A 19-year-old had "multiple stab wounds" in what is believed to have been a targeted attack.
He was hurt in an altercation in Fox Crescent, Chelmsford at about 22:45 BST on Tuesday.
The victim told Essex Police he had been walking in the direction of Kingswood shops when he was stopped and attacked by two men.
He is being treated in hospital for injuries to his hands, back and chest but they are not life-threatening.
Police have called for witnesses to come forward.
The force said it is believed the alleged attackers, who were black, left in a car.
"At this time, we are treating this as a targeted attack and do not believe that there is a risk to the wider public," a spokesman said.