Are you wondering what a UFC majority draw (MMA) is?
In this article, we’ll look at what a UFC majority draw is and how they come about, UFC majority draw examples, what a UFC split draw is, what a UFC unanimous draw is, and a complete list of UFC draws dating back to 2001 when the UFC first adhered to the Official Unified Rules of MMA.
What Is Majority Draw in UFC (MMA)?
A majority draw in the UFC is a decision given when 2 out of 3 judges have scored a fight as a draw, while the third judge has scored a winner. Majority-draws are only given if a fight isn’t finished inside either 3 or 5 rounds.
Despite one judge declaring a winner, it’s outweighed by the majority of judges scoring the fight a draw; meaning there’s no winner.
How Do the Judges Score a Majority Draw in the UFC?
As mentioned above, majority draws are the result of 2 out of 3 judges declaring a fight to be a draw, and in the UFC and MMA, there are only ever 3 judges scoring a fight.
The 10-point must system requires judges to award the winner of a round 10 points and the loser of a round, 9 or fewer. It’s possible for a 10-10 round to be awarded, but the smallest of margins mean a fighter wins the round 10-9, 99% of the time.
Rounds in the UFC are first scored by effective strikes or grappling, followed by effective aggressiveness, and lastly octagon control. The smallest of margins may be decided by as little as 5 extra strikes connected or ground control time, as an example.
Because of how rare 10-10 rounds are, how do majority draws in the UFC occur?
The leading causes are:
- Loss of points by fighters because of illegal moves or actions
- Dominant rounds by a fighter being scored 10-8
- Overwhelming superiority by a fighter being scored 10-7 (very rare)
- If there’s absolutely no way to separate two fighters, 10-10 rounds are awarded (very rare)
The most common way a fight is declared a majority draw is when a fighter wins 2 rounds out of 3 and all 3 rounds are scored 10-9. The fighter who wins 2 rounds is deducted a point in one of the rounds by the referee for an illegal move, most commonly eye pokes, groin strikes or fence grabbing.
For example, a point deduction in the third round may produce scores like this: 10-9, 10-9, 8-10 = 28-28 draw. All point deductions by the referee are included in all scorecards. In this scenario, if 2 out of 3 judges scored the rounds this way and the third judge scored it for either fighter, it results in a majority draw.
UFC Majority Draw Examples
Here are some UFC majority draw examples:
- Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno (UFC 256) – 2 of the 3 judges scored the fight 3 rounds (10-9) out of 5 for Figueiredo who had 1 point deducted in the third round which made their scores 47-47 (scorecard at top)
- Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson (UFC 205) – 2 of the 3 judges scored 3 10-9 rounds out of 5 for Thompson but also scored a 10-8 round for Tyron, making their scores 47-47
- Montana De La Rosa vs Mayra Bueno Silva (UFC FN:186) – 2 of the 3 judges scored the fight 2 rounds (10-9) out of 3 for La Rosa who had 1 point deducted in the first round making their scores 28-28
What Is a Split Draw UFC?
A UFC split draw is even rarer than a majority draw. UFC split draws are the result of all three judges scoring the fight differently.
Here’s an example:
- Judge 1 awards fighter A the win, 29-28
- Judge 2 awards fighter B the win, 29-28
- Judge 3 declares the fight a draw, 28-28
As there isn’t a majority ruling, the fight is declared a split draw.
UFC Split Draw Example
The most recent split draw was in 2021 between Ion Cutelaba and Dustin Jacoby at UFC Vegas 25. It was an incredibly close fight that could’ve gone either way.
As can be seen from the official scorecard, the 10-8 round awarded by Tony Weeks in round 1 was the anomaly that caused him to judge the fight as a draw.
What Is a Unanimous Draw in UFC?
As it says on the tin, a unanimous draw in the UFC is a decision given when all 3 judges have scored the fight as a draw.
A unanimous draw is rarer than a split draw or majority draw because UFC and MMA rounds are given 10-9 on the smallest of margins, so it’s very rare for all three judges to score fights exactly the same when a fight is as close as draws usually are.
UFC Unanimous Draw Example
The most recent unanimous draw in the UFC was in 2020 between Chris Gutierrez and Cody Durden at UFC FN:173.
All 3 judges scored the fight 28-28 to become the first unanimous draw in UFC history without either fighter having a point deducted; which as mentioned earlier is the most likely cause of majority draws in the UFC.
All 3 judges scored the first round 10-8 for Durden, while Gutierrez won rounds 2 and 3, 10-9, for a final score of 28-28.
Complete List of UFC Draws
To show you how rare draws are, let’s take a look at all UFC majority draws, UFC split draws, and UFC unanimous draws since judging and judging criteria became unified with the Official Unified Rules of MMA in 2001.
- Sean Woodson vs Luis Saldana (UFC 278) – Split Draw
- Da’Mon Blackshear vs Youssef Zalal (UFC ESPN 41) – Majority Draw
- Ion Cutelaba vs Dustin Jacoby (UFC Vegas 25) – Split Draw
- Montana De La Rosa vs Mayra Bueno Silva (UFC FN:186) – Majority Draw
- Grant Dawson vs Ricky Glenn (UFC FN:196) – Majority Draw
- Gustavo Lopez vs Alateng Heili (UFC Vegas 37) – Unanimous Draw
- Kai Kamaka III vs Danny Chavez (UFC Vegas 33) – Majority Draw
- Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno (UFC 256) – Majority Draw
- Da Un Jung vs Sam Alvey (UFC 254) – Split Draw
- Charles Jourdain vs Joshua Culibao (UFC Fight Island 4) – Split Draw
- Chris Gutierrez vs Cody Durden (UFC FN:173) – Unanimous Draw
- Enrique Barzola vs Rani Yahya (UFC FN:170) – Majority Draw
- Marina Rodriguez vs Cynthia Calvillo (UFC ESPN 7) – Majority Draw
- Song Yadong vs Cody Stamann (UFC ESPN 7) – Majority Draw
- Mauricio Rua vs Paul Craig (UFC FN:164) – Split Draw
- Askar Askarov vs Brandon Moreno (UFC FN:159) – Split Draw
- Zubaira Tukhugov vs Lerone Murphy (UFC 242) – Split Draw
- Matt Frevola vs Lando Vannata (UFC 230) – Majority Draw
- Rando Markos vs Marina Rodriguez (UFC FN:170) – Majority Draw
- Marvin Vettori vs Omari Akhmedov (UFC 219) – Majority Draw
- DeAnna Bennett vs Melinda Fabian (TUF 26) – Majority Draw
- Lando Vannata vs Bobby Green (UFC 216) – Split Draw
- Beneil Dariush vs Evan Dunham (UFC 216) – Majority Draw
- Marion Reneau vs Bethe Correia (UFC FN:106) – Majority Draw
- Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson (UFC 205) – Majority Draw
- Albert Morales vs Alejandro Perez (UFC FN:94) – Majority Draw
- Christian Colombo vs Jarjis Danho (UFC FN:93) – Majority Draw
- Michael Graves vs Bojan Velickovic (UFC 201) – Majority Draw
- Kevin Casey vs Elvis Mutapcic (UFC 199) – Split Draw
- Sergio Moraes vs Luan Chagas (UFC 198) – Split Draw
- Damon Jackson vs Levan Makashvili (UFC on Fox 18) – Majority Draw
- Nicolas Dalby vs Darren Till (UFC FN:76) – Majority Draw
- Mizuto Hirota vs Teruto Ishihara (UFC FN:75) – Split Draw
- Leonardo Santos vs Norman Parke (UFC FN:38) – Majority Draw
- Antonio Silva vs Mark Hunt (UFC FN:33) – Majority Draw
- Felipe Arantes vs Milton Vieira (UFC 147) – Split Draw
- Demetrious Johnson vs Ian McCall (UFX on FX 2) – Majority Draw
- Jon Fitch vs B.J. Penn (UFC 127) – Majority Draw
- Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard (UFC 125) – Split Draw
- Jesse Bongfeldt vs Rafael Natal (UFC 124) – Majority Draw
- Cheick Kongo vs Travis Browne (UFC 120) – Unanimous Draw
- Thiago Tavares vs Nik Lentz (UFC FN:20) – Majority Draw
- Caol Uno vs Fabricio Camoes (UFC 106) – Majority Draw
- Rashad Evans vs Tito Ortiz (UFC 73) – Unanimous Draw
2004 – 2006
- Vernon White vs Ian Freeman (UFC 43) – Split Draw
- B.J. Penn vs Caol Uno (UFC 41) – Split Draw
2001 – 2002
In total, there have been 46 UFC draws in the promotion’s history since 2001. This is split between
- 27 majority draws
- 15 split draws
- 4 unanimous draws
There were some draws before 2001 but they’re not included in UFC records because 2001 is when the UFC adhered to the Official Unified Rules of MMA.
From 1993 to 1999 the UFC had no official round system, and before UFC 8 there were no time limits, no rounds, and no breaks. The fights were considered no holds barred (despite there being some rules), and went on until a fighter was finished or the towel was thrown in by their corner.
From 1999 to 2001, the UFC had rounds but preliminary fights were only two-five minute rounds, which were then changed in 2001 so that all non-title fights were three-five minute rounds.
Draws were therefore occurring on what’s considered unofficial rules, or at the early UFC tournaments and superfights.
The first superfight at UFC 5 between Ken Shamrock and Royce Grace ended in a draw as neither fighter found a way to win after 36 minutes of fighting. This is the fight that prompted the UFC to add time limits and rounds as a way to prevent stalemate fights without a winner.
The Bottom Line
Any draw is a decision awarded by the judges’ scores if a fight wasn’t finished in either 3 or 5 rounds.
A majority draw is declared when 2 out of 3 judges have scored the fight as a draw.
A split draw is declared when all 3 judges have scored the fight differently, a win for either fighter and a draw.
Finally, a unanimous draw in the UFC and MMA is when all 3 judges score the fight as a draw.
Of all draws in the UFC, majority draws are most common, followed by split draws and lastly, unanimous draws.