes have to endure drastic weight loss and often expose themselves to the risk of serious injuries in the cage.


One thing needs to be pointed out in advance. The following lines are definitely not suitable for those of a weaker nature.

 Albert Gonzales vs. Tyson Miller (broken tibia and fibula)

We'll start off pretty sharp, with an injury that could easily represent the end of a career for many MMA fighters. We'll look at the broken tibia and fibula suffered by Albert Gonzales in his Bellator debut. During his debut in this American organization, he faced Tyson Miller, but the match ended rather quickly.

In the first round, Gonzales sent a low kick towards his opponent, however, he unfortunately broke his own leg against Miller's leg. Even so, Gonzales can talk about luck, in a sense. Although he lost the fight and had a long recovery ahead of him, he got another chance from the famous organisation in the form of a multi-fight contract, so we can only hope that the next fight will go a little better for him.


Fans could have seen a threatening injury of this kind before. In an almost identical way, Anderson Silva, the legendary UFC fighter, broke his fibula and tibia with one kick. It happened at the end of 2013 during the rematch with Chris Weidman.


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So, you want to be a fighter..? #Bellator226

Příspěvek sdílený Bellator MMA (@bellatormma),

Matt Mitrione vs. Travis Browne (a swollen eye and a dislocated shoulder)

Two serious injuries in one match are rather rare, but unfortunately, such incidents do happen. For example, the American fighter Matt Mitrione, who fought the heavyweight fighter Travis Browne in January 2016, can talk about it. He hit Mitrione above his right eye, which immediately began to bleed. By the end of the match, it was about the size of a golf ball.

But that's not the only injury that Matt Mitrione suffered in the match. As one post-match photo showed, the wrestler injured his shoulder unpleasantly during the fight. The image below shows an unnaturally protruding bone. Apparently it was the result of a dislocated shoulder.



 Mike Perry vs. Vincente Luque (broken nose)

A broken nose is an ever-present risk in combat sports and can affect anyone, but well-known fighter Mike Perry can "boast" a particularly threatening fracture. He came to that at last year's UFC Uruguay event in a match against a fighter named Vincente Luque.

There was a fight for three full five-minute rounds, after which Perry, willy-nilly, grabbed most of the attention, even though he lost on points. It was impossible not to notice his crooked nose, in which the American-Brazilian fighter Luque hit him with a jumping knee during the match.

The photo of the fracture did not leave the head of the UFC Dana White cold either, who shared it on his social networks. Mike Perry then headed to the hospital, but at least the $50,000 reward that he and his opponent received for the best match of the night could be a patch for his pain.


 Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Zhang Weili (extremely swollen forehead)

It's no secret that women's MMA is sometimes far more aggressive and engaging than men's fights. The result is sometimes quite ugly injuries, after which the faces of female fighters can be practically unrecognizable. Even the famous Polish wrestler Joanna Jedrzejczyk knows about this, having lost a points match against straw-weight champion Zhang Weili in March this year.

However, fans on social networks were much more interested in the state of the Polish woman's face than the result of the title fight. After the wounds received, her forehead swelled to extreme proportions, after which some less sensitive users began to compare her to the cartoon character Megamind from the animated film of the same name.

After a few weeks of recovery, the excessive swelling on Joanna's face has disappeared and she appears to be suffering from no lasting effects. After all, she's not the first fighter to have something similar happen to her. In the past, even Mark Hominick or Hasim Rahman scared the audience with such a swollen forehead. 


Leslie Smith vs. Jessica Eye (ear "explosion")

Only for strong stomachs. That's how the video attached below could be briefly described. The footage shows how fighter Leslie Smith's ear "exploded" during her match with Jessica Eye. Jessica Eye hit Leslie Smith in the left ear with a hard right hook in the second round, which was followed by a massive spurt of blood. The match was eventually ended and the fighter was headed to the care of doctors. However, it must be added that Smith protested and wanted to continue.

And how could such a thing even happen? Leslie Smith had a "flowered" or so-called cauliflower ear. This is a nickname for injury of the external ear, when the crust is separated from the cartilage and the resulting space is filled with blood. Such deformed ears can be observed on a wide range of professional fighters. Some of them have blood drawn from their ear with a hypodermic needle, but this is not a permanent solution.

So when Jessica Eye punched her opponent right into the cauliflower ear, which was filled with blood, the skin split open and the blood pooled inside gushed out like a geyser.




Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate (dislocated elbow)

The former world-famous fighter Ronda Rousey was famous during her career, among other things, for her dangerous armbars - this is a technique that puts pressure on the opponent's elbow joint. If the fighter succeeds in using this lever correctly, the opponent usually has to give up and knock out the match. However, some try to show fighting spirit and do not give up easily even in this painful position. The result is a dislocated elbow.

Miesha Tate, who fought Ronda Rousey for the first time in March 2012 at the Strikefroce tournament, experienced this firsthand. There was a strained relationship between the two ladies before the fight and it showed in the match itself. Rounsey tried for an armbar in the first minute, but Tate was still able to get out of it. At the end of the first round, however, she got into this disadvantageous position for the second time and this time there was no escape. Rousey took over and dislocated her opponent's elbow. The footage (see below) is still chilling today.

“Miesha impressed me, she's really tough because this really hurts. I've already dislocated my elbow several times and it's no joke. There is a rule in judo that even if someone dislocates their elbow, but they don't give up, they keep going," said Rousey at the post-match press conference.

Rounsey and Tate faced each other for the second time a year later at a UFC event, where Ronda won via an armbar again. In this case, however, Miesha Tate had already knocked out the match after previous experiences to avoid another painful injury.


Alistair Overeem vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (split lip)

Even legendary fighters can not avoid terrible injuries. An example of this is Alistair Overeem, who has been eliminating his opponents for decades. During that time, he exchanged blows with a number of seasoned fighters, but the clash with a well-known thresher named Jairzinho Rozenstruik from the end of last year ended quite bloody for him.

Overeem managed to dominate throughout the match, but the sudden reversal came just seconds before the end of the final round. Alistair hesitated for a moment, and Rozenstruik punished him for it with an uncompromising right hand, which literally tore Overeem's upper lip. In addition to a hard knockout, Alistair Overeem also received a visually threatening injury.

However, it was not as serious an injury as it might seem at first glance. In less than two weeks, the star UFC fighter showed off a photo of how the wound healed incredibly quickly and left almost no traces.


Video from the ominous moment


This is how quickly the warrior's wound healed

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Příspěvek sdílený Alistair Overeem (@alistairovereem),

 Joe Pyfer vs. Dustin Stoltzfus (dislocated elbow)

Not every injury must necessarily occur after a crushing blow from one of the fighters, because sometimes it can be just a bit unlucky placement of a limb during a fall. After all, we were able to see this for ourselves quite recently, specifically at the Dana White's Contender Series event, in which fighters regularly fight for the possibility of signing a contract with the UFC organisation.

Joe Pyfer also wanted to secure a contract with the most prestigious league in the world this August, but the match did not turn out quite according to his expectations. In the first round, his opponent Dustin Stoltzfus attempted a take-down, which is not unusual. But when Pyfer tried to stop his fall to the ground with one hand, he dislocated his elbow.

The reaction on Dana White's face in the footage below, which also includes an X-ray, speaks for itself. The head of the organization wrote on his Instagram that he is glad that the fighter did not break his elbow, but "just" dislocated it. Otherwise, Pyfer's career would be suspended for a significantly longer period of time.


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Příspěvek sdílený Dana White (@danawhite),

Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen (broken toe)

There are not many fighters who get badly injured during a match, but still come out victorious in the end. However, the unique wrestler Jon Jones is one such exception. One of the best fighters of all time fought Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 in 2013, finishing him in the first round. Even before that, however, he managed to break his toe.

However, this only proves that inside Jones's chest beats the heart of a true fighter. If the referee had noticed his broken big toe, he would have stopped the match immediately. This was confirmed by the president of the organization, Dana White. Fortunately for Jones, that did not happen and he could therefore rejoice in the successful defense of his light heavyweight title.

The belt for the champion of the weight category up to 93 kilograms was held by Jones steadfastly for a long number of years. Only recently, however, he decided to release it voluntarily and announced his planned transition to heavyweight (above 93 kilograms). We do not yet know who will be his first opponent in the heaviest division.


Vitor Belfort vs. Marvin Eastman (deep laceration)

The experienced fighter Vitor Belfort has awarded TKOs to quite a few fighters during his rich career. However, one of them, the American fighter Marvin Eastman, got a really deep laceration over his right eye from the match with this legendary wrestler, which some fans call one of the worst in the history of the sport.

Vitor Belfort was (and actually still is) known mainly for his explosiveness and power, to which his opponents hardly find the right answer. In 2003, even Marvin Eastman found himself under a barrage of hard blows, who lost to Belfort after about a minute of the first round. Vitor sent his opponent to the ground, where he showered him with a volley of blows, after which the referee was forced to end the match.

While Vitor Belfort was celebrating yet another win, doctors were tending to Eastman's gruesome injury, which required a fair amount of stitches.









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