MMA is a brutal sport, and the UFC is home to the best MMA fighters in the world.
We all love an exciting fight, but it’s not rare to see those exciting fights turning into a blood bath.
I bring you the top 25 bloodiest UFC fights ever, ranked from 25th to 1st.
25. Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Stephan Bonnar at UFC 110
The fight between Stephan Bonnar and Krzysztof Soszynski was a real surprise coming on the undercard of UFC 110. Bonnar has been a part of numerous spectacular wars in the UFC Octagon. He usually dealt at least as much damage as his opponent, but he was one-sidedly on the receiving end this time around.
It started early in the first quarter when Soszynski landed a clear shot to the nose of Bonnar. He followed with an uppercut that opened a cut on Stephan’s face, and by that point, already soaked him in blood.
The corner managed to stop the bleeding between rounds, but the fight had to be stopped in round three. It seemed that the fighters accidentally collided with their heads, and Bonnar was the one that was misfortune enough to get yet another laceration.
Only this time, the blood literally sprayed out, and the cut was too big to stop the bleeding, giving Soszynski the TKO victory after the doctor’s stoppage.
24. Jim Miller vs. Mac Danzig at UFC 100
UFC 100 was one of the biggest events in UFC history, racking up over 1.6 million PPV sales. By the time the main card started, though, the octagon was already all red. The reason behind that is the undercard matchup between Jim Miller and Mac Danzig. It quickly became a UFC bloodbath classic, and there’s a good reason for it.
I don’t know if you can lose more blood over a match and stay on your feet, especially after the amount of punishment Danzig endured. The first cut on his head got opened in the first round. Miller never stopped his onslaught, banging his opponent with elbows, precise strikes, ground-and-pound – whatever way you can imagine.
Miller won via unanimous decision, but you have to give props to Danzig for staying on his feet.
23. Martin Kampmann vs. Diego Sanchez at UFC on Versus 3
If I could name one fighter, I always expect to put on a show; it’s Diego Sanchez. It seems like he gets into the best groove when he draws blood or gets bloodied himself. His matchup against Martin Kampmann was no different, and what made the fight that more exciting is that it was the main event at UFC on Versus 3.
Kampmann was the first to draw blood, delivering a blow that cut Sanchez early in the first. Sanchez ended in a knockdown in that round, but it seems it was the wake-up call he needed to turn into a higher gear. He came out blazing in the second, opening a gashing wound on Kampmann, too.
Martin didn’t fold, though. He returned the favor yet again, cutting Diego under both eyes and shattering his nose. There was blood all over the octagon, and even though Kampmann landed more strikes, those that Diego Sanchez landed had more impact, getting him the decision victory.
22. Randy Couture vs. Vitor Belfort III at UFC 49
Randy Couture was one of the first big UFC stars, and he was an amazing bruiser. He decimated his opponents with elbows and hard-punching, almost always leaving them a bloodied mess. And, when he felt like he had something to prove, you better watch out.
Vitor Belfort learned that the hard way at UFC 49. He beat Couture in their second matchup before this fight with a cut, and you better believe Randy responded. The first cut opened in the second round, as Couture asserted the top position on the ground and started destroying Belfort with over a hundred shots.
The onslaught continued in the third round. One of Couture’s shots gashed Belfort so hard that the blood sprayed a camera near the cage. The doctors stopped the fight after the third round, as Couture’s shorts turned from white to red from Belfort’s blood.
21. Evan Dunham vs. TJ Grant at UFC 152
Not only was the bout between Evan Dunham and TJ Grant bloody, but it was full of excitement and back-and-forth action through three rounds. The fans loved the resilience, giving the guys a standing ovation in the end.
Dunham started strong, but Grant opened the first wound on his opponent’s face. He was the one pressing forward and constantly landing, while Dunham worked from his back foot and landed some nice power punches way through the second round, a huge cut opened on Dunham’s head. That didn’t stop him from throwing more haymakers and even land some takedowns, bleeding all over the octagon and his opponent.
In the end, Grant was the better fighter and earned the decision victory, but Dunham showed what a warrior he is and earned his respect.
20. Georges St-Pierre vs. Carlos Condit at UFC 154
Georges St-Pierre had his fair share of bloody fights, and it wasn’t uncommon to see him on the receiving end, too. One of my favorite fights he was ever a part of, though, was a bloody five-rounder against another UFC legend, Carlos Condit.
They went at it, getting the Fight of the Night nod, and they well deserved it. GSP used his calm, composed approach to dominate Condit through the entire match, but Carlos had his moments, too, damaging GSP severely on several occasions.
Both of them ended in a bloody mess after the final whistle, but St-Pierre was the one going home with a unanimous decision victory. It’s a fight that MMA fans will remember for decades. At least I know I will.
19. BJ Penn vs. Diego Sanchez at UFC 107
If this were a list of the UFC’s most dominant championship match performances, this fight would probably be a lot higher on this list. BJ Penn defended his lightweight belt against Diego Sanchez more than successfully. Sanchez rode a 4-fight win streak, but Penn was probably the best he ever was coming into this match.
He landed over 70% of his strikes but managed to escape almost everything Sanchez threw, eventually eating only eight shots in over four rounds of fighting. He kept coming and coming, and Sanchez had no answer.
I accounted for at least three big cuts on Diego’s nose, lip, and forehead. The last one was at least three inches long and came from a massive head kick that landed just as Sanchez shot for a takedown. It immediately covered him in blood, as well as half the Octagon. The ref paused the fight; the doctor took a look and decided to call it quits.
18. Rory Singer vs. Josh Haynes at UFC: The Final Chapter
Neither Rory Singer nor Josh Haynes had a huge career, but they can both sleep calmly knowing they delivered one of the most brutal, exciting fights in UFC history. They went to war for three rounds on the preliminary card of UFC: The Final Chapter – Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3 event.
They went at it right from the start, and Singer was the one that was the aggressor most of the time. He ate some big shots, too, but he wasn’t the one to paint the octagon red. Haynes got clipped with a massive high kick that lacerated his head, starting the outpour of blood.
After three rounds of battle, Singer got the unanimous decision, and it was quite obvious why.
17. Josh Neer vs. Keith Wisniewski at UFC on Versus 6
I love these kinds of fights. You expect nothing coming into the fight, but the guys battle it out like warriors and give you a treat, making your money’s worth even if the main event was lousy. Josh Neer was a known brawler, but Keith Wisniewski learned that the hard way after their fight at UFC on Versus 6.
Now, it might not have been the most attractive fight, as both Neer and Wisniewski clinched a lot, but they delivered some lethal blows from the clinch. Neer was the one that ended up being more successful with his elbows, though. They came in the second round and made several lacerations on Keith’s forehead and arcades.
What happened next was quite shocking and horrifying at the same time. As Neer tried to press upon a guillotine choke, the pressure on Wisniewski’s head made blood spray in fountains out of the several lacerations, prompting the ringside doctor to stop the fight.
16. Jeremy Stephens vs. Estevan Payan at UFC 160
Jeremy Stephens has a reputation of being a real brawler in the Octagon. But, he was still a young gun just trying to find his place in the UFC when he fought Estevan Payan. It was the first fight of the undercard at UFC 160, and the fans already got their money’s worth.
The fight started a bit slow, but it was a completely one-sided affair when it got to the ground. Stephens got in the top position and banged a few incredibly hard elbows to Payan’s face, carving him like a pumpkin. Soon enough, Payan looked like he’s made entirely out of the blood. I believe the fight should’ve been stopped several times, but it wasn’t.
The onslaught continued to the final bell, where Stephens took the unanimous decision. Props to Payan for not giving up, though.
15. Donald Cerrone vs. KJ Noons at UFC 160
Yet another fight from the same event was one of those fights that mark a fighter as a warrior forever. Donald Cerrone was already a very popular character in the UFC, but his victory over KJ Noons at UFC 160 was the stuff of legends. When two strikers collide, it usually leads to crazy things like this.
The first round was some distance measuring and a couple of good shots, but the second went in a whole new direction. First, Noons’ eye swelled, and his nose began to bleed. Cerrone smelled victory and scored a takedown in the third, marking the beginning of the end.
You could see the damage with each shot that Cerrone delivered right until you couldn’t even see what skin color was Noons, apart from bloody red.
14. Sakara vs. Weidman at UFC on Versus 3
I guess some events are just bloody. It was certainly the case with UFC on Versus 3, as the fight between Alessio Sakara and Chris Weidman is already the second fight from its main card on this list. Weidman took the decision victory, but what made it that much more impressive was that Chris took it at only two weeks’ notice.
They went toe-to-toe initially, and Sakara already had blood coming all over his face just a minute into the fight. However, Weidman quickly saw that his opponent has the edge in stand-up, so he tried numerous times to get the fight to the ground.
He succeeded in the second round, and some nasty elbows made Sakara’s cut a lot worse. At one point, both guys were so bloody the ref had to step in and stop the fight to see if Sakara can continue. In the end, it got to the final whistle, with Weidman winning a decision.
13. Evan Dunham vs. Sean Sherk at UFC 119
The aggressive style of both Evan Dunham and Sean Sherk landed them on this list several times. Their matchup against each other didn’t disappoint, too – the UFC 119 Fight of the Night was a real blood war and a clash of youth vs. experience.
37-year old Sherk got the split decision in the end, but it was such a close fight it really could’ve gone either way. They landed around evenly and gave each other some nasty scars, but Sherk’s floor control got him the nod in the end.
12. Joe Stevenson vs. Yves Edwards at UFC 61
Joe Stevenson competed and won in the welterweight division in the second season of The Ultimate Fighter, but eventually went down to lightweight, where he competed with Yves Edwards.
Edwards was the one to start the match better, easily and convincingly taking the first round. However, Stevenson landed a few strikes, including an elbow that cut Edwards across the forehead, which will prove to be crucial for the outcome of the fight.
In the second, a mean right hand opened the wound like a fountain, and the referee had stopped the fight to check on Edwards. He was allowed to continue only to suffer more punishment, eventually leading to a doctor stoppage after two rounds and several blood puddles in the octagon.
11. Sean Sherk vs. Kenny Florian at UFC 64
If you look at only some moments of the fight between Sean Sherk and Kenny Florian, you’d think that Sherk was the one taking the most damage because of the vast amount of blood pouring down his face. It was one of the bloodiest title fights in UFC history, where both fighters got cut in several spots.
Sherk took Florian down and dominated for most of the fight, but one particular elbow from below delivered by Florian opened that huge wound on Sherk’s head. He soaked Kenny in his blood but eventually got the win via decision.
10. Nick Ring vs. James Head at UFC 131
This is one of my favorite fights on this list, no doubt. It good bloody in the second round, but it was a back-and-forth match that could’ve gone either way. In the end, Head’s cardio gave in because of all the damage he took, eventually losing to a rear-naked choke.
The first round was pretty even, with both fighters having their moment. Head had ring wobbly but couldn’t capitalize. Nick used his wrestling more in the second, taking Head down to the ground and pounding him like a beast. A huge cute opened on James’ nose, prompting the ref Herb Dean to stop the fight and take a look.
The fight continued into the third round, but after some more punishment ended on the floor. It was a great match I gladly watch time and time again.
9. Josh Koscheck vs. Chris Lytle at UFC 86
Chris Lytle had an incredibly aggressive fight style, which is why he got beat up with counters quite often. One of those instances happened against Josh Koscheck at UFC 86, and I’m glad I got to watch it. John knew he had a great grappling advantage, so he quickly took the fight to the ground.
He dominated all night long, but it got interesting in the second round when a hellish elbow decimated Lytle’s face right above the right eye. It was hard for him to see anything as Koscheck continued the onslaught until his blonde hair turned red from his opponent’s blood. Yes, he won.
8. Joe Lauzon vs. Jim Miller at UFC 155
Every fight that featured Joe Lauzon was at least entertaining, as he loved to duke it out, swinging hard and heavy. The same goes for Jim Miller, so we know we’re up for a treat. It took them half a round to open the bloodbath.
An elbow and a knee to Lauzon’s head were responsible for two major cuts, painting the ground red by the end of the round. The blood kept gushing through the see-saw match over both fighters, making them look like two butchers after a hard day at work in the end.
7. Rory MacDonald vs. Robbie Lawler at UFC 189
There’s a reason why people say Rory MacDonald is a psycho. He’s an incredibly kind person, but inside the octagon, he’s one of the most aggressive fighters ever. That was highlighted when he squared off against Robbie Lawler in 2015 UFC’s Fight of the Year.
Two of the greatest brawlers went at it, and not many people had the guts to trade shots with Robbie. Rory had the guts and gave us one of the bloodiest wars in UFC history. They both looked like vampires by the end. I won’t spoil it; I suggest you look this fight up and enjoy every second.
6. Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva at UFC 193
Heavyweights just hit differently. How Antonio Silva and Mark Hunt survived their encounter at UFC 193 for full five rounds is still baffling to me, but they did. One Hunt overhand knocks out most people, but Bigfoot ate dozens. He returned the favor, too, opening cut after cut on Hunt’s face.
The doctors had a nasty day at the office, as they continually had to stop the bleeding on either Hunt or Silva. It was one of the best heavyweight matches ever and a bloodbath that’ll remain a UFC classic forever.
5. Stefan Struve vs. Dennis Stojnic at UFC 99
I loved every Stefan Struve fight ever. It’s just a sight to see, as Struve was a giant among giants. His best fight ever definitely came against Dennis Stojnic at UFC 99. He showed that he’s as tough as they come with the comeback win.
Stojnic was the first to deliver. A series of hammer fists on the ground late in the first round bloodied Struve like a murder. He survived the onslaught and reversed the position in the second quarter. He managed to grab a chokehold, and as he tensed his entire body, blood sprayed from his hairline. He eventually got the choke but covered the octagon in blood.
4. Randy Couture vs. Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 74
Randy Couture is one of the biggest names in the history of the UFC. A couple of times, everybody thought he’s washed, but he came back and proved he’s still the best time and time again. At the moment they fought, Gabriel Gonzaga was a huge upcoming star.
It meant nothing to the champ, as he turned to match into a hard grind for Gonzaga, working from the clinch, firing elbows, etc. They both got very bloody, but what made it special is the resilience they both showed. Despite the immense damage taken, none of them seemed shook and got to the need of the match on their feet.
3. Renato Sobral vs. David Heath at UFC 74
The fight between Renato Sobral and David Heath went into UFC history as one of the wildest bloody onslaughts ever and as one of the most infamous fights in the history of the promotion. Sobral was mad at some words that Heath told him during the weigh-in, so he came out furiously.
He destroyed Heath on the ground so hard that the octagon turned red. Heath had trouble seeing from all the blood gushing down his eyes, but he held on for as long as he could. Sobral got a choke on him and held two seconds after the ref stopped the fight, leading to him getting cut from the UFC.
Still, the fight was great, but Sobral’s unsportsmanlike behavior overshadowed his great performance.
2. Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva at UFC 146
Once again, Antonio Silva found his way onto this list. It took Cain Velasquez merely a few seconds to take the fight to the ground and only a few elbows to completely cover Bigfoot in blood. He barely saw what was going on as he continually shook his head and wiped the blood out of his eyes.
Cain took advantage of the situation, banging Silva even harder, covering his arms, Silva’s whole torso, and the octagon in blood. It took Velasquez a bit more than three minutes to completely soak the cage in blood before the ref stopped the fight.
1. Jonathan Goulet vs. Jay Hieron at UFC Ultimate Fight Night 2
In my opinion, this isn’t the best fight on this list. But it is undeniably the bloodiest match in UFC history, and it’s deserving of the first place. And, nobody ever saw it coming. They were both mediocre fighters at best, and the fight looked that way through the first round.
In the second, the bloodbath started. Goulet opened Hieron up with a brutal knee to the head, and there was so much blood it only took a few seconds for the doctor to stop the fight and check it. Hieron was allowed to continue, even though his wound didn’t drip blood – it poured.
He asserted top position at one point, making Goulet even bloodier than himself. Both fighters and the mat were so red at the end you could barely tell who was who. Never have we so much gore in a fight. At least they got a piece of history, right?
And I’ve come to the end of the list of the bloodiest UFC fights ever.
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