Why Do MMA Fighters Have Cauliflower Ears?

Why Do MMA Fighters Have Cauliflower Ears

UFC fighters and other professional MMA fighters receive blows to their ears which result in cauliflower ears. This scientific phenomenon can be described as having ears that look swollen to the point of having them explode. It might be off-putting to some but for fighters, it’s a mark of their hardships

Why Do MMA Fighters Have Cauliflower Ears

Cauliflower ears are very common not just with UFC fighters, but with MMA fighters in general. It happens due to a certain way the body reacts to blunt blows.

If a fighter is hit with a direct blow to their outer ear, blood and other fluids fill up the space in between them and this disrupts normal blood flow. As the blood flow is disrupted, the ear cartilage is starved of vital nutrients and this swells up eventually.

Cauliflower Ears in Athletes

Cauliflower Ears in Athletes

Cauliflower ears are most common to grapplers and wrestlers. These two disciplines see people bumping the side of their head – including their ear, into the body of their opponents. This immense pressure breaks down the nerves in the ears.

Boxers are also seen with cauliflower ears most of the time because they take blows to the side of the head as well. Most commonly, it’s not always a question of why do MMA fighters have cauliflower ears as other types of fighters have them too.

Fighters can remedy cauliflower ears if it’s still soft and in its early stages. What they would do is to take a sterile syringe and then drain the ears of the fluid that’s in between their ears. If left untreated, the liquid can harden. Once that happens, the cauliflower ears need to be removed surgically.

Having cauliflower ears that have already hardened is a bad idea. If it’s hit regularly, the cauliflower ear can rupture and eventually result in the ears opening up causing a large wound. This has happened before.

One such fighter was Leslie Smith. In her match against Jessica Eye during UFC 180, Smith’s ear got hit with a solid hook which then caused it to explode. Due to the massive cut, the fight was ended and Eye won via doctor’s stoppage.

Hopefully, this answers your question: why do MMA fighters have cauliflower ears?

Cauliflower ears might be a brand of hardship to some but in reality, it’s a serious medical condition that can result in serious problems down the line for a fighter. It’s best that fighters get rid of cauliflower ears before they get worse as it could affect the course of their fights greatly.

You want to know how MMA fighters cut weight? Check our guide here.

About Carla Mesina

I'm a journalist passionate about extreme sports. I love writing and reading stories about those brave people that are going beyond the limit of their physical capabilities.

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