There’s no doubt that MMA is a dangerous sport that takes a big toll on the human body, and no fighter emerges completely unscathed after a hard-fought career competing in the cage.
However, some fighter’s don’t have the luxury of deciding when to say enough is enough. Instead that decision is cruelly taken out of their hands when they suffer a career-ending injury while competing in the cage.
In this article we’ll look at 10 such cases where gruesome injuries and in some cases even life-threatening ailments experienced while competing have left these fighter’s with no option but to hang up their gloves.
Evangelista ‘Cyborg’ Santos
With 40 fights to his name in promotions like PRIDE, Strikeforce and Bellator, Evangelista ‘Cyborg’ Santos (former husband of Cris ‘Cyborg’) is a veteran of the sport, but nothing could have prepared him for what happened in what would prove to be the final fight of his career.
In July of 2016, ‘Cyborg’ stepped into the cage against Michael ‘Venom’ Page, a dynamic striker who was marking himself out as a rising star of the Bellator promotion at the time with a perfect 10-0 record.
Late in the second round of the fight, ‘Cyborg’ ducked as he stepped forward quicky throwing a body punch, just as ‘Venom’ perfectly timed a flying knee to his head.
The impact was sickening, sending Santos falling onto the mat clutching his forehead in agony.
However, what viewers didn’t realize immediately was that this would prove to be one of most gruesome MMA-related injuries of all-time, with ‘Cyborg’ suffering a fractured skull that left a visible dent in his forehead where the knee had landed.
After undergoing seven hours of surgery, ‘Cyborg’ insisted he would make a comeback, but months later he came to the wise conclusion that it wasn’t worth the risk and announced his retirement.