15 of the Worst Broken Bones in MMA History
We all enjoy watching the supremely conditioned athletes that grace the MMA stage, ply their trade in mind-boggling fashion, more so when the end result is a devastating knocking out or better yet a mind-boggling submission à la the Chan Sung Jung’s “Twister.”
However, what we don’t prepare ourselves for is that moment in time when things go horrifically wrong—a car crash-like leg break or an arm torqued out of all human proportion.
When that happens some us gasp in horror while those who love to bleed, feel right at home.
So, before we take that blood curdling route, a word from the author.
Disclaimer: This slideshow contains highly graphic video images of broken and mangled bones, of which some viewers might find immensely offensive as well as greatly disturbing, and as such, the author cannot be held accountable or liable for any adverse psychological effect it may have on the viewer if they then choose to continue from here on in.
With that said, let's take a look at some of the worst broken and dislocated appendages in MMA history.
15. Kimo Leopoldo vs. Tim Lajcik
In this clip, Tim Lajcik sports a gruesome broken toe sustained whilst bouncing around and not much else.
The bout itself was stopped at the 1:55 mark, with Lajcik having no knowledge that the injury had occurred five seconds into the match.
Had Lajcik continued, he could’ve ended up with an amputated toe, as blood had seized flowing to it.
That said, if it was down to him, he would’ve jousted with Kimo Leopoldo to the end, as the video will show.
14. Mauricio Rua vs. Mark Coleman
This bout between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Mark “The Hammer” Coleman took place in February of 2006 at PRIDE 31.
Now fast forward to the 0:54 mark and see what happens to the Shogun.
13. Moa Palmer vs. Bobbi Jo Dalziel
This the first of two contests promoted by Tuff N Uff: Future Stars of MMA that features combatants with broken limbs.
What was turning out to be something of a snooze fest turned on its head at the 5:14 mark, when Moa Palmer suffered not one, but two broken arms courtesy of Bobbi Jo Dalziel’s vicious striking.
12. Megumi Fujii vs. Serin Murray
In this clip the queen of submissions, Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii slaps a toe hold on Serin Murray, leaving the Australian no option, but to tap out and then slither away, damaged limb in tow, for her own safety.
Before Fujii (25-1 MMA) lost her first professional MMA bout via split decision, she’d be riding a career 22-fight win streak with 18 submissions to the good.
Of the aforementioned submissions, 12 came by way of armbar. Ronda who you might ask?
Needless to say, Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett taught her well.
Here’s what The Warmaster and Mega Megu had to say after the bout.
NB: Fujii’s TKO victory was overturned to a win via toe hold submission.
Fujii: I think it's less damaging to submit somebody.
Barnett: However, I'll add my two cents. The way I've trained her, she goes until the ref stops her on submissions, so I don't know how realistic that is. She's already broken one person's ankle.
11. Tomomi Sunaba vs. Rosi Sexton
In 2007 at BodogFight: Costa Rica Combat, Japanese fighter “Windy” Tomomi Sunaba came a cropper following Brit combatant and Tae Kwon Do specialist Rosi “The Surgeon” Sexton’s botched surgical job on her leg.
At first, it was thought that Sunaba had incurred a broken ankle. However, it turned out to be just a dislocated ankle. Did I say Just?
Poor Sunaba was hospitalized for four months whilst enduring ongoing surgery due to complications with the screw anchorage and infection of the injured ankle.
The drama unfolds at the 1:35 minute mark, and don’t forget to watch the crowd’s reaction.
NB: Sexton is also a therapist and osteopath, hence the moniker The Surgeon. I wonder whether she aided in Sunaba’s rehabilitation? Somehow I doubt it.
10. Shinya Aoki vs. Mizuto Hirota
Before tuning in to see Shinya Aoki hammerlock his way to an arm breaking victory against Mizuto Hirota, here’s his post-fight analysis.
“When I had his arm behind his back, I could feel it popping,” Aoki said. “I thought, ‘Well, this guy’s pride just won’t let him tap, will it?’ So without hesitation, I broke it. I heard it break, and I thought, ‘Ah, there, I just broke it.’ I was stopped afterward, but even if I hadn’t been, continuing to break it more would have been fine by me.”
Following those comments, all I can say is that Aoki is bad, bad man.
Still, check out this guys résumé—BJJ black-belt, judoka black-belt and A-Class Shootist.
With 19 submissions in 30 victories, Aoki is definitely a different animal on the ground, as Hirota found to his cost.
The action unfolds at the 2:20 mark. However, listen to the commentator and watch Aoki’s reaction.
9. John Gettle vs. William Kowalski Jr.
Here’s a clip of Frank Mir’s protégé John Gettle executing a hideous arm breaking kimura on William Kowalski Jr. at Tuff N Uff: Future Stars of MMA.
Almost two years later, even though not as cringe worthy, Mir would replicate the submission hold on Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira at UFC 140.
That said, if you blink, you’ll miss it, but then again you can always press rewind.
8. Jonathan Riffle vs. Aaron Strawmier
On July 1st, 2011, in the BreakThrough MMA event at Daytona Beach, Jonathan Riffle’s amateur MMA debut ended in utter catastrophe—he suffered a nauseating arm break, courtesy of a deadly kimura executed by Aaron Strawmier.
If you’ve got the guts, then turn up the volume and hear Riffle’s arm snap.
For Riffles thoughts on the injury he sustained, go here.
7. Alexander Shlemenko vs. Jared Hess
In the co-main event of Bellator 20, Alexander Shlemenko executes a flying knee to the head of Jared Hess, precipitating a grotesquely dislocated knee as Hess crumbles to the a mat.
Watch the action at the 0:40 mark.
6. Devastating Arm Break
The fighter in this clip tries to cushion the takedown with his right arm, and pop goes the elbow.
Also check out the background music—“Break.”
5. Corey Hill vs. Dave Harrt
Former UFC resident Corey Hill suffered one of the most disgusting leg breaks at UFC: Fight for the Troops, when Dave Harrt checked his leg kick.
Words cannot describe the gross effect of Hill’s injury.
However, if you can stomach the sight of a dangling limb, then go ahead.
4. Kick Boxing Contest Gone Wrong
Albeit this isn’t an MMA event, I thought the clip deserved to be amongst the worst broken bones in the sports history.
Watch and weep or hide behind the sofa or better yet, skip it all together.
As Jigsaw, the character from the Saw franchise would say [...] “Make your choice.”
3. Jose “Pele” Landis-John vs. Brian Gassaway
Asides from the viewing the grisly leg break sustained to Pele, watch the reaction of the winner Brian “Mandingo” Gassaway, when he sees the injury—expletives galore.
Be warned, it is not for the faint of heart, and also, it’s replayed in slow motion on several occasions for dramatic effect.
To watch the clip, which took place at TKO 32: Ultimatum, go here.
2. Bryan Jones Jr. vs. Justin Lee Fowler
This car wreckage-like injury took place on the undercard of Cage Quest 1, the same night that Ronda Rousey, in the Strikeforce main event, submitted Meisha Tate via armbar, ripping her arm ligaments in the process.
In this middleweight contest, Justin Lee Fowler slammed and unknowingly snapped the left leg of the unfortunate Bryan Jones Jr., leaving the referee no option than to call a halt of proceedings at 0:30 of the opening stanza.
A sight for sour eyes would be an understatement.
For that added bit of drama, check out the crowd’s reaction—“Oh my God” one lady screams on several occasions.
That said, it was a tossup which broken limb took top honors—Jones Jr’s injury or the one in the next slide?
I had to go for next slide—however, you might see it differently.
1. The Worst Arm Break You’ll Probably Ever See
In this clip, an Americana (keylock) submission goes horrendously wrong, and watching the poor guy writhe in agony must be heart wrenching—more’s the pity. However, as one of my colleagues stated “This is life in MMA.”
Needless to say, this is by far the worst arm breakage in MMA history, and with Brian Jones Jr’s imploded leg, ranks as two of worst broken bones in the history of the sport.
I don’t know who these guys are or where this event took place, but if you know, do tell.