The conclusion of a recent MMA fight in Mexico was nothing short of bizarre and gruesome.
In the lead-up to the Ultimate Warrior Challenge featherweight title bout, José Peñaloza showed up at the event with a serious case of cauliflower ear, a common occurrence among fighters that involves the accumulation of blood between the ear's cartilage and skin.
The UWC 43 main event saw Dorian Ramos and José Peñaloza battling for the 145lb belt, with both fighters exhibiting their prowess in the cage. However, Peñaloza's right ear began visibly swelling during the fight, prompting the referee to call for a checkup from the cageside doctor.
Although the fight was allowed to continue, the referee's worst fears were confirmed when blood began gushing out of Peñaloza's ear, evoking images straight out of a horror movie. Ramos secured top position in the second round and unleashed a series of strikes that seemed to hit Peñaloza's severely damaged ear, causing it to rupture.
At 2:57 of round two, the referee stopped the fight for the final time, declaring Ramos the winner and the new 145lb champion in a gruesome yet unforgettable title bout held in Tijuana, Mexico.
TKO due to ear explosion. #UWC43 pic.twitter.com/yiMFaZBOsJ— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) April 29, 2023
Following his win in the UWC 43 main event, Dorian Ramos improved his MMA record to an impressive 6-1, while José Peñaloza's record fell to 3-2 after the fighting-ending ear injury.
While rare, ear injuries leading to the end of a fight can happen even in the highest level of MMA competition. One such incident occurred during Ramiz Brahimaj's UFC debut in 2020 against Max Griffin.
During round three, Brahimaj took an elbow that immediately seemed to cause him trouble. He began moving backwards towards the fence before it became evident that he had suffered a serious ear injury, turning his dream of competing in the premier MMA promotion into a nightmare.
Ramiz Brahimaj very nearly lost his ear.
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