The Top 5 Worst Cauliflower Ears In MMA History

What Is Cauliflower Ear?

Cauliflower ears is a deformity of the outer ear, caused by blunt trauma to the ear repeatedly over a period of time.

When the cartilage of the ear receives blunt trauma this will then cause inflammation. The blood supply from the skin has now been disrupted, which will often form a large pocket of blood, known as a blood clot. As the injury to the ear heals it generally shrivels up and folds in on itself which can appear quite pale. This gives the ear a cauliflower-like appearance, hence the term cauliflower ear.

We will now give you our Top 5 Worst Cauliflower Ears In MMA & UFC History.

5. Leslie Smith

Leslie Smith Cauliflower Ear
Leslie Smith After A Gruesome Ear Injury

Automatically, we think cauliflower ears, and we think MMA or UFC fighters, and we then automatically think of men. Leslie Smith proves that cauliflower ears are not just for men in the MMA realm. Although Smith’s cauliflower ear isnt the worst out there (and for sure not the worst on this lsit). It was caused by Jessica Eye in 2014 at UFC 180. Eye threw a punch that scraped along Smith’s left ear. Leslie Smith’s ear immediately began to swell and rupture. The fight was stopped minutes later by the doctor; Smith’s ear looked as if it was going to fall off.

4. Randy Couture

Randy Couture Cauliflower Ear
Randy Couture Cauliflower Ear

Probably one of the oldest cauliflower ears the MMA realm has ever seen. Randy ‘The Natural’ Couture was the first ever two weight champion in the UFC. He was able to claim championship belts at both light-heavyweight and heavyweight. Couture was able to win these well into his 40’s.

Randy Couture holds achievements for being the oldest fighter to become a champion in UFC history (43 & 45 years old). Randy Couture is the oldest fighter to successfully defend a UFC championship. He currently holds the award for the oldest fighter to win a bout in UFC history at 47 years old.

A true veteran of the sport with a record of 15 UFC title fights. Randy Couture is also a featured star of The Expendables movies.

With all the wars Couture has been in over the years, he has developed a set of cauliflower ears that do not even resemble ears anymore. They look like lumps of skin stuck to the sides of his head.

3. B.J Penn

B.J Penn Cauliflower Ear
B.J Penn Cauliflower Ear / Left

Jay Dee “B.J.” Penn III is considered to be one of the most legendary fighters in MMA history. He also have one of the worst cauliflower ears in MMA history. He has competed in MMA in five different weight divisions, Featherweight, Lightweight, Welterweight, Middleweight, and Heavyweight. Penn has competed with massive names such as Lyoto Machida, Frankie Edgar, Georges St. Pierre, Nick Diaz, Yair Rodriguez and more.

The thing about cauliflower ears is that they can get worst in time. Even if the fighter does not fight alot. When MMA fighters are preparing for contest, they enter a training camp. This training camp involves sparring, wrestling, grappling anr more. This over a period of time will cause the cauliflower ear to get worst. Penn’s worst cauliflower ear is the left one.

2. Garry Tonon

Garry Tonon Cauliflower Ear
Garry Tonon Cauliflower Ear / Right Ear

Tonon is a New Jersey born mixed martial arts fighter, and has become quite a prominent force in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ). How old is he? Tonon is currently 28 years old, born on September 12, 1991 (28). Garry Tonon has shown nothing but dedication to the sport aswell as ambitions to dominate the fighting sport scene.

Its very clear that Garry Tonnon has been through some wars by the look of his cauliflower ears. Tonon had first peeked his interest in BJJ at the young
age of 14 and soon after becoming fascinated with the sport; he had joined Tom DeBlass’ Ocean County Brazilian Jui-Jitsu, and won his first BJJ World champion title at 16 (Juvenile Blue Belt Division). Now aged 28 we can see how cauliflower ears can worsen over 14 years, Tonon is still young and has many more years in the sport.

1. James Thompson

James Thompson Cauliflower Ear
James Thompson Cauliflower Ear / Left Ear

British born James “The Colossus” Thompson is number one on our list for the worst cauliflower ears in MMA history. Thompson holds a record of 20 -17 -1 being a dominant force in the Ultimate Combat promotion and fighting under companies such as Bellator and Rizin.

“The Colossus” is mostly known for his hightly anticipated showdown with Kimbo Slice it was a war for ages. Kimbo Slice & James Thompson stood up and fought, Slice was getting the better of Thompson. Thompson had already entered the fight with a considerably swollen cauliflower ear. Slice hit Thompson with a massive right hook and it literelly popped his cauliflower ear and the fight was stopped not long after.

Thompson is a true warrior and had 15 more fights after the fight with Kimbo Slice when his ear was popped. James Thompson’s ear was stitched back together and he carried on to train and compete for a long time. Its pretty amazing that he can still hear out of it.

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