Whether it’s snapped bones, mutant-like haematomas or bloodsoaked limbs, the Octagon has seen it’s fair share of battle wounds.
So here at BJPenn.com, we have rounded up the most gruesome injuries in UFC history.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s haematoma against Weili Zhang
On the stacked UFC 248 card on March 7, 2020, Joanna went to war against Weili Zhang for the strawweight title. The champion Zhang ultimately retained the belt in a razor-thin split decision. The bout won “Fight of the Night” and is already regarded by fans and media as one of the greatest MMA fights of all time. During the five-round war, Joanna suffered a major haematoma due to strikes landed by Zhang.
“I was like ‘holy moly’,” she told BBC Sport. “I looked like a zombie.
“But I knew that I would heal. I was more mad at myself because I wanted to have a few nice days in Vegas with my friends and family. But this is the price we pay. I’ve been doing this for 17 years so I know the game.”
She revealed she went blind for two days after it happened and that the wound could have scarred her face. Jedrzejczyk’s haematoma was a devastating consequence for such a spectacular battle.
Alistair Overeem’s split lip from Jairzinho Rozenstruik
“The Demolition Man”, Alistair Overeem suffered one of the most gruesome injuries in his brawl against Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
The heavy-hitters collided in the main event of UFC on ESPN 7 on 7 December 2019.
Despite leading most of the action, “The Reem” absorbed a major sucker-punch in the final seconds of the last round. The huge right knocked Overeem to the canvas floor. His lip burst open, revealing a gaping gash on his top lip.
After the initial shock of being finished by TKO, Overeem realised he had been wounded but remained unphased by the injury. He even smiled through the grisly split.
After a successful surgery, his horrific lip became a thing of the past. The Reem has returned to the Octagon since to fight Walt Harris. He sealed the TKO win and also proved his mouth had miraculously healed.
Anderson Silva’s injured leg against Chris Weidman
In their eagerly-anticipated rematch at UFC 168, Anderson Silva looked to avenge his previous loss to Chris Weidman and reclaim the middleweight throne.
In the second round of their main event clash, Weidman checked one of Silva’s leg kicks and it bent like rubber. “Spider” recoiled in agony onto the canvas floor. His opponent immediately raised his hands in celebration followed by the referee who put an end to the fight. Silva exited the bout on a stretcher.
The fight would be the start of a long road to recovery for Silva’s left leg. It would also be his last shot at reclaiming the 185-pound title. Instead, he claimed one of the worst injuries in UFC history.
Jon Jones’ dislocated toe against Chael Sonnen
Following his main event clash at UFC 159 against Chael Sonnen, Jon Jones took home more than just a victory.
It only took one round for “Bones” to defeat his adversary. He was able to pressure Sonnen up against the fence and unleash a barrage of elbows and punches. With less than 30 seconds until the end of the first round, the referee had seen enough and put an end to the action, awarding Jones the TKO win.
Immediately after celebrating another successful title defence, Jones noticed that he had damaged his big toe on his left foot. In a shocking turn of events, his toe appeared to be taking an early departure from the rest of his foot and was almost off the bone. He was taken to hospital where he had the dislocation repaired and the fracture wound closed. The light heavyweight champion’s dislocated toe will go down as one of the worst injuries in UFC history.
Mike Perry’s broken nose against Vicente Luque
Mike Perry went to head to head against Vicente Luque at UFC Fight Night 156 in Uruguay.
The co-main event brawl surpassed fans’ expectations and ended in a bloody mess. As they entered the third round, both fighters had put up a fight, and the verdict could go either way. However, Luque sneaked in a vicious flying knee that fractured Perry’s nose in the final minute of the round. Luque ultimately walked away with the split decision win and Perry was left with a bloodied nose.
The image of his horrendous injury went viral online, but “Platinum” didn’t let his shattered nose phase him and had surgery to rectify the displacement. He got back to MMA business at UFC 245 against Geoff Neal and unfortunately lost by TKO in the first round.
Frank Mir snaps Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s arm
Frank Mir has delivered some devastating injuries to his opponents including heavyweight titan Tim Sylvia and Brazilian standout, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
Mir faced off against Nogueira in a rematch at UFC 140 on December 10, 2011. The former heavyweight champion recovered from the brink of defeat to deliver one of the worst injuries ever to “Minotauro”.
He locked his opponent’s arm into a kimura. Not one to be defeated, Nogueira showed ultimate toughness and grit by withstanding the pressure on his bent arm. However, his staying power didn’t pay off as Mir finished the move by snapping his arm. The injury must have been excruciating, and Nogueira had to have a whopping 16 screws to fix his sorrowful arm.
Leslie Smith’s ear explodes at UFC 180
Leslie Smith took cauliflower ear to the next level in her UFC 180 clash against Jessica Eye.
The top-ranked 125-pound contender took a right hand to the side of her head in the second round of their fight. This caused her cauliflower ear to explode. Blood oozed out of the wound as her ear almost vacated her head. The dangling flesh was enough to make fans gasp simultaneously out of awe and horror.
The fight was finished shortly after that, allowing “Evil” Eye to secure the TKO win and allowing Smith to secure one of the worst MMA injuries.
Matt Mitrione suffers swollen eye at the hands Travis Browne
Matt Mitrione’s eye injury against Travis Browne looked like it came right out of a horror movie.
The heavyweights collided at UFC Fight Night 81 in January 2016. Mitrione suffered multiple eye gouges at the hands of his opponent. Also, a thudding punch from “Hapa” Browne resulted in an obscene swelling on his right eye. Even though many frowned upon Browne’s tactics, the multiple eye pokes he administered paid off. He managed to throw Mitrione off his game and secure the TKO victory.
“Meathead” walked around the Octagon with a golfball-size swelling that engulfed his entire eye. He later had surgery to fix his orbital blowout, but it wasn’t enough to soften the blow of the disappointing outcome. His horrendous eye injury would set an unfortunate precedent for fighters like Donald Cerrone and Niko Price to follow.
Which catastrophe do you think takes the cake as the most gruesome injury in UFC history? Let us know in the comments below.