Mixed martial arts is a sport dictated by violence. From vicious knockout to suffocating submissions, fights are continuously subjected to life-altering danger.
And while injuries like broken legs, snapped arms, thick cuts, torn knees and dissolved chins stand out among many, there may not be one more disturbing than the cauliflower ear.
Here are the 10 worst spanning the history of MMA:
#8 Frankie Edgar’s high-throttle mixture of ground-and-pound and striking has left him looking like this. Luckily, his ears have never effected him during competition, despite nearly being entirely closed.
#7 B.J. Penn’s ear looks like a shriveled up prune (and we say this with all respect in the world). He has done really well for himself but the effects of countless wars in and out of the cage are taking a huge toll on this fighter’s ear. He undoubtedly sports the most famous cauliflower ears in Hawaii.
#6 Alexander Gustafsson has demonstrated one of the best standup games in all of MMA over the past few years, including a historic title boat opposite Jon Jones at UFC 165. However, the fact that his ears look like this at the somewhat young age of 29, is certainly a cause for concern.
#5 Rafael dos Anjos is known for how good of a striker and wrestler he has become, but in reality he is a much better grappler than either one of those two disciplines, and his days of rolling on the mat en route to earning a third-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu is represented by his cauliflower ears.