What is a 'no contest' in the UFC?

Greg Hardy used an inhaler in between rounds against Ben Sosoli
Greg Hardy used an inhaler in between rounds against Ben Sosoli
Bhavesh Purohit

In the UFC, there are many ways that a fight may come to an end. It can be via submission, technical knockout, knockout, forfeit, judges' decision, disqualification, and 'no contest'. While most of these are self-explanatory, there is one outcome that remains mildly confusing - no-contest.

The UFC has validated the 'no-contest' outcome on several occasions in its almost three-decade-old history, and it continues to be one of the potential ways a fight could culminate. However, what does it mean for a fight to end in a no-contest?

What does no contest mean in the UFC?

In simple terms, a fight can be ruled as 'no-contest' if it ends due to reasons which are outside of the fighters' control. For instance, a heavy accidental eye poke may force a competitor to withdraw from the fight; in such case, the bout would be ruled as no contest where neither of the fighters can be declared the winner.

A few of the most common reasons why a fight may turn out to be a no-contest include when the winner of a previously held bout tests positive in a drug test, and when a fighter sustains an injury in the middle of the fight due to accidental foul.

However, it is important to note that in case of an accidental foul, it is up to the referee to decide on the severity of the injury in this instance.

These are not the only two ways a referee can determine a fight as no-contest in the UFC. In the case of double knockouts, ring issues, and third-party intervention in the bout, the referee may be forced to rule the fight as no-contest.

Some famous no contest fights in the UFC

UFC has seen a fair share of no contest fights, including some of the biggest names on their roster, with the most notable one being the Anderson Silva vs Nick Diaz fight in 2015.

Originally, Silva won the fight via unanimous decision, but the result was overturned to no-contest after the Brazilian tested positive for drostanolone and androsterone. Diaz, on the other hand, also tested positive for marijuana.

The Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier rematch in 2017 saw the former reclaim the UFC light heavyweight championship. However, the bout was ruled no-contest after Jones tested positive for turinabol. He was also stripped of the title.

Heavyweight Greg Hardy's fight against Ben Sosoli was ruled no-contest after Hardy used inhaler in between the rounds.

A highly-anticipated fight between Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier also resulted in no-contest as Alvarez landed illegal knees to Poirier's head when he was down. Poirier beat Alvarez next year via TKO.

Edited by James McGlade


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