Everyone who trains MMA knows that injuries are just a part of the life. In fact, many fighters have suffered serious injuries during a fight and just kept going. Randy Couture, for example, tried to block a kick with his arms in a UFC heavyweight title fight against Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga. Couture’s arm snapped but he just kept fighting and won the title with a stoppage victory. Couture is well-known as one of the greatest fighters in UFC history. He is also easy to recognize due to the “cauliflower ear” that he has in both ears. On September 16, this article discussed the issue of cauliflower ear and what fighters can do to deal with it.
As the article states, cauliflower ear is a condition that occurs over time and is caused by blood and pus getting trapped in the ear. The ear swells into shapes that look like cauliflower, which is how the condition got its name. The ear can return to normal if the blood and pus are drained quickly enough. If not, the trapped fluids eventually harden, leaving the ear in a constantly swollen state.
This is a common condition for wrestlers, boxers and any other combat sports where the ears are punched, pulled or smashed. Many young athletes actually want cauliflower ear as they think that it is badge of honor to show and be proud of. However, anyone who has had the condition knows just how painful it can be.
Randy Couture is one of MMA’s biggest stars and has even made the crossover into Hollywood, including roles in both of the “Expendables” movies. In the first “Expendables” movie, a joke is made about Couture’s ears and he explains how someone gets the condition. In the article, Couture talks about how he got the condition and the issues that he has with it today.
Couture’s ears are so swollen that his ear canals are blocked and he has a hard time hearing. He talks about how hard it is to find a comfortable sleeping position and that showers become impromptu training sessions as he fights to keep the spraying water from hitting his ears.
The trapped blood and pus can cause other problems as well. The ears can rupture if hit, spraying the blood all over the fighter. Kimbo Slice ruptured James Thompson's cauliflower ear in a fight televised live on CBS, which left viewers with this image (scroll down the page to view the picture).
The best thing young fighters can do for the condition is to drain it every time it appears. It takes a small syringe and a person with a steady hand. There are many videos on YouTube of people draining it, including this one of UFC fighter Mike Swick. However, it is recommended to have a medical professional perform the procedure.