MMA Matters: How Long Do MMA Fights Last?

If you are not a longtime fan of MMA fights, you probably do not know how long a fight lasts. Watching them on TV, you might be engrossed in the combat and lose track of how long a fight is. So, today’s article will help you answer, “How long do MMA fights last?” We will walk you to the answer and provide other relevant and useful information. Therefore, make sure you read thoroughly until the very end! 

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How Long Do MMA Fights Last?

An MMA fight lasts 15 minutes in 3-round fights and 25 minutes in 5-round fights. Plus 1-minute breaks between rounds, MMA fights can total up to 19 minutes or 29 minutes.

However, there are other factors that can influence this time duration, such as timeouts. So, keep reading to find all the relevant details! 

MMA Fights’ Time Duration 

As we have mentioned subtly in the paragraph above, an MMA fight can involve 3 rounds of fight or 5 rounds, and each round is set to last 5 minutes. The former is typically regular matchups, while the latter is the main fight of an event, like a championship. 

However, the rounds can be much shorter if the referee declares a winner from a knockout, technical knockout, or submission. Conversely, it can last a lot longer if the fighters are given timeouts. 

How Long Do MMA Fights Last
  • Knockout – This refers to any strike or combinations of strikes that put the opponent into a state of unconsciousness and they are unable to continue.
  • Technical Knockout – This refers to an opponent being overwhelmed by the other fighter’s attack, and as a result, is unable to intelligently defend his or herself. In this case, someone intervenes to stop further damage. There are three types of technical knockouts in MMA:
    • Referee Stoppage – When a fighter is no longer defending himself or herself, the referee intervenes to stop the fight. 
    • Doctor Stoppage – The doctor on the ringside intervenes to stop the fight. Usually, this happens because of excessive bleeding. 
    • Corner Stoppage – A fighter’s corner man intervenes to stop the fight. This is also commonly referred to as “throwing in the towel.” 
    • Submission Stoppage – A fighter “submits” to stop the fight. 
  • Submission – This is when a fighter uses a grappling technique to force his or her opponent to admit defeat, usually by tapping out. 
  • Timeout – Like in other sports, this is when the fight pauses momentarily. It is typically given when there is an accidental groin hit or an eye poke. The fighter suffering can get up to 5 minutes to recover. 
    • However, most fighters do not use the full 5 minutes they are given. This is because they do not want to give their opponent the time to recover, too.  
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Nonetheless, most rounds reach the end of the maximum 5-minute limit because early-round knockouts or submissions are not very common. 

With that said, while the “potential time” for an MMA fight is 19 or 29 minutes, the actual fight time varies depending on what is happening and what the fighters are bringing to the table. Some fights can wrap up in just seconds, and others can go on for the entire 15 minutes or 25 minutes (5 minutes each round). 

How long does an MMA event last?

An MMA event usually ranges from 3 to 6 hours. The larger the size of the event, the longer it will last. Events with several fights that take up all their rounds might last 6 hours, and that’s not counting early-prelims and prelims. 

  • Early Prelims – These are the fights prior to the main card fights. There are usually 3 to 4 fights, but they are not televised because they do not attract as much attention. 
  • Prelims – These are also fights that come before the main card fights. They are typically 4 to 5 fights that “set the stage” for the main card. 

If you add the hours of early prelims and prelims, an MMA event can last up to 9 hours. This includes the time allotted for the introduction, buildup, commentary, interviews, event media, and advertisements, as well. 

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As you have read, the answer to “How long do MMA fights last?” is 19 minutes or 29 minutes – 19 for 3-round fights and 29 for 5-round fights. Each round lasts for a maximum of 5 minutes, plus 1 minute for breaks in between the rounds. Some fights, however, can last longer if timeouts are given. 

Hopefully, you have found this article helpful. If there is anything you would like to add or ask, please reach out to us in the comments below. Also, do not forget to share this with other readers, especially your MMA-lover fellows.  

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