Massachusetts State Athletic Commission Sanctions Amateur MMA
The Massachusetts State Athletic Commission announced today that it will be directly regulating all amateur mixed martial arts events within the state. As with most states, Massachusetts' first set of regulations for MMA only applied at the professional level. The absence of legislation regarding amateur rules leaves the regulation of amateur mixed martial arts within a state to an outside organization. In the case of Massachusetts, sanctioning of amateur events was previously handled by KICK International.
The Massachusetts SAC decision to directly regulate amateur MMA is a huge step forward in the effort to build local talent from the ground up. The efforts of organizations like KICK throughout the country notwithstanding, state athletic commissions have more resources for record keeping, medical support, and other aspects required of a sanctioning body to create a thriving amateur scene.
With the new system of sanctioning, a number of procedural and rule changes will be enacted on amateur MMA in Massachusetts. Among the most notable changes to the amateur rules after the Massachusetts SAC takeover will be to the amateur weight classes. The new weight classes are as follows:
Flyweight Up to 125 pounds
Bantamweight Over 125 to 135 pounds
Featherweight Over 135 to 145 pounds
Lightweight Over 145 to 155 pounds
Welterweight Over 155 to 170 pounds
Middleweight Over 170 to 185 pounds
Light Heavyweight Over 185 to 205 pounds
Middle Heavyweight Over 205 to 225 pounds
Heavyweight Over 225 to 265 pounds
Super Heavyweight All over 265 pounds
The new weight classes are similar to those in professional MMA and are spaced farther apart on the scale than amateur weight classes in other states that are directly regulated by their state athletic commissions.
New Jersey became one of the first SACs to directly regulate their amateur mixed martial arts, and have since had great success with a thriving amateur circuit.
Photo: Mass SAC emblem