UFC’s worst injuries, from Chris Weidman's horror broken leg to Overeem’s exploded lip and Jon Jones’ dislocated toe
MMA is a violent sport and injuries are common, with fighters often suffering lacerations, breaks and concussions inside the octagon.
Over the years, athletes in the UFC have sustained some of the most gruesome injuries broadcast on television.
This is our list of the worst injuries seen in a UFC fight…
Corey Hill vs. Dale Hartt UFC Fight Night 16
Standing 6ft 4ins tall, Corey Hill was a giant in the lightweight division, who fought the much smaller Dale Hartt at UFC Fight Night 16 in 2008.
The first round ended in an standard UFC slug fest. In the second round, Hill attempted a leg kick on Hartt, but broke his own tibia and fibula.
His leg bent in impossible angles as he crumbled to the ground in agony.
The fight was stopped the moment the referee realized the severity of Hill’s injury.
In an interview with MMA Junkie, Hill spoke out about the moment he woke up in the hospital.
He said: “Hours of dozing off and waking up, you know it’s like that didn’t really happen. This had to be some type of dream.
“Really, this doesn’t happen to people. No one told me this was a possibility when I started. No one told me that things like this happen.
"You get knocked out, or you get bruises, or you lose a couple of teeth I could deal with that."
Hill would take a year-and-a-half to full recover before returning to the octagon on January 23, 2010.
Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen at UFC 159
At 25-years-old, Jon Jones was a beast when he went up against a 36-year-old Chael Sonnen.
At UFC 129 in April 2013, Jones picked up a TKO victory against Sonnen in the first round to capture the Light Heavyweight title, but in the process dislocated his big toe.
Jones was able to fight through the injury and finish the contest – and even managed to say a few words to Joe Rogan in his post-fight interview while his toe was being fixed.
“You are a true champion for even attempting to make this work, while you deal with one of the nastiest foot injuries I’ve ever seen,” Rogan told Jones after the fight.
Jones fought that same year in September and picked up a unanimous decision victory over Alexander Gustafsson.
Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman at UFC 168
Anderson Silva, one of the best fighters to ever step into the octagon, was still in his prime when he challenged Chris Weidman for the UFC Middileweight title in December 2013.
Six months before their rematch, Weidman had defeated Silva to take his UFC Middleweight championship.
In the rematch, Silva threw one of his trademark kicks which was expertly blocked by Weidman – so much so that it broke Silva's shin.
The sight of Silva’s leg folding to the side horrified the crowd and the watching TV audience.
The fight was immediately stopped and the injury caused Silva to miss a year-and-a-half from the fight game.
Leslie Smith vs. Jessica Eye at UFC 180
In November 2014, Leslie Smith took on Jessica Eye in a bantamweight division fight in Mexico City.
The contest was a competitive affair until the second round.
Eye landed a nasty right hook on Smith’s left ear, causing it to explode with blood pouring on to the octagon floor.
The images of Smith’s open ear was stomach cringing. As a result, referee Herb Dean put an end to the fight.
Smith would step away from the octagon for more than a year following the injury, returning in March 2016.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Zhang Weili at UFC 248
In March 2020, Joanna Jedrzejczyk suffered one of the nastiest head swellings the sport had seen.
Facing Zhang Weili, the bout at UFC 248 went the distance with both fighters inflicting an insane amount of damage on one another.
In the fourth round, Jedrzejczyk’s forehead swelled up due to a hematoma injury following a flurry of punches.
Following the injury, Jedrzejczyk returned to Poland to have plastic surgery and has since made a full recovery.
Alistair Overeem vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC on ESPN
A memorable moment in the heavyweight battle between Alistair Overeem and Jairzinho Rozenstruik happened at UFC on ESPN in December 2019.
With only seconds remaining in the final round, Rozenstruik blasted Overeem with a ferocious right hand that slit open Overeem’s upper lip, resulting in a TKO victory.
The brutal injury would require plastic surgery, but Overeem returned to the octagon in May 2020 and pick up a TKO win over Walt Harris.
Chris Weidman vs. Uriah Hall at UFC 261
Seven years on from Silva breaking his leg against Weidman, incredibly the former middleweight champ suffered an almost-identical injury.
Weidman's shin snapped in two following a perfect leg check from Hall.
And to make matters worse, the former UFC champ tried to step on his leg after it had broken – seemingly unaware of the damage done.
The 36-year-old's leg – which was like jelly – gave way and he collapsed to the canvas in agony in stomach-churning scenes before being stretchered away and taken to hospital for surgery.
Silva took to social media to offer a message of support for Weidman, writing: "My deepest and most sincere sentiments champ. Have faith, I wish you a speedy recovery. In this moment I wish you and your family light, love and knowledge.
“To the fans of the sport, please respect this moment of this incredible warrior and let’s wish that he is 100% very recovered soon. May God bless you and your family @chrisweidman.”
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