Pennsylvania has joined the growing number of states to allow Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, events, now that the State Athletic Commission has approved final regulations for the sport as of Feb. 27, 2009. This provides a summary of the Commission’s mixed martial arts regulations. As a licensed promoter, you are required to be familiar with and abide by all Commission regulations.
Professional/Amateur Mixed Martial Arts General Review
1. All mixed martial arts promoters must have a valid promoter’s license from the Commission - fee is $100 per year and the license will expire on December 31st of each year. All promoters must also complete a criminal history record check (mail in form or online access)
2. A surety bond (on a form supplied by the Commission) of not less than $15,000 must be on file with the Commission before the event. Cash or certified check may also be used instead of the bond.
3. All promoters shall apply in writing to the Commission specifying the time, date and location of their event. The Commission reserves the right to limit the number of MMA events per month in the state, as well as to limit the number of bouts per event. All bouts must be approved by the Executive Director and should be given to him at least (10) days before the event. (Bout Contracts) The list of bouts shall include the full names, records and scheduled rounds of each fighter. The promoter shall also list the name of the match-maker who will be proposing the bouts. It is the Promoter and Match-maker’s responsibility to ensure that none of the proposed fighters are currently on “suspension” from another Athletic Commission.
4. All professional and amateur MMA fighters must be licensed and take a pre-fight physical exam by a Commission-approved doctor. The application fee for the professional license is $22 and the fee for the amateur license is $10. All fighters must be at least 18 years of age. (Other exams may also be required—particularly for those fighters over the age of 36). All fighters must provide an annual physical examination (on a Commission-approved form) as well as NEGATIVE HIV, HEP C and HEP B- Surface Antigen exam at the time of licensing- Results cannot be more than six (6) months old. All MMA fighters must have a current MMA National ID card.
** All “debut” fighters MUST complete a Commission-approved experience form detailing the fighter’s experience and training in mixed martial arts competitions. Amateur contestants must attend the pre-bout meeting with a designee of the Commission to review all rules and regulations of the Commission pertaining to amateur mixed martial arts.
Amateur fighters with three or less bouts may only compete in three-round bouts at two minutes per round unless given permission by the Commission. Amateur fighters with more than three bouts may not exceed three rounds of three minutes per round, unless given permission by the Commission.
5. All fees pertaining to the fighter (including the licensing of his seconds/trainers/managers) shall be paid by the promoter by CHECK, made payable to the Commonwealth of PA. The promoter can then deduct these fees from the fighter’s purse. All fighters must be paid immediately after the event unless otherwise approved by the Commission prior to the event.
6. Insurance is required for all fighters and referees. Currently insurance through the Commission costs $1,400. A CHECK paying for this insurance must be given to the Commission before the start of event. If you, as the promoter, wish to acquire your own insurance, the limits MUST be $10,000 medical and $10,000 death benefit with a deductible of no more than $500 – any deductibles are the promoter’s responsibility. A Insurance Certificate along with injury Claim Forms MUST be given to the Commission before the event
7. A broadcast/TV report must be completed by the promoter when the event is being televised in any manner. The fee is based on a sliding scale and payment should be made by CHECK payable to the Commonwealth of PA.
8. The promoter must pay all officials, immediately after the event. All money shall be given to the Commission who shall then disburse it to the officials.
Fees for Officials (set by the Commission)
|| If Televised|
|| $ 75
|| $ 85|
| Weigh-in Physician
9. Drug tests are performed on a random basis on the fighters. The cost to the promoter is $21 per fighter - paid by CHECK before the event.
10. An after contest report is required to be completed for the payment of the 5% state tax on gross receipts. A CHECK made payable to the Commonwealth of PA is required for this payment. This ticket calculation is done by examining the promoter’s ticket manifest (which shows the number of tickets printed and the prices of each ticket). Remember that the 5% TAX is based on all tickets sold and all complimentary tickets issued.
11. Permit fees are collected by the Commission and are based on seating:
(Permit fees must be paid before the event by CHECK made payable to the Commonwealth of PA)
| Less than 2,000
|| $ 25|
| 2,000 - 5,000
| 5,000 - 10,000
| over 10,000
Items that MUST be supplied by the Promoter:
** Gloves - in “GOOD” condition as determined by the Commission – For amateurs these gloves MUST weigh at least 7 ounces; for professionals, gloves must weigh at least 4 ounces.
** An adequate supply of hygienic gloves - to be worn by all cornermen.
** At least one person, available at all times during the event, who is capable of making emergency repairs, corrections and adjustments to the cage/ring, the lights and any other necessary fixtures.
The ring must be at least 20 feet square and no larger than 32 feet square within the five ring ropes. The ring floor must extend at least 18 inches beyond the ropes and must be padded with Ensolite, vinyl or similar closed-cell foam, with at least a 1-inch layer of foam padding. Padding must extend beyond the ring ropes and over the edge of the platform, with a top covering of canvas, duck or similar material tightly stretched and laced to the ring platform. Material that gathers in lumps or ridges may not be used.
The cage area must be circular or have at least six equal sides and be at least 20 feet wide and no larger than 32 feet wide. The floor of the caged area must be padded with Ensolite, vinyl or similar closed-cell foam, with at least a 1-inch layer of foam padding. With a top covering of canvas, duck or similar material tightly stretched and laced to the platform of the caged area. Material that gathers in lumps or ridges may not be used.
** Must be responsible to clean and disinfect the ring/cage area after each match.
** A public address system in good working order.
** Chairs for the Judges and Timekeepers (and other Commission personnel). Chairs for Judges shall provide a clear view of the ring.
** A gong or bell of size and resonance so as to be clearly heard.
** A complete set of numbered round cards.
** An ambulance and emergency personnel with emergency equipment MUST be at ring-side at all times during the event.
** A portable resuscitator with oxygen and appropriate endotracheal tubes and a qualified operator.
** The promoter must provide adequate security.
You are strongly urged to review the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission's complete written regulations on mixed martial arts.