The Nebraska Athletic Commission regulates amateur and professional mixed martial arts (MMA), professional boxing, professional bare-knuckle boxing, and professional kickboxing. Originally created by the Nebraska Legislature to regulate the sport of boxing, the Commission began regulating amateur and professional MMA with the passage of LB 471 in 2007. LB 70 (2021) added bare-knuckle boxing and kickboxing as regulated combat sports. On average, the commission regulates about 25 events per year throughout the state.
The Commission works to ensure competitive and fair bouts and implements a host of safeguards designed to minimize an athlete’s undue risk of injury. To this end, the Commission requires the presence of at least one licensed ringside physician and the presence of an ambulance and EMTs at all events, medical insurance coverage, and extensive medical documentation attesting to an athlete’s fitness to participate in his or her chosen sport. The Commission provides training to MMA judges and referees every two years, and requires MMA judge and referee candidates to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the sport and their respective duties prior to licensure. The Commission assigns officials, including judges, referees, and timekeepers to events as appropriate.
The State Athletic Commissioner is Aaron Hendry. The Deputy State Athletic Commissioner is Brian Dunn. The Commission employs four Inspectors who are paid on a per event basis.