mma fight match, Winner Hamlet with TKO

What Does ‘CNC’ Mean in the MMA

Even if you’re an old fan of the MMA, you might have not come across the term ‘CNC’ yet. Here’s what ‘CNC’ means in the MMA bout:

‘CNC’ stands for ‘Could Not Continue’ in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). During a fight, if it’s imminent that a contestant cannot continue fighting, he or she may throw off the towel and retire early from the fight. It’s also known as Technical Knockout (TKO).

Unlike the standard ‘TKO’ in combat sports boxing, an MMA contestant may use his own initiative to throw off the towel and retire prior to being declared knocked out. In this situation, the other contestant wins the fight.

In this article, I’ll explain further what CNC means, why it’s important in MMA, and the results associated with it.

Read on the find out!

Difference Between ‘CNC’ and ‘NC’ in the MMA

In No Contest (NC), neither of the contestants can be declared the winner, while in the ‘CNC’ decision, a contestant is called a winner when the other fighter could not continue fighting.

Here’s an example of a CNC decision or a TKO on the UFC fight night:

Cynthia Calvillo lost to Andrea Lee on November 13, 2021. In the second and third rounds, she was knocked out via TKO (CNC).

Calvillo sustained too much damage during her fight with Lee. Andrea Lee connected well with timely hooks and body shots, inflicting quick jabs on her opponent fighter.

Meanwhile, Cynthia Calvillo didn’t do much in the first round and she continued to until Cynthia’s right eye started bleeding in the second. Calvillo withdrew before the third and final round, according to advice from her corner.

Who Can Decide ‘CNC’ in the MMA?

If an athlete cannot continue fighting due to a severe physical blow or any reason, he or she may retire early in the fight. If the referee thinks that an athlete isn’t capable of continuing, he may decide to give a technical knockout (TKO) and declare the other fighter winner.

CNC is an important decision the MMA for fighters’ safety.

We have seen many fatal incidents during MMA fights that could have been controlled with a CNC or TKO earlier.

For example, João Carvalho’s death is the most recent one among all the fatalities.

In Dublin, João Carvalho faced Charlie Ward, a member of Conor McGregor’s squad. Unfortunately, the referee was unable to stop Carvalho’s violent battle in the third round. His condition deteriorated after the game, and he was rushed to the hospital, where he died 48 hours later. 

Despite receiving first-class care, his condition worsened. He died from head trauma from the 41 blows he took.

This incident could have been prevented with a CNC.

Do UFC Fighters Get Paid For CNC (TKO)?

UFC fighters get paid for fights that result in TKO or CNC. They just can’t get win bonuses as they have already opted out of the game as a loser. Thus getting them disqualified from becoming a winner.

Every fighter is an independent contractor for the UFC, and each fighter’s ‘show money’ is the money that he or she receives for making weight and fighting.

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