A knockout (also referred to as a K.O.) is a winning criterion in several full-contact combat sports, such as boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, mixed martial arts, Karate and others sports involving striking.
In boxing, kickboxing, etc a knockout is usually awarded when one participant is knocked down (loses his footing) and is unable to rise from the canvas within a specified period of time, typically because of fatigue, loss of balance, or unconsciousness. For example, if a boxer is knocked down and is unable to continue the fight within a ten second count, he has been knocked out and his opponent is awarded the KO victory.
In mixed martial arts competitions, no time count is given after a knockdown, as the sport also allows submission grappling. If a fighter is knocked down and loses consciousness, or does not immediately defend himself, he is declared knocked out.
A technical knockout (also referred to as a T.K.O.) is declared when the referee, official ring physician, the fighter, or the fighter's cornermen decide that a fighter cannot safely continue the match.
In boxing, this can happen even if the fighter did not fail the count; or, in many regions, a fighter has been knocked down three times in one round. British records refer to TKOs as either "retired", if the fighter refuses to continue, or "R.S.F.", for Referee Stopped Fight. In amateur boxing, a knockout is scored as "RSC," for Referee Stopped Contest. A technical knockout ("Outclassed") can also be declared if a fighter is ahead by 15 points in a bout.
Examples of T.K.Os
- Doctor's Stoppage/Injury: The fighter has suffered an injury and cannot continue the match safely.
- Corner Stoppage: The fighter is being completely dominated, and his corner decides to surrender on his behalf to prevent unnecessary damage or potential injury. (This is also known as "throwing in the towel").
- Stoppage due to Strikes: The fighter is overwhelmed by strikes, and cannot intelligently defend himself. The referee intervenes to avoid unnecessary damage or potential injury.
As a winning outcome
In boxing, a knockout occurs when a fighter is knocked down and does not get up within 10 seconds, as counted by the referee.
In mixed martial arts, the definitions of knockouts and technical knockouts vary according to organization and jurisdiction. Under New Jersey's Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, a knockout is defined as a "failure to rise from the canvas". In Pancrase, a knockout is declared when the competitor loses consciousness, and a technical knockout when the referee or judges consider a fighter unable to continue the match.
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