To succeed in the UFC, a fighter needs a massive amount of tools, from striking and grappling skills to an endless gas tank. Many of the most successful fighters have also displayed iron chins.
Over the years we’ve seen a number of UFC fighters with seemingly iron chins that allowed them to absorb huge shots. Eventually, however, some of those iron chins were cracked.
An iron chin can falter for a number of reasons, from an accumulation of a career’s worth of punishment, to one bad beating, to a fighter simply getting old.
Either way, whenever it happens, it’s alarming for the fans to see and it can signal the end of a top-level UFC career for a fighter.
Here are five UFC fighters who saw their iron chins get cracked.
#5. Frankie Edgar – former UFC lightweight champion
A true legend of the UFC, Frankie Edgar famously claimed the UFC lightweight title by defeating BJ Penn at UFC 112 in 2010. It was a period in which many fans felt that Penn was invincible.
Edgar went onto hold the title for two years. It was during this period that he really gained a reputation for having one of the greatest chins in UFC history.
‘The Answer’ took inhuman punishment in two fights against challenger Gray Maynard. Not only did he survive multiple knockdowns in both clashes, he came back to win the second with a knockout of his own.
While Edgar eventually lost his title to Benson Henderson in 2012, the strength of his chin certainly didn’t diminish afterwards. He continued to be able to absorb punishment, going through tough fights with the likes of Jose Aldo, Cub Swanson and Jeremy Stephens.
However, things changed for ‘The Answer’ when he fought Brian Ortega at UFC 222 in early 2018. The early going of the fight saw Ortega stun Edgar with an elbow strike. ‘T-City’ then followed with a knee that knocked him out for the first time in his career.
Edgar rebounded with a second win over Swanson and then went the distance with UFC featherweight champ Max Holloway. However, it seemed clear that his legendary durability was beginning to fade.
In this instance, it seems like a career’s worth of wars have caught up with Edgar, meaning that his once-granite chin is now well and truly cracked.