What Does Dec Mean in the UFC? | Easily Explained

If you're a new MMA fan, it's almost a guarantee that at one point a fight will go to 'Dec'.

Well, what does Dec mean in the UFC? In this page we will explain how a fight can get to this point, as well cover each type.

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What Does Dec Mean in the UFC?

Dec is simply an abbreviation for 'Decision'. A fight goes to a decision when neither fighter is able to finish the other, and the fight goes the entire duration/distance. When this occurs, at the end of the fight, the judges will turn in their scorecard of how they scored each round, and who they believe to have won the fight.

usman vs covington 2 scorecard

Judges Scoring System

The judges will give the winner of each round a '10', and the loser of the round a '9'.

A 10-8 round can occur when a fighter is extremely close to finishing the fight, but for whatever reason they did not.

It could be due to the time of the round running out, or the other fighter simply surviving the difficult position and making it to the next round.

Unanimous Decision

A Unanimous Decision (UD) is when all three judges scored the fight for the same fighter winning the fight.

The judges do not need to have scored the fight the exact same way. For example, Judge A & B could have scored the fight 30-27, and Judge C scored it 29-28.

As long as all three judges agree on which fighter won the fight, it's a Unanimous decision.

Split Decision

A Split Decision (SD) occurs when two judges scored it for one fighter, but the third judge scored it for the opposing fighter.

Split Decisions happen often during close fights. This is why you'll hear MMA coaches as well as Dana White say "Don't leave it in the hands of the judges".

This implies that rather than leaving it to chance, they should finish the fight.

This will guarantee their win bonus, as well as make a definitive statement.

However this is easier said than done.

Additionally, during Split Decisions the crowd may believe that the wrong fighter won the fight, which is exactly what happened in an Al Iaquinta fight leading to his famous reaction.


Majority Draw

A Majority Draw (MD) is really rare, but it still happens. It means that two of the three judges believe that neither fighter has won or lost and send in a tied scorecard, while the third judge scores in clear favor of one of the fighters.

This result is so uncommon that you'll often see both fans and fighters confused on what it means when the decision is read.

When it comes to titles, if a Majority Draw occurs, the fighter who went into the fight as the champion, retains their championship.

During the Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson first fight, Bruce Buffer incorrectly read the result as a Split Decision before having to make a correction and announce a Majority Draw.

Woodley seemed visibly upset until Joe Rogan explained that he was still the champion.

Both Tyron Woodley and Deiveson Figueiredo retained their titles with a Majority Draw.

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