Any martial artist that considers making a profession of their art should learn about how to get licensed to fight pro MMA. To receive your "unarmed combatant's license," as many states call becoming a licensed pro MMA fighter, you've got to go through the appropriate medical exams and submit the proper paperwork to the state where you apply to become licensed.
What you'll need:
- two passport photos
- money for fees
- HIV test results
- Hepititis B surface antigen test results
- Hepititis C antibody test results
- Dilated ophthalmologic examination results
- MRI of the brain meeting state guidelines
- Read the list. It's a pretty intense list! And all your time has gone into training takedowns, strikes, sleeper holds and more. Unfortunately, your capacity to win in the ring has nothing to do with your ability to get the license; you've got to be willing to send all of the information listed above to the state to even have the chance of getting in the ring.
- Determine costs. Each of these tests will cost you money. Find out what it will cost to get the tests you need to get licensed to fight pro-MMA and make sure you can afford to complete the process in a timely manner. Don't count on big winnings to pay off your credit card either. We've all seen great fighters get shamed in the ring.
Start small. Get the Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C tests out of the way. If you are applying in Nevada, for example, you've got a year to complete the other tests. Once you know you're clear, move on to the rest.
- Visit your ophthalmologist. Get your eyes checked. You may need to be tested again 24 hours or more before your fight to be able to step into the ring, but before you spend big bucks on an MRI, it's good to verify there's nothing current that could rule you out. Bottom line, you've got to be able to see well without glasses, and if you have tunnel vision, forget about it.
Schedule your MRI. The MRI is a one time test, unless a state gaming commission orders another one due to injuries. Good thing, too, as the price for an MRI can run you anywhere from $400 to $3,500 (regulations list resolution requirements). All in all, the exam is a good thing since the state gaming commission attempting to insure you don't want you to suffer from any abnormalities or blood constrictions that could put you at greater risk of death due to sports related injuries.
- Know your contest. Now get the HIV test out of the way. You're fit, and it's possible your fitness level has led to some risky (as distinct from, but related to, both frisky and risque) tumbles in the sac. The application for your pro MMA fight license must be submitted within 30 days of receiving your test results, so if you're clear, act quickly to complete your application by scheduling your HIV test close upon the arrival of your MRI results. If you're not clear, you may already be in fight for your life – it's good to know where you stand. For future reference, if you've got a sword, carry a sheath.
- Get ready for your close up. Get your passport photos taken. Getting in the professional MMA ring is like stepping outside the country – you never know what's going to happen, and the dude in front of you very likely hates your guts. Standard passport photos must be taken and submitted with your application for a pro MMA fight license. State gaming commissions wanted to set up a way of tracking fights across the country, so once you receive approval, you will receive a federal ID card that will be associated with your fight record wherever you go to fight pro MMA bouts.
- Send your paperwork in. Make sure all the forms and test results are completed properly and submitted in a timely manner. There's nothing like missing a deadline to put you out of the fight. Getting licensed to fight pro MMA takes time, investment and commitment, but, for the well trained fighter, it's the first step to your career as a pro.