New York Unveils Draft Combat Sports Regulations

The New York State Athletic Commission has published their “Proposed Regulations to Govern Combat Sports in New York”.  These can be found here.

NYSAC Proposed Combat Sports Regs

These Regulations are the ‘nuts and bolts’ of how combative sports will be overseen in the Empire State.  The Commission is “providing a 45-day public comment period on the proposed regulations” so if you are a combat sports stake holder in New York speak now or forever hold your peace.

Some of the highlights are as follows:

  • A broad ability to oversee ‘all contracts’ in professional combative sports with section 206.12 reading as follows

All contracts calling for the services of a professional in an authorized professional combative sport and entered into by licensed promoters, professionals or managers as one or more of the parties in such contracts shall be subject to Commission approval and must be filed with the Commission to be valid. All such contracts must comply with applicable provisions of New York State and federal law. The Commission shall have jurisdiction over any contracts directly related to the conduct of authorized professional combative sports in the state of New York, and shall have the authority, in its discretion, to act to invalidate, enforce, mediate, arbitrate or modify such contracts. All contracts directly related to the conduct of professional boxing activity in the state of New York must also comply with the applicable requirements of the federal Professional Boxing Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 6301, et seq.), as amended.

  • Mandatory Licencing of Managers
  • The regulation of sparring which is defined as “practice boxing, practice mixed martial arts, or other practice combative sport conducted between two participants for training purposes in which blows are landed to the head or body of one or both participants in an manner intended to mimic those that may be attempted in a match, whether or not headgear is used.
  • A prohibition on Rapid Extreme Weight Cuts with section 208.14 reading as follows

No boxer or mixed martial artist shall participate in any contest or exhibition following weight loss of two pounds or more of body weight within 24 hours prior to such contest or exhibition, unless otherwise authorized by the Commission. A combatant may be disapproved for participation in a match or exhibition if, in the professional medical opinion of the reviewing physician, it would be unsafe for the combatant to compete in the match or exhibition due to a finding of dehydration or extreme weight loss.

  • $50,000 Insurance requirement with a further $1 million insurance requirement for ‘life threatening brain injury’
  • A three year cap for boxing/manager contracts
  • a restriction on promoters assigning rights of boxers or MMA fighters to others without the combatant’s written consent
  • A mandatory seven day period in between ‘combat sport’ matches making elimination style tournaments illegal
  • amateur event protection including $10,000 insurance requirement, requirement for physician and ambulance to be present at events
  • In and out of competition drug testing abilities
  • A minimum of 50% of purse payable to boxers and mixed martial artists who are “ready, willing and able…on the date of the official weigh in….who suffer cancellation of the contest at that time due to no fault of their own”.


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