Bellator MMA: The 10-Point Must System

Find out more about scoring of Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA is a Mixed Martial Arts Promotion that recognizes and values the importance of the independent regulation. Bellator events are sanctioned and supervised by either the State or Tribal Athletic Commission, or a national federation approved and appointed by the government in the jurisdiction where the event is being held. The presiding commission assigns and supervises the referees and judges that officiate each bout. This occurs entirely independent of Bellator.

Bellator bouts are contested using the Association of Combative Sports Commissions Unified Rules of MMA or a similar version of these rules as determined by the presiding commission.

The 10 point must system is defined as follows:

All bouts will be evaluated and scored by three judges. The 10-Point Must System will be the standard system of scoring a bout. Under the 10-Point Must Scoring System, 10 points must be awarded to the winner of the round and nine points or less must be awarded to the loser, except for an even round, which is scored (10-10), which is rare as this would mean that there was no distinction between the two fighters.

This system has been used in boxing since the mid-twentieth century and is so named as a judge (or judges) "must" award the 10 points to at least one fighter each round and in some cases both fighters. This score is before any penalties or fouls are taken into consideration. Each penalty usually equals one point, but in some case it can be two points.

All points are collated for each round at the end of the fight, which determines the fight result using the following criteria:

  • Unanimous Decision Win: All three judges have the same fighter as the winner
  • Majority Decision Win: Two judges have one fighter winning the fight and the third judge scores it a draw
  • Split Decision Win: Two judges have one fighter winning the fight and the third judge has the other fighter winning it
  • Unanimous Draw: All three judges score it a draw
  • Majority Draw: Two judges score it a draw, and the third judge has a winner
  • Split Draw: One judge scores it a draw, and the other two judges have different winners