Preventing Cauliflower Ear in BJJ and Wrestling

Cauliflower ear BJJ may frighten several white belts when they start in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, UFC, and Wrestling martial arts. It may be an enormous problem for a plethora of grapplers especially those who take jiu-jitsu no more than fitness activity to get sweat. And what makes the cauliflower ear difficult to digest by several practitioners is that it’s rarely discussed and explained by many professors. Although it flows to the surface when the Brazilian jiu jitsu competitor team starts to prepare for competition.

A practitioner may get a cauliflower ear due to the fact that he engages his ear much time in close combat with his opponent. For example, if the BJJ UFC practitioner executes badly takedowns against a savage adversary more likely his ear gets bruised.

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During this article, we will talk about the causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of the cauliflower ear in BJJ, UFC, and wrestling martial arts. Stay tuned!

Let’s start first with a definition of the cauliflower ear in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, UFC, and Wrestling martial arts.

What’s a Cauliflower Ear?

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Cauliflower ear may be a term that refers to an ear deformation due to a close contact injury that may happen in combat sports training including Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, muay thai, and wrestling. Thus, the grappler ear’s cartilage undergoes a deformity (bruised ear) and the ear seems injured.

cauliflower ear

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Besides, when the ear’s cartilage is injured by inflammation, the blood supply from the skin is disrupted, often forming an out-sized pocket of blood, called a hematoma. And, the ear appears pale, giving it a cauliflower appearance.

Causes of the Cauliflower Ear in BJJ Wrestling Martial Arts

Practicing some sorts of combat sport martial arts may induce cauliflower ear including Brazilian jiu jitsu, wrestling, Judo, UFC, Mixed Martial Arts, and Boxing. And this is a result of the close contact within practitioners during training and sparring.

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Otherwise, the cauliflower ear has become a traditional thing among some jiu-jitsu fighters and martial artists. Therefore, many grappling fighters have to get it including Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor, Felipe Pena BJJ, and many more.

The Symptoms of the Cauliflower Ear In Jiu-Jitsu and Others Combat Sport

cauliflower ear bjj

Plenty of Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters have experienced the cauliflower ear during a fight or while rolling. You’ll discover a change to the shape of your ear, and therefore the blood begins to pool around the injured area. Congratulation! You got a cauliflower ear BJJ.

So, you need to drain your ear, and if not it can cause several symptoms including ringing in your ear, deafness, blurred vision, ear pain after or while sparing, swollen ear cartilage, deformity of the ear curvature, headaches.

It’s important to catch the start signs of the cauliflower ears which is going to protect you from other complications down the road. Also, it helps to stop the ear’s deformity and to remain safe from other inflammations.

Be aware that sometimes this ear trauma may cause savage damage and medical attention is needed immediately. Stay safe!

Treatment and Draining Of Cauliflower Ear BJJ

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The treatment of cauliflower ear in jiu-jitsu martial arts prevents permanent damage to the ear’s cartilage by cleaning and draining the hematoma. So, eliminate any infection, and reduce inflammation to re-establish the connection of the skin to the underlying cartilage.

Preventing the Cauliflower Ear in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Other Combat Sports.

The cauliflower ears protection is especially important for all grappling fighters who participate in high-risk combat sports. 

One of the solutions to prevent the cauliflower ear BJJ is by wearing headgear during matches and sparring. And for kids, always need to wear protective gear when participating in jiu-jitsu martial arts.

Otherwise, BJJ martial arts and other combat sports coaches must understand the primary signs of the BJJ cauliflower ear, and therefore the importance of seeking immediate medical attention.

Here is a helpful video about how to avoid cauliflower ear by coach Firas Zahabi

Source: Tristar Gym


Many grappling and wrestling fighters became familiar with the cauliflower ear BJJ, and they enjoy having it. Also, they use prevention during the training sessions if needed. But, the cauliflower ears may cause some serious issues to other martial arts practitioners.

We hope for all the martial arts family good and safe training all the time.

Speak your mind; have you ever got a cauliflower ear?

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Get Cauliflower Ear?

You’ll get a cauliflower ear when you’re engaging your ear frequently in the game during a close combat fight in wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, or boxing. As a result, the ear gets a specific form like a cauliflower. 

Does Cauliflower Ear Hurt?

The cauliflower ear hurt a lot in the first weeks of its formation, so you feel insupportable pain when something touches your bruised ear. Therefore, you will be forced to prevent close contact during grappling training sessions and while rolling.

Is Cauliflower Ear Dangerous?

In most situations, the cauliflower ear is not dangerous, but you have to drain it from time to time to eliminate any infection and reduce inflammation to re-establish the connection of the skin to the underlying cartilage.