5 of the bloodiest MMA fights in history

  • Not every MMA fight ends in a bloody mess
  • But every now and again a special moment happens and a war takes place
  • If you like that kind of thing, here are five fights to watch
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BJ Penn vs. Joe Stevenson, UFC 80

This list would not be complete without some mention of BJ Penn. Noted earlier for his style of fights, he is the type of grappler who would succeed in today's UFC. Despite the accolades and skill on the ground, Penn made his opponents work, and bleed.

Diego Sanchez was a big one for Penn, and for a lot of other fighters, but nothing beats his fight with Joe Stevenson at UFC 80. Ranked on many people's all-time lists for violence and damage, Stevenson lost plenty of blood that night and gave Penn another opportunity to lick his opponent's blood off of his gloves.

The fight was not very competitive from the start. Penn was able to secure a takedown fairly quickly in the first round and once he gets there, it's up to him when he wants to get up. Towards the end of the first round, Penn landed a trademark elbow perfectly on Stevenson, and the blood flowed. The cutmen did what they could to clean him up, but the damage was done.

In the second round, Penn took full advantage of Stevenson's damage and went in for the kill. He was able to get him to the ground, and lock in a rear-naked choke. This submission was infamous not just for the damage caused, but the pressure from the choke rushing through Stevenson as his blood squirted across the Octagon. This fight created some of the most iconic photos in UFC history. Even today, you can see the blood-squirting still image while Penn is locking in his rear-naked choke.

Penn was the face of the UFC at that time. There was nobody like him. Win or lose, he had the hearts of everyone. He was exciting, ruthless, but, ironically, so technical. It's what made him so good. Those traits made him one of the first fighters to compete for double-champ status. While his overall record will never do his UFC career justice, Penn's fights will live on in UFC and MMA history.