Thu 27 January 2022 | 14:30

10 worst injuries in MMA history

Disgusting as it may seem, being beaten on any given night, sometimes with devastating impacts is one of the most spectacular aspects of MMA for its hardcore supporters. So here we have probed into the 10 worst injuries in MMA history but don't proceed if you have a weak stomach for blood.

While the most genuine form of full-contact combat sports is Mixed Martial Arts, it should have reasonably less limiting regulation and rules to make it the toughest sport the fans have ever observed in life.

Thereby it is of little surprise to see MMA fighters constantly incur ever more cribbling damages throughout their careers, which mostly led even MMA giants to curtail their illustrious careers.

After all, except for 4oz gloves and a cup, they are by no means protected and as a result, injuries are an indispensable part of their career.

It seems a truism that MMA fighters have incredible pain tolerances since they can sustain brutal punches to the jaw, feel their eye sockets buckle under the intensity of elbow strikes and get their joints wrenched, all without making a cringe.

Yet sometimes the injury pressures are so devastating that are past normal limits of human endurance, making the fighters being smashed by their opponents, even if their rivals had been at a huge disadvantage.

Some of such injuries has been that much serious that they cost the fighters their career or even their life. To back up this claim with evidence, just probe into

Top facts about Justin Thornton, the BKFC fighter who died by knockout


10 worst injuries in MMA history

Here we have delved into 10 of the Worst MMA Injuries of All Time that would get your stomach twisting in knots.


: Some graphic images are included in this article that might be disturbing for some viewers. Click away now if you have a fragile disposition.

Chris Weidman double leg break at UFC 261 against Uriah Hall

Weidman had recently transferred his family down to South Carolina being utterly prepared to launch into a title fight against Uriah Hall at UFC 261 April 2021.

But just 17 seconds after the start of the fight as he tried to throw the first strike of the bout by landing a low kick, his leg folded and he underwent a gruesome double leg break.

The moment he suffered from one of the

worst injuries in UFC history

, he crumbled back while the whole audience was perplexed to see what happened to him.

Upon his instance collapse, referee Herb Dean rushed to the mat to call off the clash and announced Hall the winner via technical knockout, letting medics get into the octagon carrying him on a stretcher to a hospital.

The footage of his swinging lower leg was that much disgusting, that it was only twice replayed on the broadcast. Even if it was clear from his pre-surgery X-ray that both of the Fibula and Tibia bones were broken, he could survive one of the worst UFC injuries and deaths.

That is to say, the day after his surgery he revealed that he could not walk without crutches for eight weeks, and his process of recovery took long between six and twelve months in order to fully resume his mixed martial arts training.

Yet, he proved his resiliency by showing the possibility of coming back from such kinds of injuries since as of mid-June, he gradually returned to light training just seven weeks following that injury.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira arm break against Frank Mir (UFC 140)

Three years after that Frank Mir who is included in Sportmob's list of the

Greatest trash talkers in MMA history

, could grab a TKO triumph over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira UFC 92, they confronted again at UFC 140 in December 2011.

Although in their first match, Frank could simply beat Big Nog with a barrage of punches, the rematch ended viciously to the point that spectators cringed watching the replay of the shocking event.

After all, as two of the best heavyweight grapplers cope with each other, it is not that much bizarre to see one of the 10 worst injuries in MMA history.

To be specific, after a harsh ground battle in the first round, Frank Mir locked the Brazilian star Big Nog in a tight kimura submission proving that his first victory was by no means the result of chance.

As Big Nog was reluctant to tap out and tried to escape the submission, it seemed that it was too tight to be easily evaded as the former Heavyweight Champion got enraged and twisted Nogueira’s arm bending it in a way that it shouldn’t be bent so as to force his opponent to finally tap out.

As a result of unusual bending his opponent arm, Mir broke his arm, causing him to sustain one of the worst injuries in UFC history, even if it was dubbed by the UFC president Dana White 

as “submission of the century”.

As Nogueira could hopefully recover from his arm injury in less than a year, he came back to the Octagon, competing 4 times since he underwent that arm injury against Frank Mir. Yet Junior Dos Santos took the revenge of Nogueira's as he smashed Frank Mir in his next bout.

Mark Hominick hematoma at UFC 129 against Jose Aldo 

When new lighter weight categories were included in the UFC tournament, Jose Aldo picked up the honor to grab the first-ever UFC featherweight championship.

Jose Aldo who is an indispensable member of the

Best MMA fighters in each weight class ever

, is also widely recognized as one of the fiercest Featherweights of all time. As a result, it is no wonder to see him incur one of the worst injuries in UFC history to his opponent when he was making his first title defense at UFC 129.

That is to say in his fight against Mark Hominick in which more than 55 thousand spectators were attended, which took long for 5 back and forth rounds, Aldo could land some brutal ground-and-pounds including a barrage of vicious punches and forearms shots, making Hominick sustain a severe hematoma on his forehead.

The hematoma was that much hugely swollen that you might think another small head had popped up of his head, leaving the fans of the hometown fighter gasping at the sight of the gruesome injury.

While the doctor did not stop the fight immediately Hominick had to carry on the cash and finally conceded the fight to the Brazilian with a decision.

After the fight, he was taken into the emergency ward to reduce the swelling or inspect whether it has caused some serious head injury or not. Yet hopefully Hominick could survive one of the worst UFC injuries and deaths continuing to compete three times following his recovery.

Although he is currently a retired MMA fighter, he still contributes to charity work and anti-bullying programs with other UFC fighters.

Michael Bisping severe eye injury against Vitor Belfort (UFC on FX 7)

Perhaps no other UFC fighter has ever sustained an injury more severe than a true fighter who is widely recognized for his toughness, Michael Bisping due to lifelong detrimental damages of the injury. Precisely as saying, Bisping confronted former UFC light heavyweight champion, Vitor Belfort, at UFC on FX in 2013.

The fight could have led him to grab a potential title fight against then-champion Anderson Silva. Yet unfortunately for him not only did he concede the fight via head kick knockout in the 2nd-round but also the kick that grazed his right eye incurred irrevocable damage to him to the point that it was ended up in complete removal of his eyeball.

Although the referee stopped the contest at 1:27 of the second round, the strike landed on his eye along with a series of punches were so much intense, that it detached Bisping's retina and eventually curtailed his MMA career.

As per the former UFC middleweight champion, Bisping, he also suffered from glaucoma and cataracts and an endless list of problems in line with his eyes and therefore it saw him take a spot in our list of the

10 worst injuries in MMA history


In spite of the fact that doctors advised The Count to retire from this brutal sport, Bisping continued fighting more than 10 times since then to the extent that he could successfully make his UFC middleweight title defence before his retirement in 2017.

It was only following his clash with Kelvin Gastelum that he again underwent a scare, being horrified whether the retina in his left eye had become detached or not.

Hopefully, for Bisping, his left eye just for an instance suffered shock due to the nature of his career, and later it was fully recovered. It was at this time that he eventually made up his mind to hang up his gloves.

Jon Jones dislocated toe against Chael Sonnen (UFC 159)

The youngest light-heavyweight champion in UFC history who is also one of

The Smartest MMA Fighters of All Time

, had only 25 years old when he confronted Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 in April 2013.

While 36-year-old Sonnen who was a well-respected older fighter, just like Jones, was a coach on season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter, they had a fierce rivalry several weeks before their fight. Jon Jones who was a huge fan favourite could smash Sonnen with TKO just at 4:33 of the first round after a series of punches and elbows so as to defend his fifth consecutive Light Heavyweight Championship.

Yet this victory was not easy at all for him in as much as in the processes of beating his opponent, he underwent a grizzly dislocated phalanx (big toe) as he was stuffing a takedown from his opponent in the middle of the fight.

Despite that he incurred one of the 10 worst injuries in MMA history, he could stand its pain and continued his fight in the most decent way.

He had so much pain endurance that he could give a post-fight interview with Joe Rogan while he aching in pain as the medical staff was working on his toe.

Roman expressed the following terms: “You are a true champion for even attempting to make this work, while you deal with one of the nastiest foot injuries I’ve ever seen”. Yet his pain later went so deep that he had to cancel his holiday plan for it, but he was fully recovered after a while.

Joanna Jędrzejczyk head hematomas against Weili Zhang (UFC 248)

Joanna Jedrzejczyk confronted Weili Zhang for the UFC strawweight championship at UFC 248 in 2020. But unfortunately, she underwent one of the

10 worst injuries in MMA history

, in the 3rd round of the hight as she was incurred a grizzly swelling above her right eye during this defeat to Weili.

The hematomas were the result of an unexpected head-butt, but despite the injury, he continued fighting till the end of the 5th round, as she eventually conceded the bout on the scorecards via close split decision. Be that as it may, she put on show a fight that fans still cherishes the memory of it, calling it the “greatest fight in women’s MMA history”. You can read more about it on Sportmob's list of

The Best Women's Fights in UFC History


The Polish strawweight fighter's head swelling was so much huge that she was almost unrecognizable, to the point that fans expressed that she looked like an ‘alien’. You would understand why they have called her so, comparing the above image and what you would see in her image on the

30 Hottest UFC Female Fighters


An overall 783 combined strikes were landed from both fighters while it took five days that the swelling went down as the Poland star had to undergo minor surgery from a plastic surgeon on her ear to make a full recovery.

Evangelista Santos skull fracture against Michael Page (Bellator 158) 

The Brazilian veteran fought in a half a century of MMA, setting an illustrious career record of 32 wins and 18 losses, while he competed under some of the biggest promotions as the likes of Strikeforce, Pancrase, and Bellator.

In this period, he was honoured to fight against some great fighters such as Nick Diaz for the Strikeforce welterweight belt, Shogun Rua, Melvin Manhoef, Gegard Mousasi as well as Francis Carmont. But unfortunately for him, regardless of his own wish, one of the

Worst MMA Injuries of All Time

, curtailed his promising career.

That is to say, when Santos confronted Michael Page at Bellator 158, held at London’s O2 Arena in July 2016, he concede the fight via a vicious knockout following that Page landed a flying knee that exactly grazed his forehead.

The intensity of the knockout was so much severe that he was rushed to the hospital after the fight while he was screaming in pain from the moment his skull was shattered with that devastating knee.

Through an x-ray that was shown by Cris Cyborg, his ex back then, it was clear that his forehead was so much cracked that doctors were not willing to operate a surgery on him due to the probable permanent brain damage that he might undergo.

Even if after going under the knife, he has fully recorded, he made up his mind to hang up his gloves to reduce the possible risks.

While he has never fought professionally after the injury, he has not left the sport in as much as he has concentrated on running Chute Boxe’s gym, heading up the Minas Gerais’ muay Thai federation as well 

as coaching profession in retirement.

Alistair Overeem split lip against Jairzinho Rozenstruik (UFC on ESPN 7)

One of the other 10 worst injuries in MMA history took place on ESPN 7 showdown at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. when Jairzinho Rozenstruik could score a stoppage victory over Alistair Overeem just four seconds before the final horn of the fight.

They started the fight at a slow pace while Overeem scored several takedowns throughout the bout and Rozenstruik could hardly get on track since his opponent rejected to engage in a sort of striking battles most fans expected to see. After all, there must be a reason behind his inclusion in our list of

The most intimidating MMA fighters ever

and his injury proved it tangibly.

But even if Overeem had the upper hand throughout the fight, having delivered several takedowns and strong blows, winning 4-0 on all three scorecards, it was just in 4 seconds remaining in the fifth round of the fight that Rozenstruik landed a vicious right hand to Overeem's face while it had such an intensity that it exploded his lip.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik punch is still remembered as one of the strongest right hands in the recent era, as it sent Overeem down to the canvas and urged the referee to call the fight to a halt right immediately, announcing Rozenstruik the winner of the fight while Overeem’s lip was split almost right up to his nose.

As a result of one of the Worst MMA Injuries of All Time, Overeem underwent plastic surgery to sort his lip out being recovered from that terrible appearance which was the outcome of sheer brutality.

Leslie Smith exploded ear against Jessica Eye (UFC 180)

Leslie Smith coped with Jessica Eye in the women’s bantamweight category at UFC 180 in November 2014 in which almost one of the

10 worst injuries in MMA history

 took place. the fight was reasonably great in the first round as both fighters were launching solid shots and especially Jessica Eye could land several terrific punches on her opponent in the same round that made a cut on Smith’s ear.

But in the second round, the brutality of the fight skyrocketed when Eye targeted Smith’s ear with more shots and hit a big right hook on Smith’s cauliflower ear, which just right there and then exploded her ear.

while it seemed that her ear was torn in half, splashes of blood were spraying everywhere inside the octagon, urging Referee Herb Dean, who tended to let fights go on longer than the conventional period, calling the fight to a halt so as to give Eye the TKO triumph, while doctors rushed in to look at Smith injury and worked on it extensively.

Yet it appeared that Smith was not that much contended with the referee decision of the fight's stoppage, in as much as she felt as though not any sort of pain was registered at all as she expressed the following term:

'I really didn't feel anything. I don't remember it hurting at all until after the fight, when I watched the replay, I saw the ringside person pushing gauze all the way into my ear, and I remember that at that moment, it did hurt. Otherwise, I was so mad that they stopped the fight that I didn't feel anything.'

Matt Mitrione fractured orbital & dislocated shoulder against Travis Browne (UFC Fight Night)

As one of

The most overrated UFC fighters of all time

, Matt Mitrione encountered Travis Browne at UFC Fight Night 81 in January 2016 in a fight that is widely recognized as one of the most controversial moments in Heavyweight history.

While Browne was among the top-10 heavyweights back then, Mitrione was a great fighter in his own way: you can probe more about both of them on Sportmob's

10 UFC fighters who played other sports


The fight was fairly even until the third round in which Browne launched a right cross that grazed his opponent right eye and instantly swelled Mitrione’s eye not just once but twice over the course of the fight, while it was so much severe that not only it shattered his orbital bone and almost completely blurred his vision, but also as the time goes by, it was growing bigger and bigger and bigger.

Although fractured orbital bones are quite a common sort of injury in the UFC, the huge poke on Mitrione's eye, sticking under his eyelid like a golf ball had turned him into a monster, and this brought the fight to a halt in the third round as he was unable to see anything else with it.

Moreover, as referee Dan Miragliotta, announced Travis Browne the winner of the fight via TKO (Punches), unfortunately for Matt Mitrione, not only he was the receiving end of those punches but also adding fuel to the fire, he underwent a dislocated shoulder to the extent that the bone nearly came through his skin when he was slammed into the mat by his Browne, just surviving one of the worst

UFC injuries and deaths



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source: SportMob

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