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This paper presents a deep simulation analysis of contention-based and collision-free MAC protocols in MANET environment. In particular, IEEE 802.11 and Evolutionary TDMA (E-TDMA) have been considered from an energetic point of view. Contention based MAC protocols such as IEEE 802.11 are often applied in the context of wireless ad hoc networks for their easy deployment and reduced control structure that is typical of more complex medium access techniques based on the time-slot reservation or code selection. However, when traffic load is heavy, TDMA based protocol can be essential not only in terms of higher throughput offered in the network but also for a reduction in the energy dissipation due to the capability of lowering the data packet collision. A energy specific evaluation has been led out and many parameters have been considered in order to show the effectiveness and the drawbacks of TDMA based MAC protocols vs contention-based (CSMA) MAC protocols. This contribution is a starting point to develop specific energy saving techniques to apply in the context of MANET at MAC layer.