With knees, elbows and punches held at their disposal, fighters in the world of mixed martial arts have been able to garner some of the most grim and gory moments in combat sports history.
While the sport remains relatively safe, with the UFC as a prime example—president Dana White loves to say that there has never been a death or serious injury in the organization—there certainly have been many memorably bloody battles in the young history of the sport.
A Season 1 veteran of The Ultimate Fighter, Nate Quarry may look like a man defeated here, but that's just part of the trade-off for a "Fight of the Night" performance against the tough Tim Credeur.
Both Quarry and Credeur engaged in a rock 'em, sock 'em type of bout in September of 2009, with Quarry landing the heavier shots throughout, dropping Credeur on several occasions.
In the end, Quarry was awarded the just decision victory and a nice shiner for his efforts.
Fan favorite and Season 3 contestant of the TUF series, Ross Pointon took on future DREAM champion Marius Zaromskis under the now defunct Cage Rage banner in December of 2007.
There, the two battled it out in an evenly exchanged kickboxing-esque battle, though Marius gained the upper hand midway through the second round when a grazing right hand sliced open a huge gash over the left eye of Pointon, which eventually forced a halt to the bout once the crimson started to flow heavily.
Yes, his ear is missing something.
Notable Japanese bantamweights Uchiyama and Takita engaged in a memorably disgusting bout in June of last year.
Uchiyama was dominant in his performance—that is, until a scramble ensued that sent the 135-pounder through the ropes. His ear took the brunt of the blow, as a piece of cartilage was torn off by the ropes and landed safely on the mat.
The two later met again a year later with Uchiyama picking up a decisive decision win.
The leader of the Lion's Den looked like a little cub when UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock took on then-champion Tito Ortiz in a light heavyweight showdown.
Shamrock was bullied from beginning to end, with Ortiz having his way with Shamrock. After a three-round assault filled with elbows and punches to the face, Shamrock's corner threw in the towel in between the third and fourth rounds, declaring Ortiz the winner by TKO.
Under the now defunct Pride banner, Takayama will always be remembered as "that guy" who engaged in a memorable one-rounder opposite MMA legend Don Frye in June of 2002.
Hailing from a professional wrestling background, Takayama and Frye went bonkers from the opening bell, holding onto a one-handed clinch while bombing away with right hands to the face.
The usually reserved Japanese crowd was electric. Frye, however, appeared to be landing the heavier shots, eventually scoring a TKO finish inside of the first round where, in the process, the UFC vet bloodied Takayama's face while nearly swelling both of his eyes shut.
In September of last year, then-budding contender Evan Dunham was pitted against former world champion Sean Sherk.
While Dunham appeared to be in control of the bout throughout, Sherk did manage to score some takedowns here and there, and in one ground exchange, he sliced Dunham open with a nasty cut that bled profusely throughout the bout.
I can see what you're thinking, Dunham.
Twenty-year-old flyweight prospect Joey Diehl is owner to one of the nastiest gashes in MMA today.
The Team Curran product took on Josh Epps under the XFO banner in a 125-pound bout.
Epps managed to open up Diehl with a hard elbow; however, the submission specialist Diehl continued to plug away, eventually earning the first-round tapout from an arm-triangle choke despite the deep gash.
"Pachuco" took on Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard under the CFC banner in Sydney, Australia in March of last year.
There, the American Top Team product devastated Santore early with heavy shots on the feet, eventually working Santore to the canvas, where he opened him up with some brutal elbows on the mat, having cut the WEC veteran in several spots across his face.
The mounting blood and gashes eventually prompted the ringside doctor to halt the action, which took less than five minutes of action.
The all-heavyweight season of The Ultimate Fighter featured a bevy of talented fighters, though the show kicked off early with a two-round drubbing, courtesy of collegiate wrestling stud Jon Madsen taking on striking aficionado Abe Wagner.
Madsen worked over Wagner early, bringing the big man to the canvas effortlessly, pummeling him against the cage and blasting away with punches to the face.
A nasty cut opened up over Wagner's right eye, which spewed blood all over the mat; however, doctors failed to stop the bout, and Madsen settled for a decision win.
Check out the GIF here for some specifics on the exact nastiness of the gash.
In October of last year, then-champion Brock Lesnar succumbed to a first-round TKO finish handed out by the undefeated Cain Velasquez, who dominated the NCAA Division I All-American from start to finish.
Velasquez cinched the title and also handed Lesnar a nasty gash below his left eye due to some heavy ground and pound blows, which eventually prompted the stoppage in just a little over four minutes of action.
Now every time Lesnar shaves, he will have Velasquez to thank for the cool-looking scar.
In June of 2009, Swanson was finally in a position where the Californian could contend for a major world title, though his aspirations were short-lived.
Swanson lasted eight seconds against future featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo at WEC 41, where the Brazilian connected on a double flying knee that instantly sent Swanson crashing to the canvas.
Sustaining cuts both below and above his left eye, what made matters worse was when Swanson's skull was visibly exposed. Oh boy.
Heath's blood was the the paint with which "Babalu" painted the canvas.
There were a lot of bad feelings heading into the bout, with both men exchanging barbs before and after the match—the animosity was very evident.
Sobral dominated Heath early, taking down the light heavyweight fighter early and often, bludgeoning his face with punches and elbows that opened up a nasty cut on Heath's forehead.
Eventually, Sobral cinched up an anaconda choke in the second round that called a stop to the bout.
In a highly anticipated heavyweight rematch, Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir looked to settle a score at UFC 100 in June of 2009.
In their first outing, Mir locked up a fight-ending knee bar, though Lesnar showed his improved technique when he dominated the submission whiz on the mat with superior wrestling technique.
Eventually, in the second round, Lesnar pinned Mir's left arm and pounded away with devastating right hands to the head, rendering Mir unable to continue in the second round, earning a one-sided TKO finish.
Welterweight standout Josh Koscheck is said to be arguably the "most hated man in mixed martial arts"—you can thank UFC commentator Joe Rogan for that snippet.
The MMA bad boy earned his shot at a world title in December of last year after compiling a three-fight win streak in the 170-pound division over the likes of Frank Trigg, Anthony Johnson and Paul Daley.
Preparing for a staunching wrestling battle with the Canadian Georges St-Pierre, the champ retained his belt by sniping the right eye of Koscheck with stiff jabs, which over the course of five rounds became swollen and bloodied.
It was discovered after the bout that the TUF vet sustained a broken orbital bone in his title loss to "Rush."
It was a passing of the torch, as former lightweight kingpin Yves Edwards was dominated by the Season 2 winner of The Ultimate Fighter, Joe Stevenson.
The grappling pedigree of Joe "Daddy" proved to be too much for Edwards, a touted striker. Stevenson was able to muscle Edwards to the mat early, connecting on some devastating punches and elbows both from within guard.
A monsoon of blood eventually called a halt to the bout in the second round of the lightweight affair in July of 2006, which prompted Edwards' exit from the promotion.
The second-most dominant fighter in the welterweight division was blitzkrieged by the 170-pound kingpin Georges St-Pierre.
The two standouts met in August of 2008 at UFC 87, where Fitch failed to cinch the belt from the Canadian over the course of an entertaining five-round tilt, which netted both men "Fight of the Night."
The bout's excitement extended from St-Pierre handing a one-sided beating to Fitch, who refused to quit in the bout yet ultimately had nothing to offer the pound-for-pound great.
He looks so happy.
Former welterweight contender Martin Kampmann outed himself from a welterweight scrap against Ben Saunders at UFC 111.
The Danish striker suffered a deep and gushy laceration above his right eye during training in preparation for the bout.
Chicks dig scars.
Eastman was part of one of the most one-sided beatings of Vitor Belfort's career, and all he got was an axe-like gash for his efforts.
"The Beastman" was throttled by the former light heavyweight champion in June of 2003, dropping to the canvas with a hard knee to the head before subsequent punches called a halt to the bout just 67 seconds inside the first round.
This past February, the prolific PRIDE standout Fedor Emelianenko took part in the quarterfinals of the heavyweight grand prix tournament, which took place under the Strikeforce banner.
Emelianenko had his moments in his bout with Antonio Silva, though ultimately the Brazilian was too much for his Russian adversary, bludgeoning "The Last Emperor" in the second round whilst in mount.
The damage eventually forced an end to the bout between the second and third rounds, as Emelianenko's right eye was swollen shut and remained bloodied and tattered.
It marked the second loss in the decline of Emelianenko's career, with some calling for the legendary fighter's retirement shortly thereafter.
It was a highly anticipated light heavyweight showdown on the Canadian circuit, as top prospects Ryan Jimmo and Dwayne Lewis challenged for the vacant MFC 205-pound title this past February.
The bout quickly turned into a kickboxing affair, with both men finding success; however, when Jimmo took the action to the mat, that's where things began to turn pretty ugly.
Jimmo quickly mounted Lewis, delivering a litany of shots to the head.
Eventually, Lewis made it back to his feet, though the action was halted by the referee to check on the very large hematoma that had developed under Lewis' right eye.
With his eye swollen shut, the ringside doctor signaled the end of the bout just a little over three minutes into the third round, awarding Jimmo the TKO win while crowning him the new MFC champion.
It was later revealed that Lewis suffered a broken orbital bone in the process, hence the swelling.
In a pivotal lightweight matchup, former professional boxer KJ Noons was dominated by American Top Team product Jorge Masvidal.
The Floridian decked Noons to the canvas early with a brutal head kick. However, Noons was able to remain in the bout with his wits about him, though over the course of their three-round affair he was outclassed in every facet of the game, both on the ground and on the feet.
In the lightweight title eliminator, Masvidal was the victor, while leaving Noons with a bloody grimace in the most one-sided beating of his career.
In a battle of The Ultimate Fighter veterans, Marcus Davis, a former professional boxer turned MMA fighter, was dominated on the feet by the infamous Nate Diaz.
The Stockton native swelled Davis' right eye shut early in the bout with mounting jabs, eventually opening up lacerations above and below the eye in question.
Punches in bunches eventually wilted Davis in the takedown by submission specialist Diaz, who cinched up a tight guillotine choke in the process.
Featuring the infamous leg break, Corey Hill's last appearance inside the Octagon was a memorable one.
The Season 5 veteran of The Ultimate Fighter was looking to bounce back from a heartbreaking submission loss to Justin Buchholz in his previous outing.
He was pitted against the unheralded Dale Hartt in December of 2008. Early in the second round, Hartt checked a leg kick from Hill, which broke Hill's leg on impact, calling an end to the match just 20 seconds into the round.
The devastating injury forced Hill to be sidelined for over two years.
Wrestling stud Joseph Benavidez dominated former champ Miguel Torres from start to finish, eventually cinching up a fight-ending guillotine choke, though not without leaving a nice parting gift for the bantamweight notable.
Benavidez connected early on a stiff elbow to the head of Torres, who immediately was sent into panic mode from all the mounting blood and never saw the submission coming.
In the end, Torres suffered a deep gash that he famously tweeted afterwards, showing a nice piece of skull.
Diego Sanchez was only one of a few men who have been able to translate their successful career post-TUF into a world title shot.
In his first championship battle under the Zuffa banner, Sanchez took on then-lightweight kingpin BJ Penn at UFC 107.
The Hawaiian dominated Sanchez from start to finish. Just moments away from cinching up a clear-cut decision win, Penn threw a rare high kick, connecting on Sanchez, which immediately opened up the floodgates.
Doctors called a halt to the bout approximately midway through the fifth round, where Sanchez's face was left bloodied and battered from the mounting blows throughout the one-sided affair.
Returning to the welterweight division in May of last year following an unsuccessful bid for the UFC lightweight title, Diego Sanchez was hoping to go on a two-fight win streak with a potential victory over Martin Kampmann, where the two men engaged in a "Fight of the Year" candidate this past March.
Kampmann bloodied the face of Sanchez early with sharp jabs and straights, which eventually culminated in several big gashes, with blood trickling all over the canvas.
Sanchez gutted his way through the not so aesthetically pleasing cuts and made the fight into a brawl with Kampmann, rocking the Dane on several occasions and earning a few takedowns along the way, which earned him the decision victory.
BJ Penn made the most of his opportunity to finally claim the lightweight title on his third attempt, as he took on The Ultimate Fighter Season 2 winner Joe Stevenson.
Penn was in command early, dropping Stevenson to the mat and controlling him, whether it be on the ground or on the feet.
Eventually, Penn took advantage of Stevenson after he had opened him up early with a hard elbow across the face, with the puddling blood make the subsequent rear-naked choke easier to slip in.
Stevenson was forced to tap just a little over four minutes into the second round, with Penn finally claiming the 155-pound strap from an emotionally charged Stevenson, who was left crying in his own blood.
The touted Canadian striker finally had the opportunity to challenge for the most coveted belt in all of combat sports, the UFC strap.
The featherweight standout took on pound-for-pound great Jose Aldo in what soon turned out to be not only the evening's "Fight of the Night," but a bout that has since been nominated for the World MMA Award's "Fight of the Year" as well.
Over the course of five rounds of action, both Hominick and Aldo stood toe to toe, though the Brazilian got the better of the exchanges and dropped "The Machine" on several occasions, which ultimately led to his victory.
In the end, Aldo retained the belt, while Hominick suffered minor damage—oh, except for the extra head growing out of his head.
Yes, he too suffers from the eye-misplacement affliction.
In December of last year, Sakuraba was pitted against Marius Zaromskis in order to vie for DREAM's welterweight title.
Needless to say, Saku's aspirations of becoming champion were cut short when Zaromskis connected on a left high kick that ultimately severed the Japanese fighter's ear from his head, calling a halt to the bout just a little over two minutes into the first round, with the Lithuanian cinching up the TKO win.
The legendary Kazushi Sakuraba likely suffered a total loss of brain cells in his demolition at the hands of Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling champion Ricardo Arona.
The Brazilian muscled the smaller Sakuraba to the mat, where he bludgeoned the fan favorite with punches and knees to the face.
The corner wisely called a stop to the match at the end of the second round, as Sakuraba suffered a broken nose, broken orbital bone and several lacerations across his face. The mounting blows had also caused his eyes to swell shut in what has become regarded as the most savage of beatings in Pride history.