Department of Public Protection
KBWA Acts to Protect Amateur MMA Athletes

Press Release Date:  Thursday, November 15, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jim Carroll, 502-564-7760  

     The Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Authority (KBWA) has taken steps to protect amateur contestants in mixed martial arts (MMA) events.

     In a meeting Wednesday, the authority voted 3-0 to adopt regulations that extend to amateur contestants the same health and safety provisions now protecting professional MMA fighters. Similar regulations also cover pro boxers and wrestlers.

     “By this vote, the KBWA demonstrates that we consider amateur MMA competitors to be deserving of the same protection as professionals,” said Timothy J. LeDonne, commissioner of the Department of Public Protection and a KBWA board member. “Amateurs share the same risk of serious injury as professionals, so it is only logical that we adopt the same rules to provide prompt, expert medical care to treat such injuries.”

      Among other provisions, the regulations require at all amateur bouts a physician with appropriate medical equipment and an ambulance. The bout’s promoter must provide $5,000 of both health and accidental death insurance for each fighter.  The promoter also must notify in writing the closest local hospital with an on-call neurosurgeon of an impending MMA event.

     The regulations will be filed for public comment and submitted for legislative review. If adopted as filed, the new regulations would go into effect in mid 2008.

     The KBWA is attached to the Department of Public Protection in the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet.