How is UFC Scored: Understanding How the UFC Scoring System Works

There are currently over 300 million MMA fans worldwide, and the UFC holds over 500 events in 28 different countries. It’s a relatively new sport that has grown in popularity in recent years and continues to draw attention from fans of wrestling, boxing, and other similar sports.

But how is UFC scored and the winner determined? Does getting a knockout mean an instant win or does the technical aspect of the fight take more priority? If you’re planning to wager any money on a fight, it’s important to know how exactly they score fights.

Here’s everything you need to know about the scoring system and what may lead to a fighter earning or losing points.

How is UFC Scored?

So how does scoring work in the UFC? First of all, anyone that gets knocked out or submits to their opponent loses. It doesn’t matter how many points they get in that situation.

Assuming the match went on, the scorecards decide the victor. There are three judges that score each round separate from one another.

Judges score fights based on a ten-point system, with fighters getting anywhere from 7 to 10 points. It’s not very common at all for someone to score as low as 7 points, but it is possible. It’s also possible for both fighters to get the maximum amount of points in a single round depending on how even the match was.

If you’re making prop bets, you can actually bet on individual parts of a match such as who wins which round and by how many points.

 

UFC Scoring System Explained

There are certain aspects that go into consideration when granting scores to fighters. Some maneuvers can grant extra points while others will detract from your score. Anyone who wants to become a UFC fighter or bet on these fights needs to know how the scoring system works so they can take full advantage of it.

The Judge’s Decision

The three different scorecards determine the overall judge’s decision. You have a few different options you may see, including:

  • Unanimous decision
  • Majority decision
  • Split decision
  • Technical decision
  • Unanimous draw
  • Majority draw
  • Split draw
  • Technical draw

A unanimous decision happens when all three judges made the same determination. One fighter got the most points in every single round overall against their opponent.

Meanwhile, a majority decision happens when two of the three judges scored a win for a particular fighter. This may happen if one judge decides that there was no clear victor. There’s also the split decision where one judge scored a win for a different fighter than the other two judges.

A rarer situation is the unanimous draw. In this case, all three judges scored the overall fighters as equal. They may have different points in each round, but their total ended up the same.

Scoring Factors

So how are all of these points assigned in the first place? After all, they’re not arbitrary numbers applied to whoever the judges liked most.

The three main factors taken into account include effective striking and grappling, aggressiveness, and control of the fighting area.

Effective striking and grappling are self-explanatory. It’s based on how many legal strikes landed and how effective a fighter’s maneuvers were. That includes takedowns, reversals, and submission attempts.

Aggressiveness refers to whether or not an individual fought aggressively or passively. It’s better if they move forward actively so as not to unnecessarily prolong a fight.

Finally, there’s how much control a fighter has over the cage. Whoever has more control of the fight should have the center of the cage while pushing the opponent away from them. That also helps them control where the fight actually happens and at what pace.

UFC Score Rounds

As previously mentioned, judges vote based on a ten-point system. However, fighters are rarely given as little as 7 points for a round unless there are special circumstances.

For example, a 10-10 round is a rare one in which both fighters excelled in their own way. They were evenly matched without the slightest difference in skill level.

Something as low as a 10-7 round is equally rare, as it means one fighter completely dominated the other. More often than not, a judge will score a fight as either a 10-9 or a 10-8 round.

Illegal Blows and Deductions

Illegal blows won’t immediately disqualify fighters, but they can affect their scores. Some of the illegal moves that will count against a fighter include piledriving, headbutts, groin strikes, and eye poking. You also can’t pull hair, bite, or do any soccer kicks.

Any illegal blow made intentionally that disables a fighter can lead to disqualification. Accidental fouls may simply lead to a no-contest decision. The injured fighter may be declared the victor if an illegal move rendered them unable to continue fighting.

Scoring System Problems and Considerations

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has grown quite a bit since its inception in 1993. The original rules and scoring system were barbaric in comparison with what people are used to today. However, there are still some issues to take into consideration when learning how UFC points are given out.

First of all, the boxing points system was what the UFC scoring system was based on. As they are very different sports, it’s difficult to determine what kind of moves deserve more points or attention.

Second, judges aren’t always skilled fighters who have proper training. They may assign points erroneously or based on their knowledge of other sports.

Finally, there are only three rounds in a UFC fight. As such, the UFC scoring system takes into account any little mistake a fighter may make in determining the winner. They have to be on top of their game at all times.

Making a Smart Bet

So how is UFC scored, and how can you take advantage of that system? Anyone betting on a fight can make wagers based on factors such as who won which round and who won the overall fight. Knowing the points helps you determine what’s more realistic and what’s a higher-risk bet.

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