Why are MMA fighter's ear's so messed up?

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ufc88
8/15/07 5:25:31PM
a lot of mma fighters have screwed up ears im guessing its just from being punched there over and over again?
im curious to know..
cowcatcher
8/15/07 5:27:29PM
as a wrestler i know it well and have the ears to show it. its called cauliflower ear, and you get it by either getting them rubbed on the mat or against someones forearm or whatnot, or by getting hit there over and over, but id say the majority comes from practicing groundwork and taking rubs.

EDIT: you can lessen it by draining them right away, but when you tran every day its just not feasible, plus it hurts worse then getting the cauliflower ear
papercut
8/15/07 5:29:12PM
you mean cauliflower ears? I'm not sure how it happens exactly but I know you have to drain them every so often and alot of high school/collge wrestlers get them too
TOMMYAYO05
8/15/07 5:33:54PM

Posted by papercut

you mean cauliflower ears? I'm not sure how it happens exactly but I know you have to drain them every so often and alot of high school/collge wrestlers get them too

when impact is inflicted on the ears is when and how it happens.
Ultimate_fighter
8/15/07 6:11:54PM
There ears are so messed becuz they get hit there all the time,,, usually its the hooks that catch em'

its pretty much ears that are permanitly swollen...
cowcatcher
8/15/07 6:14:21PM
no other wrestlers/former wrestlers here to back the rub theory? im telling you guys most cauliflower isnt from getting hit, its from rubbing mat,thats why HS and college kids wear headgear.
Jackelope
8/15/07 6:32:28PM

Posted by cowcatcher

no other wrestlers/former wrestlers here to back the rub theory? im telling you guys most cauliflower isnt from getting hit, its from rubbing mat,thats why HS and college kids wear headgear.



Yup.. former HS wrestler here and I can definitely vouch it's the rub. That's why the wrestler guys you see usually have it the worst. Sherk's got some mean cauliflower ear. Off the top of my head I'm trying to think of somebody else who's got vicious cauliflower ear. Oh, duh... couture. Take a look at that guy, man he looks like he's got baseball mits on the sides of his head. Also happens to be a career wrestler.

And just to show that it's not from getting hit take a look at the fact that 9/10 guys who spar in practice wear headgear/big gloves during sparring sessions. Boxers don't have cauliflower near as bad, either. It's definitely a wrestling/BJJ thing. Just like ringworm and infintaigo (or however you spell that) haha. We get all the good stuff!



vs. Mayweather (Career boxer obviously)

Mastodon2
8/15/07 6:38:11PM
Its not caused by punches, its caused by rubbing. When the ear is rubbed and twisted around, the layers of cartilage that form the ear get delaminated, blood and lymph fluid gets into the spaces and they balloon out like that. Rugby players get it too.

Speaking of fighters with bad cauliflower ear, Kazushi Sakuraba has a bad case, he had his ears covered with plasters whenever he fought, and his ears frequently bled during fights.
johny_rotten
8/15/07 7:19:33PM
Everyone is right. It can happen by getting hit or rubbing. Since there are gloves on your hand in fighting, and sometimes head gear, it is less likely, but still possible. If anyone saw the WEC wreckage before the last live event you saw a guy get cauliflower ear by taking an elbow to the ear.

It is caused by your cartridges tearing, bruising, popping, or swelling. Cartilage doesn't heal properly. It is also the reason people have ugly noses after they get broken.
Jackelope
8/15/07 7:21:20PM

Posted by johny_rotten

Everyone is right. It can happen by getting hit or rubbing. Since there are gloves on your hand in fighting, and sometimes head gear, it is less likely, but still possible. If anyone saw the WEC wreckage before the last live event you saw a guy get cauliflower ear by taking an elbow to the ear.

It is caused by your cartridges tearing, bruising, popping, or swelling. Cartilage doesn't heal properly. It is also the reason people have ugly noses after they get broken.



True enough that it CAN happen from getting hit. I guess I should have mentioned that earlier. However, it is much more likely in the context of what this person was asking originally in the thread that he's seen mostly wrestler rub type cauliflower ear. It's far more common
Mastodon2
8/15/07 7:33:00PM
Tbh, I can't really think of any career strikers that have it, I can't recall every seeing a K-1 fighter or boxer with a messed up ear, apart from Evander Holyfield!

Uh oh, here comes Tyson, he has been illegally headbutted 3 times already, he's gonna take your bloody ear off!
johny_rotten
8/15/07 9:44:38PM
Here is a link to a picture of ear that is cauliflower due to an elbow. It isn't pretty.

http://www.sherdog.com/news/picture_gallery.asp?pic_id=42053&f_id=16027&my_page=


Boxers don't get the ear because they have pillows on their hands when the fight. You are right though it is much more common from grappling.
hippysmacker
8/15/07 9:50:01PM
This topic reminds me of when Imes was punishing Seth on Tuf 2. Hi sear actaully exploded blood and puss all over the palce. Nasty
Jackelope
8/16/07 3:04:56AM
Hah, yeah Hippysmacker I remember that and it has been what I was thinking about the whole time discussing this thread. I couldn't remember exactly who it was, though.

Also, I should mention that cauliflower ear hurts something awful when it's coming on strong
ncordless
8/16/07 3:12:53AM

Posted by johny_rotten

Here is a link to a picture of ear that is cauliflower due to an elbow. It isn't pretty.

http://www.sherdog.com/news/picture_gallery.asp?pic_id=42053&f_id=16027&my_page=


Boxers don't get the ear because they have pillows on their hands when the fight. You are right though it is much more common from grappling.



That link actually shows someone's cauliflower ear exploding. The ear was already damaged to splatter like that.
Signal2112
8/16/07 4:04:43AM
Yep, as has already been stated, it's the rubbing on the ears that causes it. Sakuraba has it pretty bad, even when he's not fighting he still shows up at events with his ears plastered up! Guys in rugby sometimes wear scrum caps to alleviate and avoid it, but there is no such convention in MMA!
cmill21
8/16/07 4:46:34AM
In boxing it somes from the gloves rubbing. BJ penn and Jens pulver have some of the worst I have ever seen.
fullerene
8/16/07 10:06:27AM
Cauliflower ear from boxing is about as likely as cauliflower ear from falling down the stairs. It's not impossible but it's so unlikely that we might as well say it does not happen. I've never had swollen ears from boxing, no one I know has had that and no professional boxer I know (who didn't also wrestle) has it. It DOES NOT HAPPEN. Anyone who says differently better provide some photos to back up that claim.

Cauliflower ear is a wrestling/grappling injury/condition. Some guys get lucky, but the majority of college-level and above wrestlers will have some level of cauliflower ear and many Judo or BJJ practicioners will as well. The headgear worn in boxing is meant to absorb impact and avoid concussions, the headgear worn in wrestling is designed to specifically avoid damage to the ear.

One other point, is that simple "rubbing" alone isn't enough. it's not like a piece of clay that gets misshapen a little each time a guy is put in a headlock. Cauliflower ear is caused by trauma in the form of the tissue and cartilidge being separated. Fluid forms at the point of injury and, if it's not drained, it hardens in the swollen shape. I'm pointing this out for new grapplers who might be concerned about this--you don't have to check your ears with a microscope and a ruler after every class, when you get cauliflower ear you'll know if because a part of your ear is going to swell up and become discolored (and typically painful) beforehand.
cowcatcher
8/16/07 10:17:59AM

Posted by fullerene

One other point, is that simple "rubbing" alone isn't enough. it's not like a piece of clay that gets misshapen a little each time a guy is put in a headlock.



i agree with almost everything you say, just want to point out that as a former wrestler and high school coach we use the term rubbing when someone gets the ear, so if i wasnt clear before about this, i didnt mean a slight rub could do it, but rather thats the name we use for it. although i have gotten cauliflower ear from forearm rubs and headlocks before so it does happen but i was involved with the sport heavily for 15 years so over that amount of time anything can happen. hell i saw a guy on top in referees position get his arm broken by a switch, he just held on to the other guys elbow tight and the guy had a devastatingly quick and strong initial movement.
fullerene
8/16/07 10:20:47AM
^ Point taken. I just see a lot of these threads (and ones on getting punch drunk) where people get themselves so paranoid that they don't want to train.
cowcatcher
8/16/07 10:25:26AM
completely understandable, i was talking to my old club team coach last week and he said a ton of guys are coming in from gyms that teach mma to learn, but very few seem to be interested in being on a wrestling team right now. its sad to me because i come from a family of wrestlers, but mma is a lot more appealing to a lot of people right now, and frankly if i was younger i would probably rather do mma than strictly wrestling as well.
jomatty
8/16/07 10:59:02AM
that was nasty on the wec event last week when that guys ear exploded but there is no doubt that was caused by cauliflower ear,not the other way around. when that guy walked into the ring that ear looked like it was ready to burst. that had to be nasty for the other guy. blood is one thing but thats got to be blood and nasty puss and stuff.

anyhow one further question. does anyone how cauliflower ears heal or if it is permanent
fullerene
8/16/07 11:03:24AM

Posted by jomatty

anyhow one further question. does anyone how cauliflower ears heal or if it is permanent


Unfortunately it's permanent*. Cartilidge does not regrow.


*There are a few people doctors surgical procedures to reshape the ears. I've heard that these are not very effective, but it's probably the same as any cosmetic surgery, with varying results.
cowcatcher
8/16/07 11:05:11AM
if you drain it almost immediately(before it hardens) you can save your ears a bit, but it hurts like a SOB and like i said earlier, just isnt feasible when you train every day
Branwest
8/16/07 11:33:02AM
If you train alot, it's permanent. Like the post above, you can drain them, but you would have to do it pretty much every day, and that'd be too painful. If you notice the fighters who predominantly from wrestling backgrounds, their's are the worst. Fighters like Liddell have more normal ears. Chris Leben and Keith Jardine have some fu**ed-up ears, as do Hughes, Couture, Stevenson, and a host of others. For those who are scared, you can wear headgear, but that doesn't completely protect you. You can still get 'cauliflower ear.'
The worst I've seen, though, are definately Chris Leben and Keith Jardine.
Jackelope
8/16/07 2:57:56PM
Cauliflower ear, also known as Boxer's ear or hematoma auris - is definitely something that CAN happen from boxing. Although it is not near as likely to happen as it is in wrestling where the head is continuously coming into contact with the ground/opponents body, it is possible. Boxers in a clinch commonly bump the sides of their heads and blows are continuously rained down on the sides of boxer's heads. The only pre-requisite for cauliflower ear is that the ear must be struck in a hard enough fashion to break the cartilage from the perichondrium. So yes, it is possible and although not as common, still relatively common for boxers to obtain cauliflower ear.

From wikipedia-

Cauliflower ear or hematoma auris or perichondrial hematoma is a condition most common among wrestlers, rugby players, mixed martial artists, and boxers. If the external portion of the ear suffers a blow, a blood clot or other fluid may collect under the perichondrium. This separates the cartilage from the overlying perichondrium that is its source of nutrients, causing the cartilage to die. When this happens, the outer ear becomes permanently swollen and deformed, thus resembling a Cauliflower.

Headgear that protects the ears is worn in wrestling, many martial arts and other contact sports to help prevent this condition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cauliflower_ear

From medicinenet.com

What is cauliflower ear?

Cauliflower ear is an acquired deformity of the outer ear. Because the ear is precariously perched on either side of the head, it is often vulnerable to blunt trauma. Wrestlers and boxers in particular are susceptible to this type of injury. When the ear is struck and a blood clot develops under the skin, or the skin is simply sheared from the cartilage, the connection of the skin to the cartilage is disrupted.

The cartilage of the ear has no other blood supply except that supplied by the overlying skin. When the skin is pulled from the cartilage, and/or separated from the cartilage by blood (as with accumulated blood from injury called a hematoma) or infection, the cartilage is deprived of important nutrients. Ultimately, the cartilage dies and the risk of infection is increased. Untreated, the ear cartilage begins to contract on itself forming a shriveled up outer ear classically known as the cauliflower ear deformity. Once there is cartilage death and scarring (fibrosis), the resulting deformity is very difficult to reconstruct (if at all possible). Often the victim is left with a permanent deformity.
http://www.medicinenet.com/cauliflower_ear/article.htm

So there is the proof that was asked for in proving boxer's can get it.
fullfighting
8/16/07 5:49:30PM
Wrestler--I ve had cauliflower ear since I was 11 and i only wrestled then. I think its most common in the grapplers.
fullerene
8/16/07 6:22:51PM
Jackelope--your post is an example of where wikipedia and the medical community are off the mark (and it's not the only place). They know less than guys who train. Post some pictures of professionall boxers--guys with dozens of pro fights, hundreds of amateur fights and thousands of rounds of sparring--and show me any of them that have cauliflower ear. You CAN get it from falling down the stairs and bumping the corner of the stair with your ear...but don't count on ever seeing it happen; same with boxing.

I think the urban legend of boxers having cauliflower ear comes from pre Marquis-de Queensbury boxing (basically 19th century and earlier). In that earlier form of "boxing" it was basically the equivalent of San Shou and guys were allowed to wrestle on their feet and sometimes they even participated in what were more-or-less MMA type matches. These "boxers" were really wrestlers as well and so they got the same kind of injuries, including cauli.

Nowadays boxers don't get it...can't think of one I know personally or professionally that has it unless the wrestled too.
cmill21
8/16/07 7:03:27PM
I know boxers who have it. I also know kick boxers who have it.
bayonetxwork
8/16/07 7:45:56PM

Posted by cowcatcher

no other wrestlers/former wrestlers here to back the rub theory? im telling you guys most cauliflower isnt from getting hit, its from rubbing mat,thats why HS and college kids wear headgear.



I'm in high school and I wrestle, and you're right, its from rubbing, not punching. However getting punched can rupture them, and make them hurt like a mofo. Headgear works to an extent, but I still have a little bit towards the top cartilage of my ear.
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