Six UFC stars left completely disfigured after sickening blows
Mixed martial artists put their bodies on the line each time they take to the octagon.
As the most competitive promotion, UFC fighters are no exception, regularly enduring beatings as a result of punches, elbows, leg kicks and even knees. Unsurprisingly, that has led to a number of grotesque injuries throughout its storied history.
While battling it out in pursuit of titles, rankings and often just pride, several stars have been left horribly disfigured through facial damage. Daily Star Sport looks at six UFC fighters who were left unrecognisable as a result of the brutal attacks they faced.
What is the most gruesome UFC facial injury you have seen? Let us know in the comments section.
Matt Mitrione came into UFC Fight Night 81 in January 2016 looking to challenge top-10 ranked heavyweight Travis Browne. He left with another defeat to add to his 9-4 record and a severe beating.
Browne’s right cross landed on Mitrione’s right eye in the third round, which then swelled abnormally large as the fight progressed. By the end, it resembled a purple table tennis ball, which along with Mitrione's dislocated shoulder, saw the fight stopped by the official with just 51 seconds remaining.
Heavyweight titan Alistair Overeem has received his fair share of damage over the years, having been knocked out a whopping 15 times across his 67 MMA fights. Of those, the most gruesome was his clash against Jairzinho Rozenstruik in December 2019.
With just seconds left in the final round, the Dutchman received a vicious right hand which split his lip and resulted in a TKO defeat. The gruesome injury even required Overeem to undergo plastic surgery, but he bounced back in his return to the octagon six months later to secure a TKO win over Walt Harris.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk was left with a disfigured face in what is seen by some fans as the greatest female MMA fight in history. The Pole took on fellow straw-weight Weili Zhang in 2020 in a clash which she narrowly lost on points.
Jedrzejczyk looked completely unrecognisable as the final bell rang, with her forehead swelling to twice its normal size and resembling something out of Frankenstein. Her face was left covered in bruises once the swelling subsided – and it took a whopping 18 days for it all to disappear.
Weili Zhang wasn’t able to escape punishment from her vicious fight with Jedrzejczyk either. The Chinese fighter’s face was also left battered and swollen, though much less so than her unfortunate rival.
Yet she had a victory to show for, winning the fight 48-47 on two judges' cards, while Jedrzejczyk won 48-47 on the third. Both fighters received a two-month medical suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Mark Hominick had the unfortunate task of facing Jose Aldo at the peak of his powers in May 2011. The pair clashed at UFC 129 with the Canadian looking to strip Aldo of his featherweight title.
But the only thing he left with was a horrendous-looking bulge above his eyebrow as the striking-specialist Brazilian won by unanimous decision after five rounds. Hominick’s bravery came at a huge cost as the damage sustained saw him rushed off to hospital post-fight with a brutal hematoma.
One of the most iconic images in UFC history is a bloodied Rory MacDonald taking on Robbie Lawler in the cage at UFC 189. The pair put it all on the line as they clashed for the welterweight title in 2015, going back and forth with brutal blows until MacDonald suffered a TKO in the fifth round.
His post-fight photo with Lawler in hospital showed the true extent of the damage, with the Canadian sporting cuts, bruises and a shattered nose. The 32-year-old may have been left disfigured in his first UFC title fight, but memories of the heart he displayed in the octagon will live on.
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