(EDITOR'S NOTE: Today, Minnesota MMA News begins another new feature: "Ask the Commission." Each week, Matt Schowalter or someone else from the Minnesota Combative Sports Commission will tackle your questions. If you have a question for the commission, send them to
Here are the questions from Week One: There recently was a controversial TKO stoppage. The fighter who lost immediately posted that the Commission was ruling the fight a no-contest. I'm assuming he was premature, since it seems unlikely the Commission would make such a ruling on-site. But, what's the process when something like that happens? How does an appeal work? A TKO stoppage is a ref's judgment call, so is it rare to overturn it? ... And what happens with the ref? Just a learning moment or is he constantly being evaluated?
Before I explain the process of appealing the outcome of a bout, I'll first give you a quick overview of the entire regulatory body as it will give you a better understanding of why the process is set up as it is. In July 2012, the State Legislature decided to disband the Minnesota Combative Sports Commission and hand all regulatory duties over to the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI). The nine members of the Commission were then kept on to act as advisers to the Commissioner of DLI.
Those nine members are now called the Combative Sports Advisory Council. DLI then created a program entitled the Office of Combative Sports to handle all day-to-day duties related to regulating combative sports in Minnesota. Per statute, the Commissioner of DLI has sole authority over combative sports in Minnesota. The Commissioner is the only one who can make decisions, rules changes, policy changes, etc. The Advisory Council's only role, according to statute, is to provide the Commissioner advice when he asks for it.
Because the Commissioner is unable to attend all of the events, he had legal services draw up contracts for Advisory Council members delegating some of his authority to them when they are assigned to events, so that they could work events and do regulatory duties. The authority given