(b) As used in this article, the term "mixed martial arts" means a combative sporting contest, the rules of which allow two competitors to attempt to achieve dominance over one another by utilizing a variety of techniques including, but not limited to, striking, grappling and the application of submission holds.
(c) A mixed martial arts contest, match or exhibition promoted, conducted, held or given within the state shall be under the commission's authority and be in accordance with the provision of this section. The provisions of this article that apply to boxing shall also apply to mixed martial arts as appropriate.
(d) In exercising its jurisdiction over professional mixed martial arts contests matches and exhibitions, the commission shall follow the current unified rules of mixed martial arts as adopted by the Association of Boxing Commissions, to enable the proper licensing of all participants, referees and judges, and the approval of contests, matches or exhibitions conducted under the provisions of this section.
(e) The commission may issue and revoke a license to promote, conduct, hold or give mixed martial arts contests, matches or exhibitions and may issue and revoke a license to be a contestant. Each license is subject to the provisions of this section and article, and the rules of the commission.
(f) The commission shall propose rules for legislative approval, in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to implement the provisions of this section, including:
(1) Procedures and requirements for the issuance and renewal of licenses: Provided, That the procedures and requirements shall not:
(A) Limit or prohibit mixed martial arts contests, matches or exhibitions; nor
(B) Include a provision that a licensee be a West Virginia resident;
(2) Exemptions from licensure;
(3) Procedures for revoking licenses;
(4) Adopting the unified rules of mixed martial arts;
(5) A fee schedule;
(6) Limitations or restrictions necessary to guarantee the safety of the participants;
(7) The requirements for fair and honest conducting of the contests, matches or exhibitions; and
(8) Any other rules necessary to effectuate the provisions of this section.
(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of this code to the
contrary, a municipality may not impose a municipal license tax under section four, article thirteen, chapter eight of this code on
mixed martial arts clubs. The granting of a license to a club by
the commission, or the holding of a license by a club, individual,
corporation or association, does not prevent the commission from
revoking the license to conduct an event, as provided in this
section: Provided, That nothing in this subsection limits the
authority of a municipality to impose any other taxes or fees on
mixed martial arts contests, matches or exhibitions, pursuant to
article thirteen, chapter eight of this code.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.