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A split decision (SD) is a winning criterion in several full-contact combat sports (such as boxing, kickboxing, Kun Khmer, Muay Thai, mixed martial arts and other sports involving striking) in which two of the three judges rank one fighter as 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.