How and Why Does Tony Ferguson Have Cauliflower Ears?

Published 05/09/2021, 1:11 PM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 06: Tony Ferguson looks on while competing against Anthony Pettis in their lightweight bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)


The fan-favorite Tony Ferguson is ready to enter the Octagon once again to fight Beneil Dariush in a Lightweight showdown. The fight will be featured as the co-main at UFC 262 after the fight between Nate Diaz and Leon Edwards was postponed.

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Ferguson is one of the more unique personalities of the UFC with an unmatched fighting style. ‘El Cucuy’ has been competing as a mixed martial artist since 2008 and is still one of the best Lightweights in the UFC.

His long career has given him a lot of visible scars and bruises, but most evident are his cauliflower ears. The medical term for cauliflower ear is an auricular hematoma, which is very common in wrestlers and fighters.

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This is caused when a person gets hit on the ear while grappling, punching, or any other activity which causes trauma inside the ear, damaging the cartilage.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 05: Tony Ferguson poses during a ceremonial weigh-in for UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena on October 05, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ferguson will fight Anthony Pettis in a lightweight bout at UFC 229 on October 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Cartilage is a flexible and connective tissue found in the ears, nose, and joints of the body. After the cartilage is damaged, the tissue near the area dies, cutting off the blood supply in the damaged area. It results in swelling of eras in an unusual way, which we know as cauliflower ears.

The first time Tony Ferguson saw a cauliflower ear.

Ferguson described his experience when he saw the cauliflower ear for the first time. ‘El Cucuy’ said “First time I seen a cauliflower ear I was really little. Didn’t know what the hell was going on there.

“I thought he was born that way, had a tumor or something. And I wasn’t too sure about it. Until my pops was like, hey you’re not careful with the ears cause they are pretty big. He is like you are gonna end up like that”.

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Ferguson got his cauliflower ear when he was wrestling aggressively with his opponent in Michigan. At this point in time, Tony Ferguson was still a youngster and studied in his high school.

His equipment headgear was not tight enough and came off while he was wrestling. The opponent came in hard while his head collided with Ferguson’s ears, leaving a bruise and giving him his first cauliflower ear.

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Saurabh Singh

139 articles

Saurabh Singh Laledia is an MMA enthusiast who works as a UFC writer for EssentiallySports. His passion for the UFC infused with his knowledge of various fight styles such as Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu motivated him to pursue a career in combat sports journalism, as it would be where he could exhibit his expert views and unbiased opinions whilst keeping the fan’s perspective alive. He started watching the sport at UFC 53 in 2005 when ‘The Ace’ Rich Franklin beat Evan Turner to claim the belt and has traced the journey of the middleweight title right from 'The Spider' to 'The Last Stylebender'.

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