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'What a bloodbath!' Female MMA fighter suffers grotesque gash in Invicta FC title fight (GRAPHIC IMAGES)

'What a bloodbath!' Female MMA fighter suffers grotesque gash in Invicta FC title fight (GRAPHIC IMAGES)
Female MMA fighter Lisa Verzosa won't soon forget her battle with Julija Stoliarenko at the recent Invicta FC: Phoenix Series 3 card - in fact, she will be reminded of it every time she looks in the mirror.

Verzosa was defeated by Stoliarenko by split decision in night's bantamweight title main event, but the fight will be remembered as much for being among the bloodiest battles in recent MMA history as it was a back-and-forth tussle for a world title.

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The pair produced a surefire Fight of the Year contender as they went back and forth throughout five relentless rounds in Kansas City on Friday night, but while the fight itself will be remembered as one of the best of 2020, the imagery of the bloodied athletes will live long in the memory after the two fighters pushed themselves to the limit in a thrilling title fight.

During the fight, Stoliarenko opened numerous cuts on her opponent's face. The most serious of these was a gash several inches long which stretched from her forehead down the bridge of her nose to underneath her eye, the result of a particularly impressive elbow strike in the third round.

In addition, a separate (and also severe) cut appeared underneath her left eye. The injuries left the canvas caked in blood as Stoliarenko repeatedly targeted the cuts with strikes, with each successful blow sending plasma cascading to the canvas from her wounds.

The fight was contested under open scoring rules, meaning that the fighters were aware of the judges' scores as they entered the climax of the fight, prompting a blood-soaked Verzosa to push forward in the final frame knowing that she was down on the scorecards. 

It wasn't to be, however. Stoliarenko, now also covered in her opponent's blood, had done enough in the early rounds to extend her lead and was awarded the victory, along with the promotion's vacant 135lbs title.

Verzosa, for her part, comes out empty-handed, but will now have a story to tell about those scars which now pepper her face. Sadly for her, it just won't have the type of ending that she was hoping for.

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