RELATES TO: KRS 229.021, 229.071(1), 229.081, 229.091, 229.101, 229.131, 229.171, 229.180(1)
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: KRS 229.021, 229.071, 229.091(1), 229.151(1), 229.171(1), 229.180(1)
NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS 229.171(2) authorizes the Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Authority to provide the sole direction, management, control, and jurisdiction over all professional boxing, sparring, and wrestling matches or exhibitions to be conducted, held, or given with the Commonwealth. KRS 229.151(1) grants the Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Authority regulatory oversight over professional boxing, wrestling, and other professional full-contact competitive bouts within the Commonwealth. KRS 229.180(1) authorizes the authority to promulgate administrative regulations necessary or expedient for the performance of its regulatory function. KRS 229.021 and 229.071(2) and (3) authorize the authority to grant annual licenses to applicants for participation in professional matches if the authority determines that the financial responsibility, experience, character, and general fitness of the applicant indicate that participation by the applicant is in the public interest. KRS 229.091(1) provides that every licensee shall be subject to the administrative regulations promulgated by the authority. This administrative regulation establishes requirements for mixed martial arts contests subject to state regulation.
Section 1. (1) The authority shall license each person approved to participate as a professional contestant in a mixed martial arts contest.
(2) An applicant for a mixed martial arts license shall complete and submit to the authority the form, Application for License as a Professional Mixed Martial Arts Contestant.
(3) Applications shall not be mailed to the authority.
(4) The license fee for each participant shall be twenty (20) dollars.
(5) All licenses shall expire on December 31 of the year issued.
Section 2. The schedule for compensation to be paid prior to the commencement of the main event to officials participating in a professional mixed martial arts show shall be as follows:
(1) Judge for mixed martial arts: $150. If there are twelve (12) or fewer bouts on a pro/am card, the judge’s pay shall be $100.
(2) Timekeeper for mixed martial arts: $100. If there are twelve (12) or fewer bouts on a pro/am card, the timekeeper’s pay shall be seventy-five (75) dollars.
(3) Physician for mixed martial arts:
(a) $300: up to ten (10) schedule bouts;
(b) $350: eleven (11) to fifteen (15) scheduled bouts; or
(c) $400: over fifteen (15) scheduled bouts.
(4) Referee for mixed martial arts: $150.
Section 3. Before the commencement of the main event of a mixed martial arts show or exhibition, the promoter of the show or exhibition shall tender to the inspector or an employee of the authority a certified check or money order made payable to each official who will officiate the show or exhibition in the amount prescribed by the schedule of compensation for officials established in Section 2 of this administrative regulation.
Section 4. If a show or exhibition is cancelled with less than twenty-four (24) hours' notice to the authority, officials shall be paid one-half (1/2) the compensation required by Section 2 of this administrative regulation.
Section 5. The promoter shall submit a request for a show date on the MMA Show Notice Form no less than thirty (30) calendar days before the requested date for approval by the authority.
(1) There shall not be advertising of the event prior to this approval.
(2) Once the show date has been approved, all advertisements shall include the promoter's license number.
Section 6. The proposed program for a show shall be filed with the authority at least five (5) business days prior to the date of the show. Notice of a change in a program or a substitutions in a show shall be filed immediately with the authority.
Section 7. Each contestant compensation agreement shall be in writing and submitted to the authority for approval not less than five (5) calendar days prior to the date of the proposed show.
Section 8. A contest or exhibition of a mixed martial art shall be conducted pursuant to the official rules for the particular art unless the official rules conflict with KRS Chapter 229 or 201 KAR Chapter 27.
(1) If an official rule conflicts with KRS Chapter 229 or a requirement in 201 KAR Chapter 27, the statute or administrative regulation shall prevail.
(2) The sponsoring organization or promoter shall file a copy of the official rules with the authority along with the thirty (30) day show notice required in Section 5 of this administrative regulation.
Section 9. (1) Before the commencement of a show, all changes or substitutions shall be:
(a) Announced from the cage; and
(b) Posted in a conspicuous place at the ticket office.
(2) A purchaser of tickets shall be entitled, upon request, to a refund of the purchase price of the ticket, provided the request is made before the commencement of the show.
Section 10. (1) The area between the cage and the first row of spectators on all sides and the locker room shall be under the exclusive control of the authority.
(2) Alcohol or smoking shall not be allowed in the areas under the control of the authority.
(3) Authority staff and licensees shall be the only people allowed inside the areas under the control of the authority.
Section 11. (1) There shall be an area of at least six (6) feet between the edge of the cage floor and the first row of spectator seats on all sides of the cage.
(2) A partition, barricade, or similar divider shall be placed:
(a) Between the first row of the spectator seats and the six (6) foot area surrounding the cage; and
(b) Along the sides of the entry lane for contestants to enter the cage and the spectator area.
Section 12. A contest or exhibition of mixed martial arts shall be held in a fenced area meeting the following requirements:
(1) The fenced area shall be circular or have equal sides and shall be no smaller than twenty (20) feet wide and no larger than thirty-two (32) feet wide.
(2) The floor of the fenced area shall be padded with closed-cell foam, with at least a one (1) inch layer of foam padding, with a top covering of a single canvas or a synthetic material stretched tightly and laced to the platform of the fenced area, unless the event is held outdoors, in which case only canvas shall be used.
(3) The platform of the fenced area shall not be more than six (6) feet above the floor of the building and shall have steps suitable for the use of the contestants.
(4) Fence posts shall be made of metal, shall not be more than six (6) inches in diameter, and shall extend from the floor of the building to between five (5) and seven (7) feet above the floor of the fenced area, and shall be properly padded.
(5) The fencing used to enclose the fenced area shall be made of a material that shall prevent a contestant from falling out of the fenced area or breaking through the fenced area onto the floor of the building or onto the spectators, and the fencing shall be coated with vinyl or a similar covering to minimize injuries to a contestant.
(6) Any metal portion of the fenced area shall be properly covered and padded and shall not be abrasive to the unarmed combatants.
(7) The fenced area shall have at least one (1) entrance.
(8) There shall not be a protrusion or obstruction on any part of the fence surrounding the area in which the contestants are to be competing.
(9) Any event held outdoors while the temperature is or exceeds a heat index of 100 degrees Fahrenheit shall be conducted under a roof.
(10) A cage shall have a canvas mat or a synthetic material, unless the event is held outdoors, in which case only canvas shall be used.
Section 13. A bell or horn shall be used by the timekeeper to indicate the time.
Section 14. In addition to the cage and cage equipment, the promoter shall supply the following items, which shall be available for use as needed:
(1) A public address system in good working order.
(2) Chairs for judges and timekeepers elevated sufficiently to provide an unobstructed view of the cage and the cage floor.
(3) Items for each contestant’s corner, to include:
(a) A stool or chair;
(b) A clean bucket;
(c) Towels; and
(d) Rubber gloves.
(4) A complete set of numbered round-cards.
(5) A clean stretcher and a clean blanket, placed under or adjacent to the cage, throughout each program.
(6) First aid oxygen apparatus or equipment.
Section 15. A scales used for weigh-in shall be approved in advance by the authority.
Section 16. A promoter shall provide a minimum of two (2) security guards for the premises where contests or exhibitions are conducted and the locker room or rooms to ensure that adequate protection against disorderly conduct has been provided. Any disorderly act, assault, or breach of decorum on the part of a licensee at the premises shall be prohibited.
Section 17. All emergency medical personnel and portable medical equipment shall be stationed at cageside during the event.
(1) There shall be resuscitation equipment, oxygen, a stretcher, a certified ambulance, and an emergency medical technician on site for all contests.
(2) If the ambulance is required to leave the event, a contest shall not continue until an ambulance is once again present and medical personnel are at cageside.
Section 18. (1) There shall be at least one (1) physician licensed by the authority at cageside before a bout shall begin.
(2) The physician shall have at cageside medical supplies necessary to provide first aid medical assistance for the type of injuries reasonably anticipated to occur in a mixed martial arts show.
Section 19. A promoter shall provide insurance for his contestant for any injuries sustained in the mixed martial arts event.
(1) The minimum amount of coverage per contestant shall be $5,000 health and $5,000 accidental death benefits.
(2) A certificate of insurance coverage shall be provided to the authority no less than two (2) business days before the event.
(3)(a) Payment of a deductible under the policy shall be the responsibility of the contestant not to exceed an expense of $1,000.
(b) A deductible expense above $1,000 shall be the responsibility of the promoter.
Section 20. A promoter shall submit written notice to a local hospital with an on-call neurosurgeon that a mixed martial arts show is being held.
(1) This notice shall include the date, time, and location of the event.
(2) A copy of this notice shall be filed with the authority no less than two (2) business days before the event.
Section 21. Judges, physicians, referees, and timekeepers shall be selected, licensed, and assigned to each show by the authority. For each show, the authority shall assign:
(1) Three (3) judges;
(2) One (1) timekeeper;
(3) One (1) physician, unless more than eighteen (18) bouts are scheduled, in which case a minimum of two (2) physicians shall be required; and
(4) One (1) referee, unless more than eighteen (18) bouts are scheduled, in which case a minimum of two (2) referees shall be required.
Section 22. Unless the authority approves an exception:
(1) A nonchampionship contest or exhibition of mixed martial arts shall not exceed three (3) rounds in duration;
(2) A championship contest of mixed martial arts shall not exceed five (5) rounds in duration; and
(3) A period of unarmed combat in a contest or exhibition of mixed martial arts shall be a maximum of five (5) minutes in duration, and a period of rest following a period of unarmed combat in a contest or exhibition of mixed martial arts shall be one (1) minute in duration.
Section 23. Weight Classes of Contestants; Weight Loss after Weigh-in.
(1) Except with the approval of the authority, the classes for contestants competing in contests or exhibitions of mixed martial arts and the weights for each class are shown in the following schedule:
Up to 125 lbs.
Up to 135 lbs.
Up to 145 lbs.
Up to 155 lbs.
Up to 170 lbs.
Up to 185 lbs.
Up to 205 lbs.
Up to 265 lbs.
Over 265 lbs.
(2) After the weigh-in of a contestant competing in a contest or exhibition of mixed martial arts:
(a) Change in weight in excess of three (3) pounds shall not be permitted for a contestant who weighed in at 145 pounds or less;
(b) Change in weight in excess of four (4) pounds shall not be permitted for a contestant who weighed in at over 145 pounds; and
(3) A change in weight above that established in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection shall not occur later than two (2) hours after the initial weigh-in.
Section 24. The following shall be prohibited:
(1) "Battle royal"; and
(2) Use of excessive grease or another substance that may handicap an opponent.
Section 25. Contestants Repeatedly Knocked Out or Otherwise Defeated. (1) A mixed martial arts contestant who has been repeatedly knocked out or severely beaten shall be retired and not permitted to compete again if, after a thorough examination by a physician, the authority decides the action is necessary in order to protect the health and welfare of the contestant.
(2) A mixed martial arts contestant who has suffered six (6) consecutive defeats by knockout shall not be allowed to compete again until he has been investigated by the authority and examined by a physician.
(3) A mixed martial arts contestant whose license is under suspension in another jurisdiction shall not participate in a contest until review and approval by an inspector or employee of the authority.
(4) A mixed martial arts contestant who has been knocked out shall be prohibited from competition for sixty (60) days.
(5)(a) A mixed martial arts contestant who has suffered a technical knockout may be prohibited from competition for up to thirty (30) days.
(b) In determining how many days to prohibit the contestant from competition, the inspector shall consider the nature and severity of the injuries that resulted in the TKO.
Section 26. A person over the age of thirty-nine (39) shall not participate as a contestant in a mixed-martial arts match without a comprehensive physical performed by a physician licensed by the authority. The results of the physical and a medical authorization or release shall then be completed and submitted to the authority no later than fifteen (15) business days prior to the scheduled board meeting
Section 27. A contestant shall report to and be under the general supervision of the inspector or employee of the authority in attendance at the show and shall be subject to orders given by the inspector or employee of the authority.
Section 28. A contestant shall produce one (1) form of picture identification. A contestant shall not assume or use the name of another, and shall not change his ring name nor be announced by a name other than that which appears on his license, except upon approval of the inspector or employee of the authority.
Section 29. A contestant shall submit HIV Antibody and Hepatitis B Antigen and Hepatitis C Antibody test results at or before pre-fight physical.
(1) The results of these tests shall be no more than 180 days old.
(2) A person with positive test results shall not compete.
Section 30. A contestant shall not compete against a member of the opposite sex.
Section 31. (1) A contestant shall not use a belt that contains a metal substance during a bout.
(2) The belt shall not extend above the waistline of the contestant.
Section 32. Proper Attire for a Mixed Martial Arts Contestant. A mixed martial arts contestant shall:
(1) Be clean, neatly clothed in proper ring attire, and the trunks of opponents shall be of distinguishing colors;
(2) Not wear shoes or any padding on his feet during the contest;
(3) Wear a groin protector;
(4) Wear a kidney protector if available; and
(5) Wear a mouthpiece.
Section 33. (1) The authority may request that a contestant submit to a drug screen for controlled substances at the contestant’s expense.
(2) If the drug screen indicates the presence within the contestant of controlled substances for which the contestant does not have a valid prescription, or if the contestant refuses to submit to the test, the authority shall:
(a) Suspend or revoke the license of the contestant;
(b) Impose a fine upon the contestant; or
(c) Impose both penalties established in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection.
(3)(a) The administration of or use of any of the following shall be prohibited in any part of the body, before or during a contest or exhibition, to or by any unarmed combatant:
2. Stimulant; or
3. Drug or injection that has not been approved by the authority.
(b) The following types of drugs, injections, or stimulants shall be prohibited before or during a contest or exhibition, to or by an unarmed combatant:
1. Afrinol or a product pharmaceutically similar to Afrinol;
2. Co-Tylenol or a product pharmaceutically similar to Co-Tylenol;
3. A product containing an antihistamine and a decongestant;
4. A decongestant other than a decongestant listed in paragraph (d) of this subsection;
5. An over-the-counter drug for colds, coughs, or sinuses other than those drugs listed in paragraph (d) of this subsection. This includes Ephedrine, Phenylpropanolamine, and Mahuang and derivatives of Mahuang; and
6. A drug identified on the most current edition of the Prohibited List published by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The most current edition of the Prohibited List may be obtained, free of charge, at the Internet address www.wada-ama.org;
(c) The following types of drugs or injections are not prohibited:
1. Aspirin and products containing aspirin; and
2. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories.
(d) The following types of drugs or injections are approved by the authority:
1. Antacids, such as Maalox;
2. Antibiotics, antifungals, or antivirals prescribed by a physician;
3. Antidiarrheals, such as Imodium, Kaopectate, or Pepto-Bismol;
4. Antihistamines for colds or allergies, such as Bromphen, Brompheniramine, Chlorpheniramine Maleate, Chlor-Trimeton, Dimetane, Hismal, PBZ, Seldane, Tavist-1, or Teldrin;
5. Antinauseants, such as Dramamine or Tigan;
6. Antipyretics, such as Tylenol;
7. Antitussives, such as Robitussin, if the antitussive does not contain codeine;
8. Antiulcer products, such as Carafate, Pepcid, Reglan, Tagamet, or Zantac;
9. Asthma products in aerosol form, such as Brethine, Metaproterenol (Alupent), or Salbutamol (Albuterol, Proventil, or Ventolin);
10. Asthma products in oral form, such as Aminophylline, Cromolyn, Nasalide, or Vanceril;
11. Ear products, such as Auralgan, Cerumenex, Cortisporin, Debrox, or Vosol;
12. Hemorrhoid products, such as Anusol-HC, Preparation H, or Nupercainal;
13. Laxatives, such as Correctol, Doxidan, Dulcolax, Efferyllium, Ex-Lax, Metamucil, Modane, or Milk of Magnesia;
14. Nasal products, such as AYR Saline, HuMist Saline, Ocean, or Salinex;
15. The following decongestants:
b. Oxymetazoline HCL Nasal Spray; or
c. Another decongestant pharmaceutically similar to a decongestant listed in clauses a. or b. or this subparagraph.
(3) An unarmed combatant shall submit to a urinalysis or chemical test before or after a contest or exhibition if the authority or a representative of the authority directs him to do so.
(f) A licensee who violates a provision of this section shall be subject to disciplinary action by the authority. In addition to any other disciplinary action by the authority, if an unarmed combatant who won or drew a contest or exhibition is found to have violated the provisions of this section, the authority may, in its sole discretion, change the result of that contest or exhibition to a no decision.
Section 34. Method of Judging. (1) Each judge of a contest or exhibition of mixed martial arts shall score the contest or exhibition and determine the winner through the use of the following system:
(a) The better contestant of a round shall receive ten (10) points, and his opponent shall receive proportionately less.
(b) If the round is even, each contestant shall receive ten (10) points.
(c) No fraction of points shall be given.
(d) Points for each round shall be awarded immediately after the end of the period of unarmed combat in the round.
(2) After the end of the contest or exhibition, the announcer shall pick up the scores of the judges from the authority’s desk.
(3) The majority opinion shall be conclusive and, if there is no majority, the decision shall be a draw.
(4)(a) When the authority’s representative has checked the scores, he shall inform the announcer of the decision.
(b) The announcer shall then inform the audience of the decision over the speaker system.
(5) Unjudged exhibitions shall be permitted with the prior approval of the authority.
Section 35. The following acts shall constitute fouls in mixed martial arts:
(1) Butting with the head;
(2) Eye gouging;
(4) Hair pulling;
(6) Groin attacks;
(7) Putting a finger into any orifice or into any cut or laceration on an opponent;
(8) Small joint manipulation;
(9) Striking to the spine or the back of the head;
(10) Striking downward using the point of the elbow;
(11) Throat strikes including grabbing the trachea;
(12) Clawing, pinching, or twisting the flesh;
(13) Grabbing the clavicle;
(14) Kicking the head of a grounded opponent;
(15) Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent;
(16) Stomping the head of a grounded opponent;
(17) Kicking to the kidney with the heel;
(18) Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck;
(19) Throwing an opponent out of the fenced area;
(20) Holding the shorts of an opponent;
(21) Spitting at an opponent;
(22) Engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to an opponent;
(23) Holding the fence;
(24) Using abusive language in the fenced area;
(25) Attacking an opponent on or during the break;
(26) Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee;
(27) Attacking an opponent after the bell has sounded the end of the period of unarmed combat;
(28) Intentionally disregarding the instructions of the referee;
(29) Timidity, such as intentionally or consistently dropping the mouthpiece or faking an injury;
(30) Interference by the corner; and
(31) The throwing by a contestant's corner staff of objects into the cage during competition.
Section 36. (1) If a contestant fouls his opponent during a contest or exhibition of mixed martial arts, the referee may penalize him by deducting points from his score, regardless of whether or not the foul was intentional. The referee shall determine the number of points to be deducted in each instance and shall base his determination on the severity of the foul and its effect upon the opponent.
(2) If the referee determines that it is necessary to deduct a point or points because of a foul, he shall warn the offender of the penalty to be assessed.
(3) The referee shall, as soon as is practical after the foul, notify the judges and both contestants of the number of points, if any, to be deducted from the score of the offender.
(4) Any point or points to be deducted for any foul shall be deducted in the round in which the foul occurred and shall not be deducted from the score of any subsequent round.
Section 37. (1)(a) If a contest or exhibition of mixed martial arts is stopped because of an accidental foul, the referee shall determine if the contestant who has been fouled is able to continue or not.
(b) If the contestant's chance of winning has not been seriously jeopardized as a result of the foul, and if the foul does not involve a concussive impact to the head of the contestant who has been fouled, the referee may order the contest or exhibition continued after a recuperative interval of not more than five (5) minutes.
(c) Immediately after separating the contestants, the referee shall inform the authority’s representative of his determination that the foul was or was not accidental.
(2) If the referee determines that a contest or exhibition of mixed martial arts shall not continue because of an injury suffered as the result of an accidental foul, the contest or exhibition shall be declared a no contest if the foul occurs during:
(a) The first two (2) rounds of a contest or exhibition that is scheduled for three (3) rounds or less; or
(b) The first three (3) rounds of a contest or exhibition that is scheduled for more than three (3) rounds.
(3) If an accidental foul renders a contestant unable to continue the contest or exhibition, the outcome shall be determined by scoring the completed rounds, including the round in which the foul occurs, if the foul occurs after:
(a) The completed second round of a contest or exhibition that is scheduled for three (3) rounds or less; or
(b) The completed third round of a contest or exhibition that is scheduled for more than three (3) rounds, the outcome shall be determined by scoring the completed rounds.
(4) If an injury inflicted by an accidental foul later becomes aggravated by fair blows and the referee orders the contest or exhibition stopped because of the injury, the outcome shall be determined by scoring the completed rounds and the round during which the referee stops the contest or exhibition.
(5) A contestant committing a foul may be issued a violation by the inspector or employee of the authority.
Section 38. A contest of mixed martial arts may end in the following ways:
(1) Submission by:
(a) Physical tap out; or
(b) Verbal tap out;
(2) Technical knockout by the referee or physician stopping the contest;
(3) Decision via the scorecards, including:
(a) Unanimous decision;
(b) Split decision;
(c) Majority decision; and
(d) Draw, including:
1. Unanimous draw;
2. Majority draw; and
3. Split draw;
(4) Technical decision;
(5) Technical draw;
(7) Forfeit; or
(8) No contest.
Section 39. Within twenty-four (24) hours of the conclusion of a show, the promoter shall, pursuant to KRS 229.031(1), complete and submit to the authority the form MMA Event Report.
Section 40. The following requirements apply to all bouts between female contestants:
(1) A contestant shall not wear facial cosmetics during the bout;
(2) A contestant with long hair shall secure her hair with soft and nonabrasive material;
(3) Weight classes shall be those established in section 23 of this administrative regulation;
(4) A contestant shall wear a properly-fitted:
(a) Groin protector; and
(5) A contestant shall provide the results of a pregnancy test indicating a negative finding that was taken within one (1) week prior to the bout;
(6) A promoter shall provide a separate locker room for female contestants; and
(7) A physician examining a female contestant shall be accompanied by a female authority representative when in the female locker room.
Section 41. (1) Each contestant shall attend a pre-fight meeting as directed by a representative of the authority.
(2) Each contestant and official shall check in with a representative of the authority no less than one (1) hour prior to the starting time of the event.
(3) Each contestant shall stay in the locker room area until it is time for them to compete.
Section 42. (1) Each show shall be video recorded and retained by the promoter for at least one (1) year.
(2) Upon request of the authority, the promoter shall provide the visual recording of a show to the authority.
Section 43. A promoter shall maintain an account with the recognized national database as identified by the authority, and submit contestants’ names to that database upon approval of the show date. The promoter shall be responsible for the costs associated with the use of this service.
Section 44. All nonsanctioned activities, such as concerts, shall be completed prior to the scheduled start time of the event.
Section 45. Incorporation by Reference. (1) The following material is incorporated by reference:
(a) "Application for License as a Mixed Martial Arts Contestant", 3/12;
(b) "MMA Show Notice Form", 10/11; and
(c) "MMA Event Report", 10/11.
(2) This material may be inspected, copied, or obtained, subject to applicable copyright law, at the Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Authority office at 500 Mero Street, Capitol Plaza Tower, Room 509, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 pm. (32 Ky.R. 1840; 2023; 2255; eff. 7-7-2006; 38 Ky.R. 1200; 1576; 1710; eff. 5-4-12.)