Top Five Bloodiest Fights in UFC 2021

Published 11/27/2021, 9:07 AM EST

Mixed martial arts is arguably the most violent sport in the world. Cuts, injuries, and knockouts are common occurrences in MMA. Victory in a bout between two competitors is determined by who can inflict more damage upon the other person in the stipulated period. This includes landing more strikes, separating your opponent from consciousness, or injuring your opponent to the point where they can’t compete anymore. 


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Given the nature of the sport, practitioners often resort to using offensive techniques like elbows, knees, and punches to win the bout. When these techniques land cleanly, they have the potential to cause cuts. Bleeding is normal in this sport however, some instances make even the hardcore fans cringe.

Talking about the same, let’s take a look at the top five bloodiest fights of the year.  


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Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos vs Benoit Saint-Denis UFC 267

The debut of Benoit Saint-Denis was spoilt when he went up against fellow welterweight Elizeu Zaleski at UFC 267. During the second round of the bout, Saint-Denis got caught with a heavy shot and staggered. Zaleski continued to pressure, landing knees, and other strikes on Saint-Denis.

Many even believed that because of the incompetence of the refereeing during the bout, the fight wasn’t stopped and Saint-Denis took a lot of unnecessary damage.

Saint-Denis suffered a broken nose that kept bleeding profusely. Somehow he made it to the end of the fight, having taken all that damage, only to lose by a decision to Zaleski.


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Sandhagen vs Dillashaw UFC Vegas 32

UFC Vegas 32 featured top contender Cory Sandhagen take on former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw in a five-round main event. The fight was Dillashaw’s first fight back in the UFC following his suspension.

The fight started fairly even, but towards the end of round one, Sandhagen’s pace and movement caused problems for the former champ. Sandhagen started to unload heavy offense on Dillashaw, cutting him with punches, elbows, and knees.

This forced Dillashaw to take the fight to the ground and use his wrestling. The fight ended in a controversial split decision in favor of the former champ. However, the win clear came at a heavy cost considering how much damage he took.

Damon Jackson vs Charles Rosa Vegas 39.

The fight between Damon Jackson and Charles Rosa was a featherweight bout in which Damon Jackson dominated Charles Rosa for two rounds on the ground. Knowing that he was probably down two rounds, Charles Rosa came out in the third, looking for a finish. 

When the fight began in the third, Charles Rosa landed a slicing spinning back elbow on Jackson. The elbow opened up a deep cut on Jackson’s head, causing an instant out-pour of blood. Then the referee paused the match and called the doctor in to assess the cut. The doctor deemed the fighter fit to fight and Jackson won by decision in the end.  

Marlon Vera vs Davey Grant 2 UFC Vegas 29 

Marlon Vera vs Davey Grant was an amazing fight at bantamweight between two sleeper contenders in the division. They fought most of the fight on the feet, both landing slick combinations, and heavy power shorts. It was in the middle of the second, however, when Vera landed a series of offensive elbows in the clinch on Grant that cut him open. 

Blood pouring out the top of his head, Davey continued to swing at Vera. The bout went all three rounds and an exhausted and fairly beaten Marlon Vera took the victory. All ended well when both fighters took home 50k fight of the night bonuses. 

Justin Gaethje vs Michael Chandler UFC268.

Most fans knew immediately as soon as UFC announced the fight that it would be a war of attrition between two fighters willing to give it they’re all to win. When fight day arrived, the two combatants stepped into the center of the ring and did exactly what they promised they would.

They brawled, swinging at each other without inhibition, each strike thrown with bad intentions. Late in round one, Gaethje landed a short right elbow, cutting Chandler on the eyebrow.


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As the fight went on, Gaethje poured on the pressure, landing more strikes, busting Chandler’s face up. On multiple occasions during the fight, ‘Iron’ would pause the action just to spit out blood. When the third round ended, both fighters were still standing battered and bruised, but not broken.

Both fighters were damaged, but Chandler showed the more visible damage. Gaethje won the decisions on the judge’s scorecards.


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Do you agree with this list? If not, we’d love to hear your thoughts and lists in the comments section below.

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Nahum Lobo

46 articles

Nahum Lobo is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing a media degree from St.Xavier's College, Nahum is a religious follower of events churned out by MMA promotions like Bellator and UFC.