Michigan, one of a handful of US States which allow but do not presently regulate amateur mixed martial arts, is seeking to pass legislation changing this. This overhaul comes two years following the death of an amateur fighter in an unregulated Michigan event.
In short the legislation will expand Michigan’s Unarmed Combat Commission’s jurisdiction, which presently regulates professional boxing and MMA to also include amateur MMA and other forms of unarmed combat defined as “any form of competition in which a blow is usually struck or another fighting technique is applied that may reasonably be expected to inflict injury“. A few exceptions to this broad definition are noted such as amateur boxing events with certain affiliated bodies along with certain scholastic competitions.
The legislation will add much needed oversight to amateur events instead of leaving safety measures in the hands of promoters. The legislation also speaks to giving the commission both in and out of competition drug testing powers including urinalysis and chemical tests.
While the legislation covers fairly consistent ground in the world of North American combat sports regulation, one interesting feature is the legislation’s noted weight classes which will apply to professional boxing and professional and amateur MMA. These deviate from the unified rules of MMA and read as follows –
“WEIGHT CLASS” MEANS 1 OF THE FOLLOWING:
(i) MINI FLYWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 105 POUNDS OR LESS.
(ii) LIGHT FLYWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 106 TO 108 POUNDS.
(iii) FLYWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 109 TO 112 POUNDS.
(iv) SUPER FLYWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 113 TO 115 POUNDS.
(v) BANTAMWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 116 TO 118 POUNDS.
(vi) SUPER BANTAMWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 119 TO 122 POUNDS.
(vii) FEATHERWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 123 TO 126 POUNDS.
(viii) SUPER FEATHERWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 127 TO 130 26 POUNDS.
(ix) LIGHTWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 131 TO 135 POUNDS.
(x) SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 136 TO 140 POUNDS.
(xi) WELTERWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 141 TO 147 POUNDS.
(xii) SUPER WELTERWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 148 TO 154 4 POUNDS.
(xiii) MIDDLEWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 155 TO 160 POUNDS.
(xiv) SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 161 TO 168 7 POUNDS.
(xv) LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 169 TO 175 POUNDS.
(xvi) CRUISERWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 176 TO 200 POUNDS.
(xvii) HEAVYWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 201 TO 260 POUNDS.
(xviii) SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT, IF HE OR SHE WEIGHS 261 POUNDS OR 12 MORE.
The legislation is expected to be sent to the State’s Governor for consideration shortly.