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What Is A No Contest(NC) In The UFC? Simply Explained

Photo Credit: UFC

If you are a spectator of a UFC bout and the decision is made that the fight is a ‘no contest,’ you may be a little confused as to what this outcome means! Is the match a draw? Is there a winner? What does a ‘no contest’ outcome mean in a UFC bout?

A ‘no contest’ decision in a UFC fight can be declared if one or both fighters is injured accidentally, or by an unintentional illegal action, or if there is interference in the fight from the referee or another non-combatant. A fighter’s dishonest action or drug use can also have this result.

A couple of possible UFC match outcomes may leave some doubt in a spectator’s mind about the meaning of the match outcome. A ‘no contest’ outcome and a ‘no decision’ are two such outcomes that have some confusion about their meaning. We will give you the meaning of a ‘no contest’ and how it differed from a ‘no decision’ outcome, and what it means for the fighters.

What Does ‘No Contest’ Mean In The UFC?

There are many possible outcomes in a UFC bout, some of which result in a clear winner, a draw, or disqualification. However, some bout outcomes can leave some doubt in people’s minds about what the outcome means.

Some of the more common fight outcomes are a submission, a knockout, technical knockout, forfeit, judges’ decision win, and judges’ decision draw. Judges’ decision wins and draws have several sub-categories as well, but this is a topic for another time.

A ‘no contest’ decision signals the end of the match, and the bout will not continue. Several scenarios can result in a ‘no contest’ decision.

Essentially, a ‘no contest’ outcome is when the fight is halted due to a reason that is outside of one or both of the fighters’ control. If a ‘no contest’ is called, neither fighter is the winner or loser. This does not mean the fight is a draw, but rather the fight is declared null and void.

The bout goes on both fighters’ records as a ‘no contest’ bout, and the reason for the decision is also recorded. A fight can be deemed a ‘no contest’ after the fight, and the original outcome overturned should evidence come to light that warrants the decision.

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What Causes a ‘No Contest’ In UFC?

What circumstances surrounding a UFC fight will result in the fight being declared a ‘no contest’? Several situations both during the fight or after the fight can result in a bout being rendered a ‘no contest’ event.

If a fighter accidentally delivers an illegal blow, which results in the opponent being unable to continue the fight, the fight will be called a ‘no contest,’ and the bout will end. The decision of whether the illegal blow is intentional or not will be at the sole discretion of the judges.

Generally, if the illegal blow is deemed to be intentional, the offending fighter will be disqualified, and the other fighter declared the winner.

A fight will be stopped and declared a ‘no contest’ if there is interference in the fight by a referee or a third party who is not part of the fight.

Accidental injury to one or both fighters during the bout will also result in the fight being declared a ‘no contest’ bout.

Structural problems with the ring, unruly spectators, and other ring-related issues that make it impossible for a fair fight will result in a ‘no contest’ match.

Dishonest behavior, such as match-fixing, or positive drug tests of one or both of the UFC fighters, can result in the match being declared a ‘no contest.’ This can occur even if the evidence of this comes to light after the match has taken place and a fighter has been declared the winner.

Kevin Holland vs Kyle Daukaus ruled a no-contest after an accidental head clash.

Do UFC Fighters Get Paid For No Contest?

Whether it is a no-contest or not, fighters will be paid a contractual amount as long as they compete on the card. If the fight turns out to be a no-contest during the fight, there will not be a winning bonus.

So far, there has been no word on the UFC’s efforts to recoup the winning bonus paid to the winner of the fight that later turned out to be a no-contest.

How Much Do UFC Fighters Earn? – Here’s a Closer Look

Is A No Contest Considered A Draw?

A UFC bout declared as a ‘no contest’ is not considered to be a draw. A draw is where the fight continued to the end of the allotted time, and there was no clear winner since the fighters were evenly matched.

A draw is usually called when there is no knockout, and the judges’ scorecards show no clear winner on points. Depending on the judges’ scorecard tally, this can be a unanimous draw or a majority draw.

A ‘no contest’ match is not a draw since the bout is essentially abandoned due to the circumstances that resulted in the decision.

What Happens To Betting On A Fight If There’s No Contest Fight?

Sports betting houses have different rules regarding the outcome of a fight. The bets will usually be null and void since a ‘no contest’ outcome is generally the same as an abandoned fight.

Most betting houses will return your money to you if the bout you bet on was declared a ‘no contest,’ but you should check the rules for your betting agent on this matter.

What Is The Difference Between ‘No Decision’ And ‘No Contest’?

A ‘no decision’ declaration is an outcome of a fight that is used in certain fighting disciplines to stop a fight specifically due to accidental injury to one or both fighters.

It is similar to a ‘no-contest’ ruling, but his ruling has a broader range of circumstances that can result in the match resulting in this outcome. 

What Are Some Famous No Contests Fights In UFC Or Other MMA?

There have been several ‘no contest’ fights recorded for various reasons. Taking a look at some of these fights can help to illustrate some of the circumstances where a fight can be declared to be a ‘no contest.’ 

An example of a fight declared a ‘no contest’ due to the drug test failure of both fighters is the 2015 UFC middleweight fight between Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz.

The fight went the distance, and Silva was declared the winner on a unanimous points decision. The fight result was later overturned and declared a ‘no contest’ when the pre-fight drug tests came back with Silva testing positive for steroids and Diaz testing positive for marijuana.

Another famous example where both fighters were injured and could not continue was the 2007 bout between Rob Emmerson and Gary Maynard. Emmerson was injured when Maynard slammed him to the canvas with a body slam, but at the same time, Maynard’s head hit the canvas, and he was rendered temporarily unconscious.

Consequently, the bout was declared a ‘no contest’ due to accidental injury, and neither fighter could continue the fight.

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What Is No Contest In Boxing?

The different boxing governing bodies have different rules regarding declaring a fight a ‘no contest,’ but the basic principles across the boxing organizations are similar.

If one or both fighters cannot continue due to accidental injury or dishonest behavior from a fighter or his corner, a fight can be declared as a ‘no contest’ bout.

Historically, when boxing was illegal, the fight was declared to be ‘no contest’ if the police intervened and stopped the fight.

The referee of the fight can also declare a boxing match as a ‘no contest’ where the fight was too slow due to a lack of aggression from both fighters.

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A ‘no contest’ fight result is when officials overturn the result of a fight if evidence of dishonesty or drug use by either fighter comes to light after the fight. It can also result from one or both fighters suffering an accidental injury during the fight or from interference in the bout by a third party.

A fight declared as a ‘no contest’ outcome is not a common occurrence in the ring, but several fights have been decided this way after positive drug tests coming to light after the fight.

Fighters do not like having these fight outcomes on their record and will generally try to avoid this type of result. These decisions are also not popular with the fans and generally reduce a fighter’s popularity.