Happy Halloween! In honor of the scariest holiday of the year we have compiled together some of the bloodiest and bizarre bouts in MMA history. There are cuts, gashes, and even a pair of exploding ears that made this list but there have been many more bouts that have left the canvas of the cage in a crimson color. What are some of your favorite or most memorable bloody bouts? Leave them in the comment section below!
Miguel Angel Torres vs. Joesph Benavidez – WEC 47 (March 6, 2010)
There was a time when Miguel Angel Torres was best mixed martial artist that you never heard of. Turning pro in 2000, Torres compiled a 37-1 record in nine years but unfortunately his best years came before the UFC absorbed the smaller weight classes into their organization. The casual fan did not get a chance to see Torres in all his glory. By the time the spotlight was on the smaller weight classes Torres was falling behind the curve and it showed when he was defeated by an 11-1 Joseph Benavidez at WEC 47 in 2010.
Benavidez was the quicker and more explosive fighter of the two and he proved that by slicing open Torres with a vicious elbow. Blood quickly began to pour from Torres’ head and the blood only made it easier for Benavidez to slip the rear naked choke for the win.
Stefan Struve vs. Denis Stojnic – UFC 99 (June 13, 2009)
Stefan Struve has earned the reputation as being one of the toughest men in the history of MMA. His battles inside the UFC’s octagon are a thing of legends. The amount of punishment this man has taken over the years is remarkable but what is even more remarkable is that he always comes back for more. Struve did foreshadow the type of career he would have in the UFC in only his second bout with the organization. His fight with Denis Stojnic at UFC 99 showed that Struve can take a licking and keep on ticking.
Stojnic was able to get the much taller Struve on his back in the first round and did serious damage by landing a series of hammer fists. One of the strikes opened up a gash on the on Struve’s hairline. The round ended before Stojnic could inflict any more damage but the amount of blood would not detour Struve from coming out strong in the second round. Struve wound up on his back again in the second round but was able to reverse his position and get the back of Stojnic and sink in a rear naked choke for the win.
Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva – UFC 146 (May 26, 2012)
Cain Velasquez was coming off his first career loss when he faced Antonio Silva at UFC 146. Velasquez lost his UFC heavyweight championship in a rather embarrassing fashion against Junior Dos Santos. The bout served as the main event to the first ever UFC on Fox card and it ended in just over one minute when Dos Santos connected with an overhead right and won the bout via a knockout.
Velasquez was a man on a mission after losing that bout and unfortunately for Silva he was the first man to face the wrath of Cain. As soon as the bell rang to start the fight Silva was on his back and Velasquez reigned down a flurry of strikes and it was an elbow that left a deep cut across the forehead of Silva. Blood immediately began to pour onto the canvas. Velasquez was relentless in his assault on Silva and the fight was stopped almost as quickly as it began.
Renato “Babalu” Sobral vs. David Heath – UFC 74 (August 25, 2007)
Renato Sobral has an odd place in MMA history. He has 37 career victories but he is probably most known for his career losses. Sobral lost to Chuck Liddell twice during Liddell’s prime years. At that point in Liddell’s career, any fighter who shared the octagon with him instantly became a household name to MMA fans. Aside from losing to Liddell, Sobral is also known for getting cut by the UFC after his win over David Heath at UFC 74.
Heath had engaged in some smack talk prior to his bout with Sobral. That did not sit well with Sobral who took out his anger on Heath’s face. Sobral was able to turn a small cut on Heath’s face into a faucet of blood when he took him down to the ground and landed blow after blow. A desperate Heath tried to get up but that only allowed Sobral the opportunity to clinch the anaconda choke for the win. Sobral would not let go of the choke after Heath had tapped out and the move wound up costing Sobral his job with the UFC.
Jessica Eye vs. Leslie Smith – UFC 180 (November 15, 2014)
The bout between Jessica Eye and Leslie Smith ended in one of the most bizarre ways possible, an exploded ear. During the course of their fight Eye landed a punch to Smith’s cauliflower ear and ear popped right in the middle of the octagon. Blood splattered in the air and then began to drain down the neck of Smith. Smith’s ear appeared to be dangling from her head and despite the fact that she might lose the ear, Smith still wanted to fight. The ringside doctor thought it was best otherwise and stopped the fight.
Chase Beebe vs Eddie Wineland – WEC 26 (March 24, 2007)
If you are looking for the male counterpart of the Leslie Smith exploding ear incident then you need to watch Chase Beebe destroy Eddie Wineland’s ear back at WEC 26 in 2007. Beebe landed a hard elbow to the side of Wineland’s head that resulted in his cauliflower ear popping. Blood poured for the remainder of the fight which Beebe would go on to win via a unanimous decision.
Jim Miller vs. Joe Lauzon 2 – UFC 155 (December 29, 2012)
Fans have grown accustomed to know that when Jim Miller or Joe Lauzon fight, it will be a war. When it was announced that the two would lock horns at UFC 155, fans were more than excited. What Miller and Lauzon gave them was a fight that will go down in history as one of the grittiest and bloodiest bouts in recent history.
Miller was the first to strike as it was a knee followed by an elbow in the clinch that opened a cut on the face of Lauzon. Miller was able to control the bout by keeping Lauzon on the ground looking up at the lights. The blood from Lauzon’s face ran down on the canvas and created a pool of blood. Midway through the fight Lauzon was able to reverse Miller and land a few hard shots of his own. Lauzon was able to return the favor and gave Miller a cut under his right eye but not to be outdone, Miller gave Lauzon a couple of more gashes and seal the decision win.
Derek Campos vs. Brandon Gritz – Bellator 181 (July 14, 2017)
This bout took place during the summer and it quickly became a viral sensation due to the amount of blood that poured from Brandon Gritz’ forehead. Derek Campos landed a hard knee that created the gash on Gritz’ head. Despite the cut and the amount of blood pouring from his head, Gritz continued to bring the fight to Campos. Due to the amount of blood loss and the severity of the cut the fight was stopped before the third round could begin. This was the third meeting between the fighters and with the amount of action in this bout and the unresolved ending you can bet a fourth battle will be on the horizon.
Jessica Penne vs. Lisa Ellis – Invicta FC 1 (April 28, 2012)
This bout is widely considered the bloodiest bout in women’s mixed martial arts history. Penne would bust open Ellis in the third round of their bout and not let up until the referee stopped the bout. Many people have a hard time getting through this bout just because its two women involved in a violent bout. That should not detour any MMA fan from watching this bout. The fight helped put Invicta FC on the radar for many MMA fans as the organization continues to grow to this very day.
BJ Penn vs. Joe Stevenson – UFC 80 (January 19, 2008)
There was a time when BJ Penn was untouchable. His skill was on a completely different level from any other lightweight in the world. Penn would go through opponents like a surgeon’s scalpel through a patient’s flesh. At UFC 80, Penn showcased that skill against a very game Joe Stevenson. The first round saw Penn score a takedown and control the fight from there. As the first round came to a close Penn landed a hard elbow that opened up a gash above the eyebrow of Stevenson. The bell sounded before Penn could finish the fight but the crowd in attendance knew that end was near.
As the second round began the bleeding was somewhat under control for Stevenson but Penn had his target set and landed a few hard jabs and the cut began pouring blood once again. It was not long after that Stevenson found himself on the ground again. This time Penn had plenty of time to work with and was able to sink in a rear naked choke for the win. The image of Penn celebrating and Stevenson weeping perfectly visualizes the glory and heartbreak of mixed martial arts.