How many rounds are there in a UFC fight?

UFC octagon
UFC octagon
Sayan Nag

UFC fights last for either three or five rounds. Normal fights are usually scheduled for 3 rounds while championship bouts and main events are for five rounds. Each round in the UFC is five minutes long with a one-minute break in between rounds.

A usual UFC fight with no special circumstances surrounding the bout will be of three rounds. Meanwhile, the last fight of the main card is usually a five-round contest in UFC pay-per-views as well as free fights on regular cable. Sometimes co-main events are also scheduled for five rounds when a UFC title is up for grabs. The most recent examples of this are the UFC women's strawweight and flyweight bouts at UFC 261, both of which were scheduled for five rounds despite not landing in the main event slot.

Another noteworthy exception to the usual system of deciding rounds will be posted when Nate Diaz makes his return at UFC 263. The bout was earlier scheduled for UFC 262 but was postponed when the Stockton brawler pulled out due to an injury. This bout will be the first five-round co-main event with no title on the line in the promotion's history.

Three round UFC championship fight

While UFC headliners and championship fights are usually scheduled for five rounds, special circumstances can cause an exception. The most famous example is probably Daniel Cormier's title defense against Anderson Silva at UFC 200.

Cormier was originally set to defend his light heavyweight title in a much anticipated rematch against interim champion, Jon Jones. However, Jones was pulled out of the fight after flunking a drug test, leaving Cormier without an opponent. Former middleweight champion, Anderson Silva stepped up to fight Cormier on a two days notice. However, Silva would only take the fight at a higher weight class if the bout was scheduled for three rounds. Agreeing with Silva, UFC president Dana White said:

"Anderson is giving Daniel the opportunity to fight, to make money and to perform on UFC 200. So if Anderson wants three rounds, if Anderson wants two rounds, he’ll get it.”

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Edited by aditya.rangarajan
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