The UFC octagon is a scary place, boys and girls.
For more than 25 years, UFC has been the top promotion in the world of mixed martial arts and has hosted some of the most vicious and brutal fights in history. Like boxing, the beauty of UFC is that anyone can be beaten on any given night, sometimes with nasty consequences. Remember when the “unbeatable” Ronda Rousey nearly had her face kicked off by Holly Holm? Or when heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar got wickedly opened up by Cain Velasquez?
While those examples would certainly be considered a little nasty by everyday standards, those were pretty tame in comparison to what we’re looking at today. There are some fights that have gotten just downright disgusting. We’re talking injuries that get your stomach twisting in knots. We’ll go ahead and call that a warning as we take a look back at a few of the most brutal UFC injuries in history.
Jon Jones’ dislocated toe against Chael Sonnen at UFC 159
At UFC 159 in April 2013, Jon Jones took on Chael Sonnen for the Light Heavyweight Championship. Heavily favored, Jones put a beating on Sonnen, earning a TKO victory at 4:33 of the first round following a barrage of punches and elbows. However, on the way to victory, Jones dislocated his big toe but was able to fight through it. He was somehow still able to get through his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, while the toe was being fixed.
Frank Mir snaps Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s arm
Nearly three years after earning a TKO victory over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 92, Frank Mir again took him on at UFC 140 in December 2011. Many thought that Mir had simply gotten lucky in the first fight but the former Heavyweight Champion put that nonsense to rest, slapping on the Kimura Lock in the first round and bending Nogueira’s arm in ways that it shouldn’t be bent until he tapped out.
Leslie Smith’s ear explodes at UFC 180
At UFC 180 in November 2014, Leslie Smith took on Jessica Eye in the women’s bantamweight division, which began as a fairly even fight. However, things took a nasty turn in the second round when Eye hit a big right hook on Smith’s cauliflower ear, which just exploded, spraying blood everywhere. Referee Herb Dean, who has often let fights go on longer than they probably should, had no choice but to stop the fight, giving Eye the TKO victory.
Matt Mitrione’s eye and shoulder injuries against Travis Browne
Matt Mitrione came to UFC Fight Night 81 in January 2016 for his heavyweight bout with Travis Browne with a 9-4 record. He left at 9-5 and had a lot of proof that he had taken a beating. Browne was a top-10 heavyweight at the time but Mitrione actually held his own, until the third round anyway. Browne landed a right cross that instantly swelled Mitrione’s right eye and then it just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. To make matters worse, Mitrione dislocated his shoulder during the bout and it got to the point where the bone nearly came through his skin.
The fight was stopped with 51 seconds remaining.
Anderson Silva snaps his leg against Chris Weidman at UFC 168
Perhaps the most famous injury in UFC history came in December 2013 when Anderson Silva took on Chris Weidman at UFC 168. Weidman had shocked the world five months earlier when he knocked out Silva in the second round to win the Middleweight Championship and this was Silva’s chance at redemption. It did not end well. In the second round, Silva threw one of his signature leg kicks, which Weidman blocked perfectly. The block was so perfect that Silva’s leg kept going after his foot stopped, resulting in a broken shin. Silva dropped to the canvas and the fight was stopped immediately.