Robert Ives an amateur MMA fighter out of New York brought up a good point and it turned into a great conversation on Facebook. The topic started over sanctioned MMA events to fight for and led to fighters asking how do I know who to fight for. Well we have some of the answers for you and will let you know who we would suggest as well as if you have a question concerning a promotion we will do our part to find out the answer for you. First I will say we have NO stake in any of the promotions I am about to list.
Next there is a big difference between sanctioned and regulated. If an event is sanctioned they have a third party that comes in and takes care of having certified officials to covering all aspects of the event from locker room attendants to the head judge. All issues concerning the fight card for that night are taken care of by the sanctioning body as well as allowing fighters to fight that night. They can pull a fighter for various reasons from medical issues to them having fought too soon after an injury. This takes the guess work out of the promotions hands and makes sure fighters safety is paramount from insurance to being injured before the fight and suspending fighters after their fight if they have sustained injury. They also take care of weigh-ins and as well as insuring all fighters have up to date medicals and bloodwork. There is a lot more behind the scenes about sanctioning and I will not bore you with the details as I think you get what sanctioning is by now.
A regulated event is almost identical to sanctioned but they are not hiring a third party. They do hire officials that are not always certified and some regulated events gets a little more input from the promotion but that is always not the case. I do know first hand Cage Wars is regulated, but has a team of certified officials that takes care of their show from weigh-ins until the last fight is recorded with Tapology. This does not mean that all the promotions I have listed do not have certified officials but 99% of those listed below have certified officials officiating their events.
If you are reading this and have input on sanctioned and/or regulated events please add them below as I know I didn’t cover all the basis, but hopefully a brief understanding of the two.
So really what’s the difference at this stage, as NY does not recognize either sanctioned or regulated events? It all comes down to how the promotion wants to have their event run. Some could care less about fighter safety and some lose money some shows because the have so many safe guards in place (even though that is not bad thing having so many safe guards in place).
Here are a few of the shows I would fight for or even put a family member in their cage:
Aggressive Combat Championship-Sanctioned
Hot Gates MMA-Regulated
Xtreme Combat Promotions-Regulated
Now this isn’t all of them. These promotions I know first hand will not steer you wrong and like I added earlier if you have a question about a promotion please hit me up (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will reach out to those we know and get the answers you need. Another great source for information is the amateur fighters that have fought for these or other promotions as well as professional MMA fighters that fought for the promotion in question when they were amateurs.
I do hope this gives you a little more help on how to choose who to fight for and if the should be sanctioned or not. I have said it numerous times some sanctioned events were more of a smoker than a regulated event. Everyone’s best bet is to share information about promotions and sanctioning bodies so everyone is well versed in the sport we love.