There is nothing "content," or satisfying, about being in contention, and that's probably because the word contention means being in a competition that ends with one side, usually the winning one, being content.
"And in this corner, the contender" is heard at most boxing matches to describe each of the fighters about to go into contention in the ring. Sometimes, though, a contention can be a battle of words or a struggle between two parties over a single point. The expression "bone of contention" describes a narrow object of disagreement that reaches the level of strife, or contention. For two hungry dogs, though, the bone of contention might be a serious matter.
n the act of competing as for profit or a prize
joint operation or action
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a struggle between rivals
battle of wits
a contest in which intelligence rather than violence is used
a series of competing bids
competition (real or figurative) for popular support
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action taken by a group of people
n a contentious speech act; a dispute where there is strong disagreement
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a verbal dispute; a wrangling argument
an outburst of controversy
an argument in which the participants are trying to gain some advantage
a controversy (especially over a belief or dogma)
an intense verbal dispute