MMA fighters are some of the toughest people on the planet, with the UFC being the biggest promotion. The athletes frequently put their bodies on the line in the name of martial arts competition and sports entertainment. One injury that’s often visible when watching a UFC event is an ear deformity. Why do UFC fighters ears look like that?
Some UFC fighters ears often look deformed because of a condition called Cauliflower ear, also known as wrestler’s ear or perichondrial hematoma. It’s a condition that occurs when the external part of the ear is damaged and blood builds up between the skin and the cartilage.
This occurs due to blunt force trauma to the ear, such as during combat sports like wrestling, boxing, or Jiu-Jitsu.
It’s especially common for grappling based sports like wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu where practitioners are constantly creating friction by applying pressure with the side of their heads.
Cauliflower ear is less common in boxers because sparring for boxing requires protective headgear to be worn which also protects the ears from damage.
Is Cauliflower ear permanent?
Cauliflower ear can be permanent unless treated soon after the injury occurs. Treatment comes in the form of draining the fluid (blood) from the ear with a syringe. However, the best “cure” is actually prevention by avoiding it in the first place.
Cauliflower ear can be prevented by wearing protective headgear for training sessions and seeking immediate medical attention if an injury occurs. This is done by draining the blood and applying pressure to the area to prevent further bleeding, followed by compression and immobilization of the ear to promote healing.
In some cases, surgery is required to repair the damaged cartilage and restore the ear’s normal appearance. Fighters will often avoid this solution though as it’s something that can be seen as a badge of honor in the MMA and wrestling communities.
Not for everyone though.