Ever seen somebody with a really punchable looking face? They might actually be at the forefront of human evolution.
Something primal happens when you’re in a fight, or even just watching a good fight. It’s why combat sports are so exciting. Fighting has played a role in our evolution as a species since day 1. Whether it’s cavemen trading blows over who gets to eat the juiciest bug, or kids fighting over Jordans on Worldstar, it’s impossible to imagine a world where hand to hand combat doesn’t play a role.
Research shows that the structure of our faces may have actually evolved to help us take a punch better. Before Tinder, you’d have to literally fight other suitors to impress your potential mates, so genetic traits that lent themselves to fighting would remain in the gene pool and those without said traits would die off. The most common face injuries in a fight are to the jaws, cheeks, eyes, and noses.
Millions of years ago, if you broke your jaw you were just shit out of luck. There weren’t doctors to fix it for you, you’d just not be able to eat anymore and then you’d die. Imagine if two guys were both hit in the jaw with the same force and one of them had a weaker jaw and it broke, that’s the end of the bloodline for our weak-jawed ancestor.
But those big beefy jaws might serve an entirely different purpose, according to a different theory…
Other researchers think that strong jaws and tougher-to-break-faces have nothing to do with combat at all, and that it was actually to help our caveman-brethren with eating nuts.
The changes in the formation to our facial structure was in line with changes to our hands that allowed us to create fists, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to punching – it could also have been a change that allowed us to grab nuts, however research into markings on the teeth of early humans discredits that our diets consisted primarily of nuts and fruits, plus having faces that evolved to take a punch sounds a lot cooler than jaws that evolved for eating nuts.
That’s enough science for today, want to see one of the nastiest jaw injuries on a UFC fighter ever?
Alan Patrick fights at 155 lbs, but didn’t actually get this injury in the cage. This Brazilian fighter recently suffered his first career loss and is currently 2-1 in the UFC.
“I was training and was hit by a knee. I was using a mouthguard, but it hit the bottom of my mouth,” Patrick said in an interview with Sherdog. “I have never been hit by such a knee before. It went right into my chin. Now, I will have to put a titanium plate on my chin. If I wasn’t going to be hit anymore, I wouldn’t have to do it, but as a fighter, I have to be cautious.”
Gross. Check out:
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