The number of UFC Fights rounds and the amount of time between rounds fought for in a battle may vary greatly amongst combat sports. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) settled on a five-minute round time limit for MMA bouts in the late ’90s, and the practice has stuck ever since.

Every UFC main event is five rounds and every non-title bout lasts three. The total time for a three-round battle is seventeen minutes, with a five-round bout being twenty-nine minutes. However, not all battles last until the final bell. How long does the typical event last, and how long do fights typically last, depending on the weight class?

UFC Fights
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 11: (L-R) Josh Emmett punches Dan Ige in their featherweight bout during the UFC 269 on December 11, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

What is a typical round time in the UFC?

All MMA rounds are capped at 5 minutes per the unified rules. U.S. athletic and other governing bodies enforce these regulations. However, they are always used by the UFC, no matter where the event is located.

To provide more uniformity across the sport, other organizations in Europe and Asia have adopted the same regulations, making MMA bouts 5 minutes long worldwide. When the UFC initially began, there were no time constraints on the events. Fights went on until one of the participants could go on no longer.

Despite the fact that this seems like a great concept on paper from a realistic standpoint, it would make for poor entertainment. Fighters need time to recharge their energy, confer with their trainers, and prepare for the next bout with renewed fury and intensity.

UFC Fights
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 20: (L-R) Ketlen Vieira of Brazil punches Miesha Tate in a bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on November 20, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

The current rulebook was developed by the UFC after the 36-minute Ken Shamrock vs. Royce Gracie battle that was widely panned and eventually ended in a draw. UFC 21 in 1999 was the first event in which MMA employed a round format.

What is the average length of a UFC bout?

Bouts in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) have a maximum allowed duration of 15 minutes for most fights and 25 minutes for 5-round main events, however, hardly half of the fights actually take that long. Fights may be over in a matter of seconds, or in the last seconds of the final round.

UFC Fights
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: (L-R) Alexander Volkanovski of Australia punches Max Holloway in their UFC featherweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020, on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

The UFC meticulously tracks almost everything imaginable. To our good fortune, many of these tools are freely accessible to the public. In the second installment of their cross-sectional study, they looked at data from 1443 bouts across weight classes in the years 2017 and 2019. Take a look at these statistics for a general idea of how long a typical battle lasts.

Weight Class Average Fight Duration
Flyweight 11:14
Bantamweight 11:10
Featherweight 11:47
Lightweight 10:39
Welterweight 11:22
Middleweight 11:06
Light heavyweight 9:13
Heavyweight 9:40
Strawweight 12:45
Women’s flyweight 12:04
Women’s bantamweight 12:47
Women’s featherweight 11:44


As can be seen, female arguments tend to go on for far longer than male ones. There are a number of factors at play here, but one major one is that they just lack the knockout power to win knockouts. A similar pattern holds true when looking at the male classes, with the two lowest having the longest bout durations. The light heavyweight class (at 205 pounds) actually has the quickest battle times, contrary to popular belief about how heavyweight bouts go. Overall, in the UFC, 51.05 percent of bouts end in a decision, which is a key impact on how long fights often last.

Most UFC bouts stay within the rules, although time is halted for minor infractions. As the battle progresses, a doctor may need to enter the ring to assess the condition of the combatant. The total battle duration might go above the allotted period of 17 minutes for 3 rounds or 29 minutes for 5 rounds.

UFC Fights

Sometimes conflicts are over in the blink of an eye. The quickest UFC knockout ever was achieved by Jorge Masvidal. In about five seconds, he completely destroyed Ben Askren with one terrible knee (this is the official time, the KO came sooner).

He defeated Jonathan Goulet in less time than it took Duane Ludwig in 2006 to knock him out. Even yet, the promotion has seen several winners cross the finish line in under 10 seconds.




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