Apply for a Contestant License
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Combative sports contestants are voluntary fighters in full-contact sporting events, including boxing, kickboxing, martial arts, and mixed martial arts.
Do I Need a License?
Professional combative sports contestants who participate in a regulated professional event must be licensed.
All licensing requirements for contestants should be completed at least 72 hours before an event.
Amateur Event Contestants
Although amateur contestants are not required to be licensed, each amateur contestant must be a member of the amateur combative sports association for at least 30 days before participating in an event.
Amateur contestants must also be a member on the date of an event to participate in that event. For more information please see the Amateur Combative Sports Associations page.
As a condition of receiving your license, you waive your right to confidentiality of medical records relating to any condition that may affect your ability to compete.
You must include with your application materials:
- Authorization to release medical records
- Proof of having passed a comprehensive medical examination within the previous six months, including:
- Negative test results for Hepatitis B and C
- Negative test results for HIV
- Proof of having passed an ophthalmologic medical examination (eye exam) within the previous six months
The medical exams and release should be documented on the relevant pages of the Professional Contestant Application Form (PDF).
The medical examination portions must be signed by a licensed physician (M.D./D.O.) and a licensed ophthalmologist, respectively.
Contestants who are age 36 or older, must submit a report of favorable physical testing including, but not limited to, an EEG (electroencephalography), and an EKG (electrocardiogram).
Application and Fee
To begin your application, submit a completed Professional Contestant Application Form (PDF) with the non-refundable application fee of $20.
Send the completed application form and any required materials to TDLR.
- By Mail:
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
Combative Sports Program
PO Box 12157
Austin, TX 78711-2157
You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a contestant license. Minors 17 years of age may be issued a contestant's license, if the application materials are accompanied by a notarized written consent from a parent or guardian.
Combative Sports contestants must submit to periodic drug testing, either before or after the bout as directed by TDLR staff.
Contestants are responsible for paying for the cost of drug tests.
A positive result for any of the following substances will result in an automatic 90-day medical suspension and possible monetary penalties or revocation of your license:
- Anabolic agents (steroids)
- Benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanax, Valium, Klonopin)
- Beta-2 agonists (see exceptions)
- Cannabinoids (marijuana)
- Hormones and Metabolic Modulators
- Masking agents
- Peptide hormones
- Phencyclidines (PCP)
- Substances approved only for veterinary use
- Substances that are not currently approved for human therapeutic use by any governmental regulatory health authority (e.g. pre-clinical drugs)
Over-the-Counter and Prescription Medications
A contestant taking prescribed or over the counter medication must inform TDLR Combative Sports staff of such usage at least 24 hours prior to the bout.
Exceptions for Beta-2 Antagonists
Exceptions to beta-2 antagonists include:
- Salbutamol (maximum 1600 micrograms over 24 hours)
- Formoterol (maximum 36 micrograms over 24 hours)
- Terol when taken by inhalation in accordance with the manufacturers' recommended therapeutic regimen
Responsibilities of Contestants
It is your responsibility to read and understand the responsibilities of contestants, the rules of the sport you will compete in and all relevant sections of the Texas law and rules for combative sports.
If you have questions about the law or rules, please contact TDLR by email, or call us at (512) 659-5034.
Applicants with Criminal Convictions
If you have ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor (other than a minor traffic violation) or pleaded guilty or no contest (resulting in a deferred adjudication) to any in-state, out-of-state or federal criminal offense, you must provide a completed Criminal History Questionnaire (PDF) along with your application materials.
The department will conduct a criminal history background check on all persons who apply for a license. Criminal convictions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Licenses may be denied based on the nature of the conviction and how long prior to the application the conviction occurred. Depending on your criminal history, a review can take from one to six weeks to complete.
Individuals may request TDLR review their criminal background before actually applying for a license. TDLR uses the same process for this pre-application evaluation as the process described below. See the Criminal History Evaluation Letter page for more information.
Please see the Guidelines for License Applicants with Criminal Convictions, which describe the process that TDLR uses to determine whether a criminal conviction renders an applicant an unsuitable candidate for the license, or whether a conviction warrants revocation or suspension of a license previously granted.