Whatever side of the combat sports argument you’ve decided to take – be it in support of the traditional version of boxing, or the more modern mixed martial arts, there’s no denying the rapidly growing intrigue - especially among the younger generation of sports fans - surrounding MMA.

Certainly there’s a growing belief that MMA contests and concepts like the Ultimate Fighting Championship and "The Ultimate Fighter" have contributed to the downfall in credibility and popularity of the sport of boxing.

Despite the explosion of interest caused by the hype of the Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao showdown, many fear that boxing’s final days are closer than the most staunch traditionalist might think.

Which is all completely understandable when considering the epic and brutal images MMA sports have been known to generate.

We ventured through the archives to bring you 15 of the most painful, emotional and downright scary MMA photos ever taken.

Fancy stepping into the octagon to be a part of the action? Didn’t think so. We’re not keen either … But no wonder the kids are intrigued. Enjoy!