clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ohio commission explains CM Punk’s UFC 203 licensing waiver

As UFC 203 approaches, it seems likely that Phil ‘CM Punk’ Brooks will be exempted from an Ohio licensing regulation.

CM Punk, photo by Esther Lin Esther Lin

Phil ‘CM Punk’ Brooks has not had your typical MMA career. He didn’t start training in earnest until he was in his mid 30’s, he’s making his debut on the main card of a UFC pay-per-view, and now he’s getting pass from the Ohio athletic commission to be able to compete.

As originally reported by Erik Magraken on his Combat Sports Law blog, Ohio has a rule in place--Ohio Administrative Code 3773-7-20(E)--which requires fighters making their pro debut to have at least 5 amateur fights on their record, and for the majority of those fights to be wins. CM Punk has no professional or amateur fights on his record ahead of his MMA debut at UFC 203. The clause in full reads:

A mixed martial arts fighter will be required to have a minimum of five recorded amateur bouts with a winning record prior to being permitted to compete as a professional mixed martial arts fighter. They may appeal to the executive director or Ohio athletic commission to have this waived.

The potential for a waiver is included directly in the clause, apparently for situations just like this. The Ohio Athletic Commission explained to Bloody Elbow:

'We felt it was like the Brock Lesnar situation, that there’s enough experience, and trust the UFC would have also ensured that he met the qualifications to compete as a Professional. We have permitted others with past experience to turn Professional. That’s why the exemption was put in the rule. We feel that this is a competitive matchup.'

That makes sense; Brooks has spent his entire MMA career training at one of the top gyms in the sport, and the rule is in place to help protect potentially unprepared fighters from jumping into a professional fight and getting hurt.

Mickey Gall, Brooks' opponent at UFC 203, has a 2-0 record as an amateur and a 2-0 record as a professional.