13 Worst Injuries in UFC History (Gruesome)

Prepare to be both amazed and horrified as you delve into the brutal world of mixed martial arts.

In the history of the UFC, there have been numerous instances of fighters suffering gruesome injuries that have left audiences gasping in shock. From broken bones to severe cuts, these injuries serve as a reminder of the physical toll that fighters endure inside the octagon.

This article takes a detailed and analytical look at the 13 worst injuries in UFC history, moments that left spectators cringing and fighters facing long roads to recovery.

Key Takeaways

  • UFC fighters have shown incredible resilience and determination in recovering from severe injuries and returning to the octagon.
  • Some fighters, like Corey Hill and Michael Bisping, were initially told they may never fight again due to their injuries but defied the odds and continued their careers.
  • However, other fighters, such as Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Anderson Silva, saw their careers decline after suffering significant injuries.
  • The severity of the injuries varied, with some fighters requiring surgery and extensive recovery periods, while others were able to return to the octagon relatively quickly.

Dale Hartt Vs Corey Hill (2008)

How did Corey Hill's fight against Dale Hartt in 2008 result in a gruesome injury?

The impact of severe leg injuries on the careers of UFC fighters is a topic that can't be ignored. In this particular fight, Hill suffered a devastating blow that fractured both his tibia and fibula.

The injury was so severe that he was expected to be out of the octagon for 12-18 months. Many believed that Hill would never be able to fight again, and even if he did, he'd have to walk with a limp.

However, against all odds, Hill made a full recovery and returned to the cage just 13 months later. This incident highlights the physical resilience and determination of UFC fighters, as well as the psychological and emotional toll of fighting with major injuries.

Frank Mir Vs Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (2011)

Continuing the discussion of severe injuries in the UFC, the fight between Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in 2011 resulted in a gruesome injury. During the fight, Mir attempted a kimura on Nogueira, and as a result, Nogueira suffered a fracture to his humerus. The injury was severe enough that Nogueira required a plate and 16 screws for recovery.

Unfortunately, this injury had a significant impact on Nogueira's career longevity. While he continued to fight after the injury, Nogueira's performance declined, and he ultimately retired from the UFC in 2015. The recovery and rehabilitation process for Nogueira was undoubtedly challenging, but he showed resilience in his comeback attempts.

However, the lasting effects of the injury ultimately led to the end of his successful career in the UFC.

Vitor Belfort Vs Michael Bisping (2013)

Vitor Belfort delivered a devastating blow to Michael Bisping's career in 2013. The impact on Bisping's career was significant, leading to a shift in his focus and trajectory.

  • Bisping's career took a hit as he suffered a detached retina in his right eye during the fight. Initially, there were doubts about Bisping's future in the sport due to the severity of the injury.
  • Despite the setback, Bisping showed tremendous determination and fought with one eye, eventually becoming the middleweight champion.
  • However, the scare in his left eye later led to Bisping's decision to retire from professional fighting.
  • Following his retirement, Bisping successfully transitioned to a career in UFC commentary and podcasting, showcasing his expertise and passion for the sport.

Jon Jones Vs Chael Sonnen (2013)

Jon Jones dislocated his big toe during his fight against Chael Sonnen in 2013, which had significant impact and implications for his career.

At first, the injury went unnoticed due to the adrenaline rush of the fight. However, it was later revealed that Jones required orthopedic clearance before he could step back into the octagon.

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The dislocation caused severe damage to the ligaments in his toe, but miraculously, they healed in a relatively short span of 6-8 weeks. Jones made an impressive recovery and was able to return to fighting just five months after the injury. This demonstrated his resilience and determination to come back stronger.

Jones' successful comeback after such a gruesome injury solidified his status as one of the greatest fighters in UFC history.

Anderson Silva Vs Chris Weidman 2 (2013)

After Jon Jones' remarkable recovery from a dislocated toe, another gruesome injury occurred in the UFC when Anderson Silva faced Chris Weidman for the second time in 2013. The impact of this fight on both fighters' careers was significant.

  • Weidman's Injury:
  • Weidman checked Silva's leg kick, causing a severe leg break.
  • The injury required a titanium rod for leg repair.
  • Weidman's recovery took 6 months.
  • The injury affected Weidman's future performances and hindered his progress in the middleweight division.
  • Impact on Silva's Career:
  • Silva's leg break had a profound impact on his career.
  • He experienced a decline in performance after the injury.
  • Silva retired from the UFC in 2020, with the leg break being one of the contributing factors.
  • Despite his immense talent and previous success, Silva was never able to fully regain his dominance in the octagon.

The Silva vs. Weidman 2 fight was a turning point for both fighters, with Weidman's injury altering the trajectory of his career and Silva's decline becoming apparent in the aftermath.

Jessica Eye Vs Leslie Smith (2014)

During the UFC 180 event in 2014, Jessica Eye delivered a powerful punch that caused Leslie Smith's cauliflower ear to hang off her head. The fight was immediately stopped by the doctor due to the severity of Smith's injury. This incident raises important discussion points regarding the impact of doctor stoppages on fighters' careers and the psychological and emotional toll of severe injuries in the UFC.

Doctor stoppages can have significant consequences for fighters. In some cases, a stoppage can result in a loss on a fighter's record, affecting their rankings and future opportunities. Additionally, the physical recovery from such injuries can be lengthy and challenging, requiring time away from training and competition. This can further impact a fighter's career trajectory and momentum.

The psychological and emotional toll of severe injuries in the UFC can't be overlooked. Fighters invest significant time, energy, and passion into their craft, and a career-threatening injury can be devastating. It can lead to feelings of frustration, anger, and even depression. The road to recovery may also be mentally taxing, requiring fighters to overcome fear and doubt as they work their way back to the octagon.

Travis Browne Vs Matt Mitrione (2016)

Travis Browne inflicted a series of eye pokes on Matt Mitrione during their fight in 2016, resulting in a broken orbital floor for Mitrione. This incident highlights the serious impact of eye pokes on fighters' careers and the need for stricter regulations in the sport of MMA.

Eye pokes, such as the ones Browne delivered to Mitrione, can cause significant damage and have long-term effects on a fighter's performance and recovery.

Facial injuries, like a broken orbital floor, present unique challenges for fighters. The delicate nature of the face makes healing and returning to peak performance more difficult.

The broken orbital floor suffered by Mitrione not only required a 6-month suspension but also led to his departure from the UFC and his subsequent move to Bellator.

These injuries highlight the importance of implementing stricter rules to protect fighters and ensure their long-term well-being in the sport.

Vicente Luque Vs Mike Perry (2019)

When Vicente Luque faced off against Mike Perry in 2019, Luque delivered a devastating flying knee that resulted in a broken nose for Perry. The impact of the knee was so powerful that Perry's nose bent and moved to the right, causing immediate and visible damage. The injury was gruesome and left fans in shock.

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Perry underwent surgery to repair his broken nose and received a six-month suspension from competing. However, Perry's recovery went well, and he was cleared to fight just four months after the injury. Despite the gruesome nature of the injury, Perry's determination and resilience allowed him to make a quick return to the octagon.

The Luque vs. Perry fight will forever be remembered as one of the worst injuries in UFC history.

Alistair Overeem Vs Jairzinho Rozenstruick (2019)

Alistair Overeem faced Jairzinho Rozenstruick in a 2019 UFC fight that resulted in one of the worst injuries in UFC history.

The match was intense, with both fighters exchanging heavy strikes. However, it was Rozenstruick's powerful strikes that caused Overeem's severe lip injury.

The impact of McGregor's recent leg break on his career was also felt in this fight, as it raised concerns about the long-term effects of such injuries.

Overeem's lip injury was a gruesome sight, with blood gushing from the deep cut. The questionable refereeing and decision-making during the fight only added to the controversy surrounding Overeem's injury.

This incident serves as a reminder of the brutal nature of the sport and the physical toll it can take on its athletes.

Zhang Weili Vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk (2020)

In the highly acclaimed fight between Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2020, the brutal contest led to one of the worst head injuries in UFC history. The impact of this fight on Women's MMA can't be understated.

Both fighters displayed incredible skill, resilience, and determination throughout the five-round battle, leaving a lasting impression on fans and fellow fighters alike. The moment that shocked the audience was when Jedrzejczyk's forehead became grotesquely swollen due to a massive hematoma caused by Zhang's powerful punches. The injury was so severe that Jedrzejczyk required plastic surgery to correct her broken and bent nose.

However, both fighters showed incredible heart and determination. After a two-month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, they both made a full recovery and returned to the octagon, further solidifying their status as two of the best in the sport.

Uriah Hall Vs Chris Weidman (2021)

Uriah Hall's devastating leg break against Chris Weidman in 2021 shocked the UFC world. The incident had a significant impact on both fighters' careers and triggered a challenging recovery process.

Here are the key details:

  • Weidman's shin connects with Hall's shin, causing a severe break. Weidman steps back on his foot, bending it at a 20-degree angle.
  • Weidman is suspended for 6 months but remarkably returns to training within 54 days, demonstrating his resilience and determination.
  • Unfortunately, Weidman requires another surgery on his tibia due to nonunion, casting uncertainty on his return to the octagon.

The recovery process from such a devastating injury can be long and arduous. It not only involves physical rehabilitation but also mental and emotional healing. The impact on Weidman's career is undeniable, as he faces challenges in regaining his previous form and potentially affecting his future performances.

However, with the right support and determination, Weidman can overcome this setback and continue his journey in the UFC.

Dustin Poirier Vs Conor Mcgregor 3 (2021)

The injury sustained by Conor McGregor in his third fight against Dustin Poirier (UFC 264, July 11, 2021) caused significant damage and marked one of the most gruesome moments in UFC history. McGregor's left leg gave way above the ankle in the first round, leaving him unable to continue the fight. The exact cause of the injury remains uncertain, but McGregor's kick-heavy strategy likely weakened his leg.

As a result, McGregor received a 6-month medical suspension. Unfortunately, this devastating break is expected to have a lasting impact on McGregor's UFC career. It's likely to affect his future performances and may even bring an end to his time in the octagon. The recovery timeline for such a severe injury is uncertain, but the impact on McGregor's career is undeniable.

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Ion Cutelaba Vs Devin Smith (2021)

Cutelaba's knee strike to Smith's mouth resulted in a horrific injury during their fight in 2021. The impact of gruesome injuries on a fighter's mental resilience is a crucial discussion point in the UFC.

The psychological toll that such injuries can have on a fighter's confidence and mindset can't be understated. It takes immense mental strength and determination to bounce back from such traumatic experiences.

The role of the referee and medical intervention in preventing and managing severe injuries in the UFC is also a significant topic. Referees play a vital role in ensuring the safety of the fighters and stopping the fight when necessary.

Additionally, prompt medical intervention and appropriate medical care are crucial in minimizing the long-term effects of severe injuries. The UFC has made significant strides in prioritizing fighter safety, but there's always room for improvement in terms of preventing and managing gruesome injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Was the Outcome of Corey Hill's Injury and How Did It Affect His Career?

Corey Hill's career was impacted by his injury, a fractured tibia and fibula. Despite being told he may never fight again, he made a full recovery and returned to the octagon. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's fracture contributed to his eventual retirement.

How Did Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's Fracture Affect His Career and Why Did He Eventually Retire?

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's career was significantly affected by his fracture. The injury required a plate and 16 screws for recovery. Nogueira's performance declined, leading to his retirement in 2015.

What Were the Long-Term Implications of Michael Bisping's Detached Retina and How Did It Impact His Career?

The long-term implications of Michael Bisping's detached retina significantly impacted his career. Initially in doubt, he fought with one eye and became middleweight champion. However, a scare in his left eye eventually led to his retirement. On the other hand, Corey Hill's injury had a major impact on his fighting future. Despite being told he would never walk without a limp or fight again, he made a full recovery and continued his career in the UFC.

How Did Jon Jones' Dislocated Big Toe Impact His Ability to Continue Fighting and How Long Was His Recovery?

Jon Jones' dislocated big toe had a significant impact on his ability to continue fighting. Though initially unnoticed, the ligament damage required a 6-8 week recovery. He returned to fight after 5 months.

How Did Chris Weidman's Severe Leg Break Against Anderson Silva Affect His Career and Why Did He Ultimately Retire?

Chris Weidman's severe leg break against Anderson Silva had a significant impact on his career. The injury required surgery and a lengthy recovery time. Ultimately, Weidman retired due to the uncertainty surrounding his return to the octagon.


In conclusion, the gruesome injuries in UFC history serve as a chilling testament to the physical demands of the sport. Like a dark tapestry woven with blood and broken bones, these moments have left a lasting impact on both the fighters and the sport itself.

From shattered legs to devastating cuts, these injuries have shocked and horrified audiences, reminding us of the incredible sacrifices made by those who step into the octagon.

Mike Williams
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