Possible Outcomes of a UFC Match

When you look at it there are only three outcomes of a UFC match: win, lose or draw. However, how one reaches such a decision deserves a lot of attention. There are many ways in which a UFC match may end.

All the possible match outcomes are discussed below in detail.


A great number of UFC matches end in submissions as most UFC fighters are trained in submission and can lock hazardous moves like Kimura lock, ninja choke and calf slicer. A submission victory is said to occur when the fighter on whom the lock is applied verbally gives up or taps the opponent or the mat to show submission.
A referee stoppage may also occur if the fighter locked in a submission shows sign of excruciating pain (yelling etc.). Additionally, a technical submission may also occur when a fighter loses conscious or runs the risk of getting seriously injured due to the submission.


There are many knockout pros in UFC. This is said to occur when a fighter goes unconscious as a result of a legal strike that may be a punch, a kick or anything else that knocks the daylights out of a fighter.

Technical Knockout

As mentioned above, a technical knockout occurs when a fight is stopped by an external force and not by the direct act of a fighter. There are three scenarios of technical knockouts. These include:
  • Referee Stoppage: The referee decides to end the match when one of the fighters is not in a position to fight or defend.
  • Doctor Stoppage: When a ringside doctor decides to stop a match if it becomes unsafe for a fighter to continue fighting. This may be due to injuries or excessive bleeding.
  • Corner Stoppage: This occurs when a fighter's corner man signals a loss for their own fighter.

Judges' Decision

Matches in UFC are scored by judges who understand the business. In certain cases a match has to be decided via judges’ decision, especially when they cannot reach a winner even after walking the distance. Scenarios in this case include:
  • Unanimous Decision: All three judges score in favor of the same fighter.
  • Majority Decision: Two of the three judges score in favor of the same fighter and the third judge scores for a draw.
  • Split decision: Two judges score in favor of the same fighter while the third scores for the opponent.
  • Technical Decision: Occurs when a match ends due to the use of an illegal move or element, a decision is made based on the finished and unfinished rounds, if there are sufficient number of rounds.
  • Unanimous Draw: All judges score for a draw.
  • Majority Draw: Two judges score for a draw while the third scores a win.
  • Split Draw: All three judges have different scores. (1 for fighter A, 1 for fighter B and 1 for a draw)
  • Technical Draw: The fight ends due to a technical decision with the help of judges’ score that ends at a draw.


This occurs when a fighter intentionally uses an illegal move. Disqualification may be called for by the referee or the opponent.


This occurs when a fighter gives up due to any reason other than an injury.

No Contest

A no contest occurs when:
  • One or both fighters are unable to continue due to the use of an illegal move or element, and there isn’t enough number of finished rounds to make a logical decision.
  • The original result of a fight bout is changed because of illegal or unsatisfactory circumstances. For ex: a fighter, after a fight, testing positive for illegal drugs.
Note: it is not always necessary that the fighters' total points be equal in the case of a draw. However, in a split or unanimous draw, each fighter scores an equivalent number of win judgments from the judges (1 or 0, respectively).

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