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What is a cauliflower ear? Can a cauliflower ear be fixed?


Mixed martial arts has entered the mainstream of spectators’ favourite sporting events during the last few decades. Many people have remarked that boxers often have unique ears when they rise to fame as household names and prominent media figures. The term “Cauliflower Ears” refers to a condition that affects sportsmen who compete in combat sports all over the world.

Cauliflower ears, also known as perichondrial hematomas, are typically brought on by repetitive blunt-force trauma to the side of the head, which results in blood clots and swelling. Due to tissue damage brought on by these blood clots, ears develop a lumpy look like a cauliflower.

Beginners and amateurs can avoid this by donning protective headgear, but high-level professionals engaging in sports like boxing, MMA, grappling, and even rugby are almost certain to experience the side effects of the regular blows they absorb.

Although the issue is treatable, the types of medical care depend on how long the injury has been present and how long the ears have been malformed. Regular cold pack applications and surgical ear fluid drainage are common short-term treatments for athletes. However, only “Otoplasty” surgery or reconstructive surgery can treat irreversible deformity.

When Michael Bisping reacted to women asking him about his cauliflower ear

While elite MMA fighters typically view their cauliflower ears as battle scars to be proudly displayed, many find it irritating to continually be asked about their condition. Michael Bisping, a former middleweight champion, is one such athlete.

The 43-year-old British fighter, who gave up competing in the sport five years ago, is still a presence in the MMA community and can frequently be seen working the commentary desk for the UFC. But it seems that not even a seasoned pro like “The Count” is immune to the “what happened to your ears?” query.

In a previous episode of the Believe You Me Podcast, Michael Bisping voiced his irritation at random female passersby asking about his cauliflower ears:

“Is that how you acquire cauliflower ears?

How did your ears fare? Why do they behave that way? Girls, always… I then explain, “Well, there was a house fire when I was a baby, and kind of the side of my face got all melted… Oh my my, are you serious, that’s dreadful, they exclaim. I’m not serious; what the hell are you talking about? Fu** off. Keep your mouth shut.”

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