As a new fan come a sport such as MMA or Boxing, it might be confusing when world speak in terminology that you are unfamiliar with. Ns remember being there once, and if you’re in that same boat, I’m below for you. In this post, I’m going to plainly distinguish differences while answering the question: What is the difference between a TKO and also a KO?

The difference is the a KO (Knockout) occurs when the fighter is knocked unconscious, if a TKO (Technical Knockout) occurs as soon as the fighter is still mindful but is deemed unable come intelligently protect themselves by the referee. A KO can take place from a tough punch or indigenous a knockdown, and also a TKO have the right to occur because of an injury, or indigenous repeatedly acquiring hit there is no hitting back.

There are some differences between what deserve to be thought about a KO in boxing and MMA, as occasionally a boxing KO does no mean full loss the consciousness, just enough to end the fight.

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What Is considered A Knockout? (KO)

As mentioned, KO represents knockout, and also is dubbed by the referee once a fighter has been knocked fully unconscious through his opponent. However, there are likewise other methods in which a fight have the right to be asserted a knockout.

Knockout In Boxing

In boxing, referees use what is called a ten-count. This means that when a fighter is knocked down, they have ten secs to get earlier up on your feet. If the fighter is no able to acquire up, or the referee watch the fighter having trouble acquiring up, then the hit is stopped and also is officially a KO.

Although Victor Ortiz was still aware after getting knocked under by Floyd Mayweather, he was no able to gain up, making that a KO victory for Mayweather.

This method that a fighter walk not have to be fully unconscious for the fight come be ruled a KO. In fact, over there are likewise cases that a fighter being totally conscious but being KO’d. This was the instance when Gervonta Davis knocked out Hugo Ruiz in the very first round.

Davis fight Ruiz through a hard right hand, which led to Ruiz to take a knee, which you deserve to see in the picture below. Ruiz was able to get up come his feet in the allotted time, and was watch in his senses (as in, tho able to fight).

Despite being conscious and also aware, Hugo Ruiz (left) walk not continue after a knockdown, making the a KO because that Davis.

However, when the referee asked that if he wanted to continue, Hugo Ruiz did no respond, prompting the referee to wave off the fight and rule that a KO win for Gervonta Davis.

To sum it up, in boxing, a hit is ruled a KO if a fighter is knocked fully unconscious, or if the fighter cannot obtain up or continue after a knockdown within the allotted time.

Knockout In MMA

In MMA, knockouts likewise occur from shedding consciousness, and also is pretty much the very same as in boxing.

However, MMA does do the distinction on just how the lose of awareness occurred, together going unconscious due to a choking is rule a submission, not a knockout.

In MMA, a KO can occur from strikes, whether it it is in punches, kicks, knees, or elbows. Next from shedding consciousness, the is no unheard of for MMA fights to end in a KO due to body shots. This was the instance when Anthony Pettis KO’d Donald Cerrone in their fight.

Anthony Pettis (right) floor a difficult kick to the liver of Donald Cerrone, resulting in Cerrone come drop to the ground, finishing the fight.

Despite tho being totally conscious and aware the he had to safeguard himself, Cerrone’s loss come Anthony Pettis to be ruled a knockout. Pettis hit Cerrone v a kick to the liver which resulted in Cerrone to drop come the ground and also turtle up. After acquisition two more shots native Pettis, the referee stopped the fight, ruling it a KO.

Another thing to note is the there is no counting in MMA if a fighter walk down, as the fight proceeds on the ground. Because of this, countless fights end in TKO rather of KO. The explanation is that a fighter commonly stops defending himself before he gets totally knocked out.

In bespeak to store the fighter safe, the referee stop the fight and also rules it a TKO before it ultimately turns right into a KO.

To sum it up, one MMA fight is ruled a KO as soon as the fighter is knocked completely unconscious, or once a strike provides them can not to fight, such together a liver shot.

What Is taken into consideration A technological Knockout? (TKO)

A TKO is a technological Knockout which occurs in both MMA and Boxing. A TKO usually means the fighter is tho conscious and also aware, yet is no able to fight for whatever reason. Let’s look at at some differences between TKO’s in MMA and Boxing.

TKO In Boxing

In boxing, a TKO occurs once a referee sees a fighter acquisition a many of damages without defending himself, prompting the ref to run in and also stop the fight. This method that the fighter was totally conscious and also aware if fighting, however simply wasn’t fighting back versus his/her opponent.

An instance of this was as soon as Richard Commey to win Isa Chaniev for the IBF Title. Isa Chaniev to be on unsteady legs after getting knocked under in the an initial round. However, the referee chose he might continue, and also let that fight.

Richard Commey (left) knocked under Isa Chaniev in the very first round, i beg your pardon left Chaniev on unstable legs.

In the 2nd round, Chaniev still looked wobbled. As soon as Commey started landing part shots that led to Chaniev come stumble, the referee jumped in and also waved turn off the fight, ruling it a TKO.

Because Isa Chaniev to be still conscious, it was ruled a TKO and not a KO. If the referee had actually stopped the fight as soon as Chaniev was knocked under in the very first round, then it would have actually been rule a KO.

A TKO can likewise be called due to an injury. If one of two people the referee or the ringside doctor declare the the fighter is unable to continue due to an injury, the fight is asserted a TKO victory for the other fighter.

Both KOs and also TKOs result in an immediate finish to the bout. If you want to know precisely how KOs and TKOs influence boxing match length, check out What Is The size Of An typical Boxing Match?


In MMA, a TKO occurs when a fighter is taking a barrage of punches and is no able to protect himself, in spite of being completely conscious. In MMA, TKO’s usually occur against the cage or from height position top top the ground. TKO’s additionally occur as result of injury.

The TKO in MMA is pretty lot the exact same as in boxing, other than that a TKO can likewise be referred to as on the ground. This to be the case when Luke Rockhold finished chris Weidman at UFC 194.

Luke Rockhold finished kris Weidman from top position, declared a TKO.

Luke Rockhold had the ability to take Weidman down versus the cage, achieving next control. Indigenous there, Rockhold ongoing to punch Weidman for a while, until the referee stepped in to protect against the fight.

As in Boxing, TKO’s likewise occur in MMA, return injuries happen an ext frequently. It is not uncommon for an MMA fight come stop because of a broken hand, because of the glove size. If you want to learn an ext about exactly how the gloves safeguard the fighter’s hands, check out a post I wrote dubbed Why execute Fighters wear Gloves? whereby I go into detail about the topic.

The injuries continual in MMA are much more vast, because of the increased number strikes allowed and other various factors. For example, foot kicks are offered a lot in MMA. During Anderson Silva’s second fight through Chris Weidman, Silva threw a leg kick, that Weidman blocked through his knee.

Anderson Silva’s shin snapped as result of his absent being checked by chris Weidman, finishing the fight.

The force of Silva’s foot on Weidman’s knee led to Silva’s shin come snap in two, rendering him unable to fight.


A KO in boxing is very similar to a KO in MMA, and the very same is true because that TKO’s. However, I just wanted to keep in mind the differences in between a KO in MMA and also Boxing.

In boxing, a KO can occur from a fighter being knocked unconscious, or through being deemed unable to proceed by the ref ~ a knockdown. In MMA, a KO can also occur from gift knocked unconscious, and from any type of strike that provides the fighter unable to proceed such together a liver shot.

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In both MMA and also Boxing, a TKO occurs as soon as the referee determines the fighter is can not to defend themselves, in spite of being completely conscious. A TKO can likewise be referred to as if the fighter is unable to continue due come injury.

If friend train in Boxing or MMA (or you’re thinking about it), check out the Training tips page, together it is specialized to helping civilization progress in your martial arts journey by answering inquiries they might have. Thanks for reading!