How Many Rounds Are in MMA Fight?


UFC Ring Girl Arianny Celeste

The number of rounds in MMA fights may not be the same for every MMA promotion throughout the world. However the U.S. based MMA organizations such as UFC, Bellator, including oversea MMA promotion ONE Championship all follow what is called, “UNIFIED RULES OF MIXED MARTIAL ARTS.” These unified rules were established to set framework for universal MMA rules in MMA fights.

These unified rules are supposed to be adopted by every state athletic commision in the United States which regulates Mixed Martial Arts fights(MMA). These rules were created to protect the safety of the fighters. As a result these rules set the number of rounds for every sanctioned MMA fight and the duration of each round as you will in the below.

What Does Unified Rules of MMA Say About Fight Rounds?

According to the Unified Rules of MMA, the following is the universal rule for how many rounds in MMA fights.

Each round shall consist of a five (5) minute duration (professional), with a one (1) minute rest period between rounds.

a. No contests shall exceed five (5) rounds and/or twenty-five (25) minutes.

b. Bouts may consist of one (1), two (2), three (3), four (4), or five (5) rounds, with a five (5) minute duration.

c. No contestant shall exceed competing more than five (5) rounds and/or twentyfive (25) minutes of fighting in a twenty-four (24) hour period. 

Source: “UNIFIED RULES OF MIXED MARTIAL ARTS.

How Many Rounds Are There in MMA Fights?

Different MMA organizations may have different rounds. It is the sole discretion of each MMA promotion to decide whether to have three rounds of fight or five rounds of fight. UFC, for example, decided to have 5 rounds of fight for main event fights regardless of whether it’s a title fight or not.

The following table shows the number of rounds for the most popular MMA promotions in the world and compare them.

UFCBellator MMAONE ChampionshipInvicta Fighting ChampionshipPFL(Professional Fighters League)
3 five-minute rounds (Non-Main Event)All non-world championship fights in Bellator consist of 3 five-minute roundsEach bout will be 3 rounds of five minutes per round.Each non-championship mixed martial arts contest is to be for 3 rounds, each round no more than 5 minutes duration.3 five-minute rounds. (PFL does not exactly specify when a fight is 3 rounds)
5 five-minute rounds (Non-championship “main event” fights: i.e. the final fight on the card and Championship fights)All world championship fights in Bellator consist of 5 five-minute rounds.Championship bouts will be 5 rounds of five minutes per round.Each championship mixed martial arts contest is to be for 5 rounds, each round no more than 5 minutes duration.5 five-minute rounds.(PFL does not exactly specify when a fight is 5 rounds)
1-minute rest period between rounds.1-minute rest period between rounds.1-minute rest period between rounds.1-minute rest period between rounds.1-minute rest period between rounds.
Source: UFC, Bellator, ONE Championship, Invicta FC, PFL

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