How Do You Score Points In An MMA Match?

In MMA, the Unified rules of mixed martial arts uses a 10-point must system established by the New Jersey State Athletic Commission. This system is used primarily by almost all mixed martial arts promotions from across the world. Typically, judges will see if a fighter is controlling the round of a fight.

Like Boxing, three judges will oversee an MMA match.

  • These judges must award a fighter 10 points if he wins a round.
  • The loser of the round will receive nine points or less.
  • Both fighters can receive 10 points if the round is a draw.

How Are Points Determined?

  • Cage/Octagon control: A fighter is more aggressive and active than his opponent inside the cage. The fighter is seen controlling the pace of the fight and throwing combinations that are in his favor.
  • Takedowns: A fighter is seen successfully attempting more takedowns than his opponent and bringing him to the ground.
  • Striking: A fighter is successfully landing more strikes and striking combinations over his opponents.
  • Knockdowns: A fighter is successfully able to knock his opponent down after a strike or striking combination.
  • Submission attempts: A fighter is more active on the ground and attempting submission techniques over him opponent.
  • Ground control: A fighter is on top of his opponent and controlling the pace of the fight on the ground. This can include a "ground and pound" technique where he will aggressively land more punches from the top position. The fighter can also move in different dominating positions from the top to remain active.

How Can a Fighter Lose Points?

Dependent on the state athletic commission and MMA promotion, a fighter can lose points if a referee deducts a point for some of the following reasons:

  1. Eye pokes
  2. Headbutt
  3. Illegal knee to a downed opponent
  4. Grabbing the cage with your hands
  5. Kick or punch to the groin

In the event if a point is deducted, a fighter can at maximum receive nine points for that round.