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 score one fighter as the winner, while the third judge scores for the other fighter.
A split decision is different from a majority decision. A majority decision occurs when two judges pick the same fighter as the winner, and the third judge scores the fight as a draw (evenly for both fighters). The official result (i.e., a win or loss) is the same in both split and majority decisions, but the margin of victory is greater in a majority decision. A split decision is the closest possible result for a fight in which there is an official winner and loser.
Many times, a split decision causes controversy due to its lack of unanimity. As a result, especially in high-profile or title fights, the victor may be encouraged or pressured to grant a rematch, in the hopes a return match-up will have a more decisive outcome.
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