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10 of the worst injuries in MMA history

MMA is unlike any other combat sport. Injuries are bound to happen in the brutal world of MMA. Blood, broken noses and cringeworthy swellings are a common sight in most matches, yet there are other injuries that stood out and are a tad more painful and gruesome.


These injuries are sometimes caused by the careless behavior of fighters that unfortunately even led to the end of a handful of careers Fighters like Frank Mir had a no-nonsense approach and the fighters ultimately fell victims to terrible circumstances. Some injuries were that bad that it just can't be unseen.


These ten unforgettable ones surely make the cut:



#10 Frank Mir vs. Tim Sylvia

Frank Mir

Frank Mir is undoubtedly one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. Known for his crafty submissions, Mir has caused serious injuries to his opponents while in his prime.


When Mir took on Tim Sylvia for the vacant heavyweight title back at UFC 53, he was merciless in breaking Sylia's hand with the help of an armbar. Frank is also infamous for his 'tap or snap' approach, as he broke Sylvia's hand like a twig after the latter refused to tap.


The referee had to intervene and thankfully stopped the fight. It took Sylvia several months to recuperate from the injury as it required several rods and a multitude of stitches to put his broken arm back together again.

#9 Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald

UFC 189 World Championship Press Tour - Calgary

This fight was one for the ages. At UFC 189, a never-seen-before brawl broke out between Robbie Lawler and Rory McDonald. The former welterweight champion and McDonald engaged in a grueling slugfest which left both fighters bloodied and injured.

In the end, Lawler came out victorious as Rory was knocked down by a series of powerful punches and the veteran Big John Mcarthy had to step in to stop the fight.

The severity of Mcdonald's injuries were the major talking point in the aftermath of the bout. His face looked like a balloon. There was more bad news, though, underneath all the swelling as an x-ray of his nose showed that a part of it was hit so hard that it detached itself from the skull. Ruthless freaking Lawler!

#8 Shogun Rua vs. Mark Coleman I

Mark Coleman

Before the UFC became the big dog of MMA, Pride FC in Japan was at its peak and featured one of the most unfortunate injuries in the history of the sport. Mark Coleman was a monster back in his Pride day and in his final fight for Pride, he faced Shogun Rua.

The fight began with Shogun throwing quick kicks and shooting for a submission attempt. However, less than a minute into the fight, a takedown by Coleman resulted in Rua falling awkwardly that broke his arm in the process. What followed was even crazier than the injury itself as Rua's partner Wanderlei jumped into the ring to defend his friend. It was chaotic and would go down as one of the weirdest injuries in MMA history.

#7 Rousimar Palhares vs. Mike Pierce

UFC On FX: Sotiropoulos v Pearson

The Brazillian Palhares fought Pierce back in 2013 which was termed as the battle between two great submission artists. Palhares was infamous for holding onto his submissions for too long. The free-flowing fight took a nasty turn when Palhares caughtPierce's leg in a tight lock.

Pierce almost tapped immediately but Palhares didn't let go of his foot. The ref tried to pull him apart but he continued latched onto pierce's leg. Finally, he let go of Pierce's leg which was messed up pretty bad by then. Branded as one of the cheapest moves in history, Pierce returned from the injury one last time against Ryan LaFlare and hasn't fought ever since.

#6 Leslie Smith vs. Jessica Eye

UFC 198 Weigh-ins This has to go down as one of the gnarliest injuries in the UFC. The fight was going great as both fighters landed solid shots throughout round one. 90 seconds into the second round, Eye landed a powerful right hook that gashed Smith's right ear.

This was not intentional but blood spurt out of the ear on impact. There was a big cut and the bleeding couldn't be stopped forcing Herb Dean to call it stops. Smith's ear cartilage was seen hanging as she was being escorted out of the arena. That was one of the grotesque looking injuries to have ever happened inside the Octagon.

#5 Mark Hominick vs. Jose Aldo


Jose Aldo is arguably one of the fiercest Featherweights of all time who made his first title defense against Mark Hominick at UFC 129. The fight lasted for five rounds and the Brazillian great was awarded the win by decision.

What was startling about this fight was that Mark Hominick suffered severe Hematoma during the clash. The hematoma on his head was so swollen that it looked like another small head growing out of his head.

The Canadian held his ground, fought till the fifth round and was later taken into the emergency ward to reduce the swelling or else it would have caused some serious head injury.

#4 Travis Browne vs. Matt Mitrione

UFC Fight Night: Browne v Mitrione

Coming to one of the most controversial moments in Heavyweight history, Matt faced off against Travis at UFC fight night. The fight was off to a great start until Travis started eye poking Matt. Matt was poked twice in the fight, which blurred his vision. He ate a monster shot that shattered his orbital bone.

The fight was stopped in the third round as the injury became worse and Matt was rendered unable to see anything with his right eye. Matt later appealed against the decision but failed in overturning the loss.

#3 Frank Mir vs. Minotauro Nogueira

Minotauro Nogueira is a bonafide legend.

Frank Mir's name pops up on this list yet again and interestingly, this one was arguably more personal that the Slyvia incident. While Frank managed to defeat Big Nog at UFC 92 with a flurry of punches, the rematch ended brutal fashion.

Mir got Minotauro in a tight kimura and the legendary Nog was reluctant to tap. An infuriated Mir twisted the arm and broke it inside the ring. The audience gasped watching the replay of the freak incident as the referee stopped the fight.

Karma hit Mir right where it hurts the most as Junior Dos Santos avenged the Minotauro by beating Mir in the next fight.

#2 Evangelista Santos vs. Michael Page

An abrupt end to a promising career.

Santos took on the charismatic Page at Bellator 158 held at London’s O2 Arena. This was a great fight which ended in a gruesome knockout after Page landed a flying knee right to his forehead.

The severity of the knockout was such that Santos was rushed to the hospital after the fight. The impact of the blow shattered his skull and Santos was screaming in pain after he was hit with the vicious knee.

Cris Cyborg -- his ex back then -- later posted an x-ray of her ex-husband which revealed a detailed view of the impact. His forehead was cracked and doctors were reluctant to operate on him as it could have caused permanent brain damage.

The injury proved to be career-ending as Santos drew curtains on his 50-fight career. He has never competed professionally after the injury, as he decided not to risk his health.

#1 Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman

Anderson's leg breaks as Weidman checks the kick

Anderson Silva, who has often been considered to be the best pound for pound fighter in the world, suffered a career-threatening injury when he faced Chris Weidman in a rematch at UFC 168. Chris Weidman won the first fight by knocking out a cocky Silva to become the Middleweight Champion in the process.


In the second fight, Anderson was quite aggressive following his earlier loss and was troubling the All-American with his leg kicks. On one such occasion, Anderson went for a hard left low kick which Weidman checked. What happened next is still one of the most heartbreaking moments in UFC history.

The impact led to Silva breaking his shin bone. Anderson crumpled on the floor due to intense pain and Weidman was awarded the winner by TKO. 'The Spider' has sadly not been the same ever since.


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Edited by
Lennard Surrao
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