(EDITOR'S NOTE: "Ask the Commission" is a weekly feature in which Matt Schowalter or someone else from the Minnesota Combative Sports Commission will tackle your questions. If you have questions for the commission, send them to
QUESTION: What is your process for deciding which fights to approve and which to turn down? What's looked at?
Approving bouts is one of the most difficult parts of regulation.
You have to decide if you are going to approve bouts based on the likelihood of serious injury, even matchups, what's good for the sport, or what's in the fighter's best interest in terms of health. Most people would tell you that all of the factors should come into play, well, until their fight gets denied. Then they feel that one of the other factors should be weighed more heavily than the one that caused their fight to get denied.
No matter what the skill level, record or health of a fighter, they will all tell you the same thing: "I'll fight anyone, anywhere, anytime." And on occasion they will usually follow that up with, "For the right price."
A fighter's career means a lot to them. They want to start out strong and stay on a winning pace. Losing a bout could mean the difference between being the first fight of the night, or the main event. It's the difference between wearing a pair of gym shorts from Walmart in your fights and having logos plastered all over your specially made fight shorts. One wrong move and a promising career could end up being wasted talent.
Because of this, fighters want to put themselves in the best possible position to win every fight they take. It's our job to ensure that it's not a completely lopsided match.
Reviewing fights always reminds me of the old WWF. You'd have Dusty Trunks waiting in the corner while The Ultimate Warrior came out to lights, smoke machines and a video entrance. You knew before the match started who was going to win. So there are a few things that we look at when approving fights.
The first thing we look at is both fighters' records. A fighter's initial record can give us some sort of an idea as to how much experience they have. Even though a fighter may not have the best record, each fight they take does add up in experience. Someone making their debut is at a huge disadvantage. They aren't used to the lights, the crowd, the pressure, etc.
A fighter who's been in that situation a few times knows what to expect and is more comfortable in that setting. When looking at a record, we will also look at the records of the people they have fought and the outcome of those bouts. If a guy has a losing record and his losses are happening in the first round against guys with losing records then that tells us he's probably not ready to fight a guy with a winning