While MMA is often sold as a “safe” sport, the fighters competing in the UFC definitely aren’t able to avoid injuries all of the time.
While many of the injuries picked up by MMA fighters happen in training, we’ve seen the stars of the UFC suffer injuries during fights on plenty of occasions, too.
Naturally, some of these injuries are enough to stop a fight on the dot, think Anderson Silva’s leg break against Chris Weidman, for instance. However, incredibly, there have been instances of fighters suffering serious injuries and going onto win.
With that considered, here are five times that a UFC fighter picked up a serious injury mid-fight and went on to win.
#5. Conor McGregor – torn ACL vs. Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night 26
2021 saw Conor McGregor suffer one of the more memorable and gnarly injuries in recent history, as his third fight with Dustin Poirier ended abruptly when the Irishman snapped his leg following an attempted low kick.
However, it wasn’t the first major injury that ‘The Notorious’ had suffered during his UFC tenure. It’s arguable that it wasn’t even the worst, either.
After making a successful octagon debut by knocking out Marcus Brimage in April 2013, McGregor found himself matched with fellow prospect Max Holloway in his second fight with the promotion just four months later.
The Dublin native was given a huge welcome by the large Irish contingent in Boston when the fight with Holloway began. Early on, it looked like he’d be successful in outstriking the Hawaiian as he’d done with Brimage.
However, as the fight went on, it became clear that something was wrong with McGregor. Thatw was most notable when the Irishman suddenly stopped striking and began to use takedowns to control Holloway on the ground.
The fight ticked away until the final buzzer. While ‘The Notorious’ received a decision victory, it was a strangely uneventful win for him. Days after the event, it became clear why this was.
A post-fight MRI scan revealed McGregor had actually torn his ACL during the early part of the fight, meaning he was essentially fighting on one leg throughout. Quite how the Irishman had pulled off the victory was a major question mark. Suddenly, any doubts about his talent following the fight were erased.
McGregor spent the best part of a year on the shelf rehabbing the injury and his climb to super-stardom had to wait a little longer.