Why Do UFC Fighters Have Weird Ears?

Have you noticed the weird shape of the ears of UFC champions? Have you ever wondered why UFC fighters have weird-looking ears? 

If you have, you are not alone in this observation. It is true that UFC fighters have weird-looking ears, their ears tend to mimic the shape of a cauliflower. This is so because of the frequent trauma that the ears suffer from during fights.

The Universal Fighting Champions (UFC) is a body that promotes MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). Mixed Martial Art refers to a group of fighting sports that are performed in a Cage.
During fights in the UFC, the fighters hit each other’s faces, punch the bodies, and grip their opponents into submission. These twin acts of striking the sides of the ears and grappling the opponent are the actions that are responsible for the deformation of the ears of the combatants.

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Prevention of Weird Looking Ears

It is true that during the course of fighting in any of the MMA sports, fighters can get their ears damaged; it is also true that during fights, most MMA fighters wear very little or no protective headgear or ear guards to protect their ears from the impact of the assault that their ears go through frequently.

One way that damage to the ear can be prevented is to make sure that these protective attires fit securely and completely cover the ear. This is necessary so that they can effectively protect the ears. If the headgear is too big or too small and is not the perfect size, the ears may still be left to the mercy of the strikes. so that they can effectively protect the ears.

A Headgear that is too big or small, may not be useful in the defense of the ears, in the same way, a headgear that is not tight may slide off during fights or training, now what good can such do? This would definitely not be able to prevent the formation of a cauliflower ear.

Despite the above-mentioned ways in which this damage can be prevented, fighters can still be seen with damaged ears, this is so because most MMA fighters see this condition as an identity that all combatants should have.

The students in the MMA also see this as a sign of their being tough and brave and crave the destruction of their ears. This may explain why they do not bother about the prevention or treatment of their weird-looking ears.

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Early Detection and Treatment

The best way to fight against this ear deformity is to detect it early and make swift moves to prevent it. Otherwise, after that, it may become a permanent condition, and even though it is not life-threatening, it is a very unpleasant sight.

Once a fighter spots any discomfort or pain in his or her ears, the first step will be not to panic. Truth is, at this point, there is still a large chance of preventing the formation of cauliflower ear. If ice is available, it will be wise to apply some of these to the affected ears, do this while applying a little pressure to the ears.

After this, the fighter must seek medical care so that the doctor can make a small incision on the affected ear that will help the blood drain. Next, the doctor will try to stitch back the cut, and reconnect the damaged tissue. The doctor may decide to use a bandage to hold the ear back in place so that as it heals, it should retain the normal ear shape and prevent the formation of cauliflower.

Once the treatment is over, the use of antibiotics will be necessary to speed up the healing process and to prevent an infection from infecting the ear and hampering the healing process. If the ear is not treated on time, the only other option that will be left to the injured fighter will be to an ear injury called otoplasty to help regain its former shape.

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Top UFC Fighters that Have Weird Ears

1. BJ Penn

It will be strange to talk about UFC fighters and the cauliflower ears without talking about B.J Penn. He is a prolific fighter and has had a very brilliant career in the UFC. B.J Penn may have lost some fights, but he is regarded as one of the legends of the MMA and also one of the fighters that have the worst type of cauliflower ears.

B. J Penn’s ears are unevenly shaped and look really weird. Obviously, after each match, the ear may deteriorate and get worse after more hits than it already is.

2. Randy Couture

This list will be incomplete without us taking a look at the prolific fighter and multi-winner of the two-division champion of the UFC. He has won both the lightweight and the heavyweight championship consecutively.

He may have won many medals through the history of the UFC, but the bouts also earned him a weird set of ears. This can attest to his doggedness and zeal to win every combat, despite the fact that he is hurting.

His ears are so bad that one is tempted to ask if he hears anything from the ears at all. The lumps are his identity and he wears this deformity with pride.

3. Alexander Gustafsson

All lovers of the UFC are definitely fans of this great fighter. His pedigree on the pitch has earned him some medals and has also left him with one of the worst pairs of ears in the history of the UFC. Alexander is a champion no doubt and is currently ranked at no 2 in the light-heavyweight division.

His resilience in the cage has earned him many victories and a near victory against the unbeatable Jon Jones. It has also earned him some scars, notable among which is the deformed ears that have assisted his intimidating frame to give him a mean look.

Alexander is a true champion and a talented fighter. He has given us some of the best moments throughout the history of the UFC.

4. Frankie Edgar

A one-time champion of the UFC in the lightweight class, he is one of the brave and tough fighters that the UFC have produced, his fighting skill is unique, and there is no surprise therefore that he has raised to the peak of his career.

He currently fights in the featherweight division. Frankie Edgar is a great fighter and one of the evidence of this is the shape of his ears, which have been deformed with the solidification of excess fluid.

Despite the odd look of his ears, Frankie, popularly called Frankie the “Answer,” does not care about the shape of his ears. In fact, he wears it with pride as proof of his doggedness and tough stance in battle that New Jersey fans love and look for during UFC fights.

5. James Thompson

The worst ear probably on our list is the man called James Thompson. He has won many fights throughout the history of the UFC Heavyweight division and has about the most prominent cauliflower ears. He is fondly remembered for the match he had against Kimbo Slice in 2008. 

In this match, James Thompson entered the ring with a very prominent and injured pair of cauliflower ears. With his condition, no one expected him to even last more than around in the match, but he did, he lasted three rounds!

He even went ahead to defeat Kimbo Slice. It was a proud and defining moment in the career of James, and ever since he has not failed to thrill his fans with his spectacular performance, not caring if this earned him a weird set of ears.

6. Leslie Smith

This woman is proof that what a man can do, a woman can definitely do better. She has proven to all that she can endure great pain and take on as much as necessary to advance her career in the UFC.

Leslie Smith fights in the women’s bantamweight division and carved a niche for herself there. She has had many bloody fights and recorded countless victories against her opponents.

In 2014, this wonder woman entered the cage against Jessica’s Eye with a pair of visibly hurting weird ears. She fought bravely against Eye, who showed no mercy while delivering her punches with great intent at destruction.

One of Jessica’s strikes hit and cut Leslie’s ear. Leslie’s ear bled profusely and the match had to come to an abrupt end. On her part, Leslie was ready to continue in the fighting, but there was no way such a bloody match could go on.

7. Kasushi Sakuraba

This is another famous UFC fighter, who has thrilled fighting sports lovers with his spectacular performance. He is fondly remembered for his awesome defeat of the members of the Gracie family.

The Japan-born combatant is a dedicated and true fighter, he has won the Heavyweight belt in the UFC Japanese tournament. As with most UFC combatants, Sakuraba’s ears tell a story of his lifestyle and career as a fighter.

This man has had his ear almost torn from his head during a fighting bout and was willing to continue, if not for the timely intervention of the referee who stopped the match abruptly.

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Final Thoughts

It is obvious that UFC sports are not for the faint-hearted. While there are some gains that may be gotten from engaging in this sport, notably among which are money, fame, and prestige, sadly there is also the possibility of developing a weird set of ears popularly called cauliflower ears.

This is because after the ears have been damaged due to the trauma that comes from the frequent strikes that the ear suffers during fights, it is only a matter of time before this results in damaging the ear. 

This damage could be temporary or permanent. This depends on how quickly the fighter responds to the condition. If the fighter treats the ears quickly, the condition can be salvaged. If not there may be nothing that can be done to restore the ear back to its normal shape.

Ironically, most MMA fighters do not attempt to repair their ears when they notice the first sign of this condition, rather they look forward to the deformation of their ears.

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