A split decision is a winning criterion in several full-contact combat sports (such as boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, mixed martial arts and others sports involving striking) in which two of the three judges rank one fighter as a the winner, while the third judge scores for the other fighter.
A split decision is different from a majority decision, which occurs when two judges pick the same fighter as the winner, while the third judge scores a draw (evenly for both fighters). Note that the effect is the same in both split and majority decision with the difference being that the margin of victory is greater in a majority decision. A split decision is the closest possible result in fights where there is a winner and a loser.
Many times, a split decision causes controversy due to its lack of unanimity. As a result, especially in high-profile or title bouts, the victor may be encouraged or pressured to grant a rematch, in the hopes a return matchup will give a more decisive outcome.
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