why don’t mma fighters fix their ears

why don’t mma fighters fix their ears

Why Don’t MMA Fighters Fix Their Ears?

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sport that often leads to fighters developing a condition known as “cauliflower ear.” This deformity occurs when the ear cartilage is repeatedly injured and becomes disfigured. Despite the availability of medical treatments, many MMA fighters choose not to fix their ears. This article explores the various reasons behind this decision.

1. Badge of Honor

For some MMA fighters, cauliflower ear is seen as a badge of honor. It is a visual representation of their dedication and commitment to the sport. These fighters wear their deformed ears with pride, considering it a symbol of their toughness and resilience.

However, it is important to note that not all fighters view cauliflower ear in this way. Some may simply not prioritize fixing their ears due to other factors.

2. Time Constraints

MMA fighters have demanding training schedules and often compete frequently. The process of fixing cauliflower ear can be time-consuming, requiring multiple visits to a doctor or specialist. Many fighters choose to prioritize their training and competition over the cosmetic aspect of their appearance.

Additionally, the recovery time after the procedure can interfere with their training and potentially affect their performance in upcoming fights.

3. Fear of Impaired Hearing

There is a common misconception that fixing cauliflower ear can lead to impaired hearing. While this is not entirely accurate, as the procedure primarily focuses on cosmetic improvement, some fighters may still have concerns about potential complications and choose to avoid the procedure altogether.

Given the importance of hearing in MMA, where fighters need to be aware of their surroundings and listen to their corner’s instructions during fights, this fear can be a significant deterrent.

4. Financial Considerations

why don't mma fighters fix their ears

Medical procedures to fix cauliflower ear can be costly, especially if the condition is severe and requires extensive treatment. MMA fighters, particularly those who are not in the top ranks or have lucrative sponsorship deals, may not have the financial resources to invest in cosmetic procedures.

They may prioritize spending their money on training, equipment, and other essential aspects of their career, rather than on fixing a non-life-threatening condition.

5. Lack of Awareness

Some MMA fighters may simply be unaware of the available treatments for cauliflower ear or the potential benefits of fixing it. They may not realize that medical interventions can help reduce the risk of infection, improve the appearance of their ears, and potentially prevent further damage to the cartilage.

Without proper education or access to information, fighters may not consider fixing their ears as a viable option.

6. Cultural and Personal Beliefs

Individuals’ cultural and personal beliefs can also influence their decision not to fix their ears. Some fighters may come from cultures or backgrounds where physical scars or deformities are embraced as a sign of strength and character.

Moreover, personal beliefs about body image and acceptance may also play a role. Some fighters may prioritize self-acceptance and focus on their skills and performance rather than their physical appearance.


While cauliflower ear can be fixed through medical interventions, MMA fighters have various reasons for choosing not to pursue treatment. Some view it as a badge of honor, while others prioritize their training and competition over cosmetic concerns. Fear of impaired hearing, financial constraints, lack of awareness, and personal beliefs also contribute to the decision. Ultimately, it is up to each fighter to decide whether or not to fix their ears based on their individual circumstances and priorities.

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