Cauliflower ears usually occur because of blunt trauma to the ear that results in a deformity of the ear. Martial artists are the most susceptible due to the type of training they endure. Like scars these are signs of injury. It’s also the sign of a person that hits the mats.
Cauliflower ear is irreversible, there are cosmetic surgeries that can improve the appearance. But to many who have them they are symbols of courage, experience, or signs of a dangerous animal. Whatever it means to each individual is unique to them.
Probably one of the most obvious signs of a jiujiteiro is the cauliflower ear. I remember reading an article on police forces studying the signs of MMA fighters in case they needed to subdue one, looking at a persons ears was one of em. Bryant Pangelinan is a former patrol officer and big time competitor with a huge number of accomplishments.