All UFC Non-Title Main Events Will Be Five Round Fights Going Forward

June 9, 2011
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UFC president Dana White at UFC 102

Five-round non-title fights in main events will be the standard going forward in the UFC.

UFC president Dana White made the official announcement on Thursday that any fight signed from this day forward as a main event would be a five-round fight, regardless of whether or not it’s for a title.

Any fight currently signed for a main event that’s not a title fight, such as Rashad Evans and Phil Davis, who square off at UFC 133 in Philadelphia, will remain a three-round bout.

“What I don’t want to do to guys, fights that we’ve already made and they signed the bout agreement, you’re mentally training for a three-round fight. ‘Oh, now it’s five rounds’; you can’t do that to guys,” White stated.

He was specific in stating all future bout agreements for main event non-title fights would be five-round affairs.

“From this day forward, as we speak right here, right now today, every fight that is a main event that is not a title fight will be a five-round fight,” said White. “For Spike and everything else.”

This will be the first time in the modern history of the sport that MMA has had five-round fights that are not championship bouts.

White has long talked about making the move, and said they almost made the jump at UFC 131, but bout agreements had already been signed and the fighters were already in training camps to prepare for a three-round fight.

“We’re very close to doing it,” White revealed when speaking about five round non-title fights following UFC 129.

Now it is a reality.

White also specified that this policy is in effect for any show that the UFC produces whether it’s a pay-per-view or a UFC Fight Night event, main event fights will be five-round non-title bouts.

Let the cardio and conditioning workouts begin.

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  • Not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand it is obviously better when fighters have to battle it out instead of leaving it to the judges after three. But yet five rounds always made title matches special. Fighting for the belt was really stepping it up because you had to be ready for those five rounds. Now title fights just seem like another main event but with a shiny toy for a prize.

  • In some instances it will be nice to see 5 rd main event non-title fights. Buuuuuut there’s been a lot of non-title main events lately that I’m glad were only 3 round affairs.

    Jackson – Hamill
    Davis – Nogueira
    Penn – Fitch (even though it ended in a draw)
    Jackson – Machida
    Okami – Marquardt
    Jackson – Evans

    To name a few.

  • jonstalnaker

    I think it’s unnecessary, with 7 weight classes there should never be a non-title main event, at least not for PPV.

    • That’s how it would be in an ideal world but training injuries prevent it. You can’t really tell one champion “Hey this other champ got hurt so we are moving your fight up a month.”

  • MrAdidas

    The only issue that will arise from this 5 Round Non-title fight is… what happens when one of those fighters get injured & they look for a replacement? fighters have “no problem” fighting on short notice, b/c the fights are only 3 Rounds, but I can guarantee you there will not be many fighters who will be willing to take a 5 Round fight on short notice. Unless the UFC decide to make the 5 Round Main Event (non-title fight) to a 3 Round main event (if an injury occurs). I think the 5 Round main events will be for fighters who will be the next #1 Contender or who will be figthing for the #1 contendership in their next fight, which is an advantage to them fighters who are not Champs, b/c every Champ knows how to train for a 5 round title fight, while most #1 Contenders do NOT.

    Rather than having the #1 Contender train for a 5 Round fight for the 1st time EVER Vs. the Champ, a guy whos fought & trained for many 5 Round title fights, I think this 5 Round main event (non-title fight) is a good idea for not only us the fans, who get to see more action/figthing, but it’s even better for the fighters/#1 Contenders who will get to experience & train for a 5 Round fight before the biggest fight of his life, the title fight. So when the title fight comes along, they wont be so “off guard” or at such a disadvantage while they fight for the title, b/c it wont be the 1st time they trained for a 5 Round fight!