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UFC Rules: No Contest, Split Draw, and DQ Explained

Allan Binoy

UFC Fighter Earnings: Understanding Basic to High Range That Fighters Earn From the UFC

Rules and regulations govern every fight in the UFC. A no-contest is one such rule that exists under the Unified rules of MMA. A referee will award a no-contest in a fight if it ends very early due to an accident or an injury. The judges score the bout in a no contest because not enough time has elapsed to judge the bout and declare a winner. In such a case, the bout appears on the record of the fighter with the abbreviation (NC).

A Split Draw occurs when all three judges score the bout differently. For example, one judge has the score as 29-27 in favor of one fighter, another judge scores the bout 29-28 in favor of the opponent, and a third judge scores the bout a draw. In such a case, the judges declare the match as a split draw. Draws are rare, especially in the UFC, due to the high intensity of the fights. One such split draw decision occurred at the UFC 282 main event between Magomed Ankalaev and Jan Blachowicz. The judges scored the fight 47-48, 48-46 & 47-47 after five rounds.

According to the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, a Disqualification (DQ) occurs when a fighter ignores repeated warnings and continues to break rules. The referee will warn a fighter if they break the rules of MMA, such as eye poking, groin strikes, throat strikes, etc. Sometimes, referees also deduct points along with giving warnings.

If the fighter does not stop breaking rules despite frequent warnings, the referee can disqualify the fighter and make him lose the bout.

UFC Rules: Do UFC Fighters get paid for a no contest?

A no contest is a rare occurrence in the UFC. When it does happen, the fighters do get paid. However, the organization only pays them their appearance fee.

They are also not eligible for any bonuses because of the no contest. The appearance fee is different for almost every fighter. It depends on the ranking and popularity of the fighter. However, while such instances are rare, one of the most shocking split draws came at the UFC Noche.

Valentina Shevchenko and fans were shocked at Split Draw decision at UFC Noche

One of the most controversial split draw decisions came about at UFC Noche. Valentina Shevchenko took on Alexa Grasso for the UFC Women’s Flyweight title.

Here’s what Shevchenko had to say about the decision,

“I think it was 3-2 in my side, but judges I think felt a little bit pressured because it’s kind of like Mexican Independence Day that’s why they give one more to the Mexican fighter.”

Shevchenko believed the fight being on Mexican Independence Day influenced the judges who could not make a Mexican champ lose at UFC Noche.

Post Edited By:Debmallya Chakraborty

About the author

Allan Binoy

Allan Binoy


Allan Binoy is a content writer for The SportsRush. He is an avid MMA fan who has been following the sport since 2016 and learned to mix his expertise on the sport with his talent for writing to become a content writer. He has been curating articles for close to three years now and has worked for a number of reputable companies. He is a semi-professional football player for Diego Juniors FC in Pune, playing in the Pune Super Division League.

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