That'll Leave a Mark: The Worst Injuries in UFC History
MMA is a violent sport; fans have no qualms about that. For some, it's what draws them to the sport, while for others it is an example of how society has changed in its taste for entertainment.
Yet there are times when it can be too much for even the most ardent fans. This list is a homage to the best of the worst breaks, cuts and swells, and those unfortunate enough to have suffered them.
I have limited this list to the UFC only, though there is one honorable mention from Pride. If this list proves to be successful, I may go forward and do a Pride-only list.
Warning: The images are fairly graphic.
Honorable Mentions: Yoshiro Takayama After Don Frye
At Pride 21, Don Frye was scheduled to face off against Yoshiro Takayama in an anticipated slugfest between two behemoths. Yet apparently, both men decided to forgo technique and just beat the holy hell out of each other.
Each guy held his opponent's head with one hand and then threw punches with his free hands. The punches landed flush almost every time in both men's faces. It would be declared the match of the year for 2002 and has been called one of Pride's most exciting matches.
Yet what was more shocking was Takayama's face after the onslaught that he withstood from Frye. Resembling meat that had been tenderized, Takayama looked almost nothing like he had before the fight.
Diego Sanchez After Martin Kampmann
Look at that face, ladies and gentleman. That is the face of a winner. Apparently the judges thought this as Diego Sanchez beat Martin Kampmann.
The swelling has been common for Diego, who has shown to have a face that really shows damage, unlike a guy like Anderson Silva, who seems to have skin made of titanium. Yet for as bad as Diego has looked in the past, this was definitely his worst.
Corey Hill Broken Leg Dale Hartt
It's one of those moments that fight fans will not soon forget. At UFC Fight for the Troops, lightweights Corey Hill and Dale Hartt were fighting on the preliminary card.
In the start of the second round, Hill went for a leg kick that was checked by Hartt and ended up shattering Hill's shin. Joe Rogan would instantly begin screaming for the fight to be stopped as Hill held onto Hartt, who had shot onto Hill, not realizing the injury had happened.
After 13 months of rehab, Hill returned to fighting, bouncing between wins and losses on the regional circuit in hopes of returning to the UFC one day.
Marvin Eastman Cut After Vitor Belfort
On of the nastiest cuts in MMA history and responsible for one of the funniest Joe Rogan lines in commentary, Marvin Eastman's forehead cut, a.k.a. “the Goat's Vagina,” will follow him for the rest of his career.
When he met Vitor Belfort at UFC 43, many expected Belfort to bring the fight to Eastman, but they never expected what would happen next. Belfort landed a knee to Eastman's forehead that dropped him and led to him losing by TKO in the first round.
When fans saw the cut, they were shocked to say the least as the cut on Eastman's forehead looked like it would have needed spackle to fill it in.
Mark Hominick Hematoma After Jose Aldo
Mark Hominick would shock the world with his impersonation of the Elephant Man during his title match against Jose Aldo at UFC 129. After going the full five rounds with Aldo, a hematoma that looked like a baseball was stuck in his skull protruded from his forehead.
The injury would cause many to question whether or not the fight should have been stopped a lot earlier in attempt to spare Hominick further injury.
Joe Stevenson Cut After BJ Penn
Going into his lightweight title fight with BJ Penn, Joe Stevenson looked to keep his four-fight win streak growing. Yet after getting knocked down early in the first round, Penn would follow it up with a strong elbow to Stevenson's forehead, opening up a massive cut.
The end result would cause the Octagon to look like something out of a Saw movie as Stevenson gushed blood like a fire hydrant.
The blood loss would drain the life completely out of him because after losing to Penn by submission, Stevenson would go 3-6 in his next nine fights and would be released from the UFC.
Marcus Davis Hematoma After Nate Diaz
Now if it looked like Mark Hominick had a baseball under his skin, Marcus Davis looked he had his head replaced with a basketball.
In his meeting with Nate Diaz at UFC 118, Diaz used his reach advantage to nail Davis with numerous punches, which took their toll over time.
After losing by submission, Davis' head had grown to gigantic proportions. I can only assume that Davis healed by having the doctor poke a tiny hole in his forehead to deflate that balloon.
Brandon Vera Broken Nose After Thiago Silva
After almost a year off due to a broken cheekbone courtesy of Jon Jones, Brandon Vera would make his return against Thiago Silva at UFC 125. Yet it wouldn't go Vera's way as he would be broken and humiliated in the match with Silva.
After having his back used as bongos by a bored Silva, Vera would show the world that a nose can in fact go three different directions. He would lose by unanimous decision and be released by the UFC, yet after Silva failed a post-fight drug test, the match would be deemed a no-contest and Vera would be re-signed.
Tim Sylvia Broken Arm After Frank Mir
At UFC 48, Tim Sylvia faced off against Frank Mir for the vacant heavyweight title. Very early into the first round, Sylvia found himself on the ground with Mir, who quickly locked in an armbar.
Sylvia tried pulling out of the hold, which caused Mir to pull harder on the armbar, which then caused Herb Dean to call for the bell, giving Mir the win and the title.
The crowd instantly began to boo at what they thought was a premature stoppage. Yet upon showing the replay, the audience was stunned to see Sylvia's arm breaking just below his elbow.
Sylvia would claim that his arm wasn't broken and even moved it to try to claim that it wasn't in spite of the replay. After an X-ray showed that Sylvia's arm was broken in four places, he would thank Herb Dean for stopping the fight when he did, thus saving his arm from further damage.
Abe Wagner Cut After Jon Madsen
In the only season of The Ultimate Figher to feature an all-heavyweight cast, the first fight of the season pitted Team Rampage fighter Abe Wagner against Team Rashad fighter Jon Madsen.
The fight was thought to be very winnable for Wagner as he had a size advantage over Madsen and a better striking game. Yet that didn't matter to Madsen, who used superb wrestling to take Wagner down and ground and pound A LOT.
During the first round, Madsen used fists and elbows to open up a big cut on Wagner's forehead, which he continued to punish the rest of the fight. Wagner would bleed a Joe Stevenson level of blood during the fight, causing Dana White to call it the bloodiest fight in TUF history.
The other side effect of the damage sustained by Wagner was that he fractured his skull, which the on-site medic didn't even need an X-ray for as he told Wagner that he could see his damaged skull from looking in the giant cut on his head.
Big Nog Broken Arm After Frank Mir
In their rematch from their fight at UFC 92, fans were expecting fireworks from Frank Mir and Minotauro Noguiera, and they would not be disappointed.
After being rocked early in the fight, Mir regained his composure and got into a dominant ground position. He would then lock in a kimura and wrench on it for all it was worth after Minotauro was refusing to tap, eventually snapping Minotauro's arm and causing him to tap, the first time in his career. Minotauro is still out rehabbing his arm due to this injury.