How to hold amateur mixed martial arts events

There are 3 ways to hold an amateur mixed martial arts event:

  1. Under a training facility license
    See requirements below.
  2. Overseen by a licensed sanctioning organization
    See requirements below.
  3. Overseen by the Department of Licensing
    These events have the same requirements as Professional events.

Requirements for events held under a training facility license

  • Valid licenses required for:
    Training facility
  • Event location:
    Must be the training facility where you’re licensed and offer training.
  • Minimum age of participants:
    12 years or older
  • Weight difference allowed between participants:
    • 15 years and under, no more than 5 pounds.
    • 16 years and over, no more than 10 pounds.
    (If both participants weigh 205 pounds or more, these allowances don’t apply.)
  • Minimum protective equipment for participants:
    • Martial arts shin guards with instep pads.
    • 6-ounce amateur mixed martial arts sparring-style gloves that are whole, clean, sanitary, and in good condition. (An extra set of gloves must be kept at ringside during the bout.)
    • Mouthpiece.
    • Groin protector (male participants only).
  • People who must be present at the bout:
    The training facility representative.
  • Number of rounds:
    • Non-championship bouts: No more than 3 rounds.
    • Championship bouts: No more than 5 rounds.
  • Duration of rounds:
    No longer than 3 minutes, with a 1-minute rest period between them.
  • Minimum required fouls (penalties):
    All fouls listed under
    WAC 36-14-510.
  • Suspensions required after the event:
    None.
  • Advertising:
    All advertisements must state the event is amateur.
  • Reporting and notification:
    None required.
  • The training facility is responsible for:
    • Health and safety of participants
    • Seeing that laws and rules are followed

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Requirements for events overseen by a licensed sanctioning organization

  • Valid licenses required for:
    • Sanctioning organization
    • Participants
    • Promoter
    • Officials
  • Event location:
    Must be a location other than a training facility.
  • Minimum age of participants:
    18 years or older
  • Weight difference allowed between participants:
    No more than 10 pounds. (If both participants weigh 205 pounds or more, this allowance doesn’t apply.)
  • Minimum protective equipment for participants:
    • Martial arts shin guards with instep pads.
    • 6-ounce amateur mixed martial arts sparring-style gloves that are whole, clean, sanitary, and in good condition. (An extra set of gloves must be kept at ringside during the bout.)
    • Mouthpiece.
    • Groin protector (male participants only).
  • People who must be present at the bout:
    • A physician
      or
      An ambulance or paramedic unit with transport and resuscitation capabilities
    • A representative of the sanctioning organization
  • Number of rounds:
    • Non-championship bouts: No more than 3 rounds.
    • Championship bouts: No more than 5 rounds.
  • Duration of rounds:
    No longer than 3 minutes, with a 1-minute rest period between them.
  • Minimum required fouls (penalties):
    All fouls listed under
    WAC 36-14-510.
  • Suspensions required after the event:
    • Minimum suspension: 6 days
    • Technical knockout: 30 days
    • Knockout: 60 days
    To see if an MMA fighter is on suspension, see the Official Database of Mixed Martial Arts.
  • Advertising:
    All advertisements must state the event is amateur.
  • Reporting and notification: The sanctioning organization must:
    • Notify us in writing at least 14 days before an event is held. The notification must include the:
      • Name of the licensed promoter.
      • Date and time of the event.
      • Location of the event.
      • Name of the representative in charge of the event.
    • Report suspensions and event results to us within 48 business hours after the event by submitting a completed Mixed Martial Arts Bout Results form.
    Note: We’ll report all event results and suspensions to the Association of Boxing Commissions’ national database. To see if an MMA fighter is on suspension, please visit the Official Database of Mixed Martial Arts.
  • The sanctioning organization is responsible for:
    • Health and safety of participants
    • Seeing that laws and rules are followed

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