If your opponent is trying to close to melee and you're trying to keep him from doing that but you lose 10 AP, it means your opponent is 10 AP closer to closing with you. Losing the contest doesn't mean physical damage to you, though you should get some penalty to the upcoming contest should you lose badly.
OTOH, if the opp loses the 10 AP, he's 10 AP farther from closing with you. If he loses he couldn't close. If he loses badly, he's probably wounded.
If your opp was stupid enough to try to close in plain view with little cover, i'd give him a hefty handicap and you a big edge.
-- - Mikael Raaterova [.sig omitted on legal advice]
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