Donald Cerrone UFC 238 Eye Injury Explained

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Donald Cerrone and Tony Ferguson were ready to give fans a three-round war at UFC 238 but that did not happen because Cerrone made a mistake between rounds. By now fans have heard enough about what happens when a fighter blows their nose after it has taken some damage. It is one of those things most in the combat sports space is aware of but forgets in the heat of battle.

Cerrone blew snot out of his nose before the third round and air rushed into his eye immediately afterward. People in the fight game are aware of it but not everyone knows why it happens. Brian Sutterer, doctor and sports fan who runs a YouTube channel where he brings together his fandom and profession saw UFC 238 and did a complete breakdown of how Cerrone’s eye got swollen shut.

The technical term for the air in the eye that happened to Cerrone is called “orbital emphysema” according to Dr. Sutterer’s video and it’s caused when the structures behind the face take heavy damage. He explains those structures are the paranasal sinuses which are “air-filled spaces lined with mucosa” and the one that likely took damage in Cerrone was the ethmoid sinus. The sinuses themselves are very close to the eye but the ethmoid sinus is just between the eye and nose, which Sutterer says is very thin.

Sutterer says it is not the action of blowing out to clear up breathing but the pressure created by air going back in after. If there is a break or any space that leads into the area around the eye, air can get through and can cause what happened to Cerrone. While not blowing the nose is advised, in the middle of a fight it could be hard to ignore the need to breathe clearly for another round over remembering that advice.

Do you think you would remember not to blow your nose in a fight?