Combative Sports

Combative Sports Paused In Texas

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation has paused all combative sports events in Texas until further notice. TDLR will continue to evaluate the situation in Texas regarding COVID-19 infection rates but there is no set date at this time for the return of combative sports events in the state. This decision is based on ensuring that protecting the health and safety of all Texans, the combative sports community, general public, ringside officials, combatants and TDLR staff is our agency’s top priority. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Longtime TDLR Combative Sports Manager Dickie Cole has passed away

Dickie ColeDickie Cole, longtime Combative Sports program manager for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), passed away Saturday at the age of 89.

“Dickie was a legend in the combative sports community, and a legend here at TDLR. He loved people and loved telling stories,” said Brian E. Francis, TDLR executive director. “He will be deeply missed by our Combative Sports staff, and our hearts go out to his family.”

A former two-time Dallas Golden Gloves champion (1950-51), Cole became an amateur referee in 1960 and turned pro in 1964. He was a referee for 29 years until joining TDLR to head agency’s Combative Sports program in 1993.

During Cole’s time with TDLR, Texas became an international destination for high-profile, televised boxing events, attracting major promoters and countless fans from around the world. Highlights from Cole’s tenure include Manny Pacquiao’s two world title bouts at Cowboys Stadium.

Cole was recognized for his dedication to combative sports and provided opportunities and mentoring for many young men and women to become referees, judges, promoters and seconds. He was the first member of the Texas Boxing Hall of Fame. His care and concern for the sport of boxing was a lifelong passion.

Statement by TDLR Executive Director Brian E. Francis regarding the death of Hall of Fame boxing legend Curtis Cokes

“The TDLR combative sports family was saddened to learn of the passing of Curtis Cokes, a former WBA/WBC welterweight champion and pioneer. Mr. Cokes also was a premier boxing trainer who taught many young boxers the sweet science of boxing that took them far in the world. I was privileged to meet Mr. Cokes many years ago. My prayers are with his family and friends.”

Brian E. Francis
Executive Director
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Military Service Members, Veterans, and Spouses - For more information about obtaining a TDLR license or renewing a TDLR license that expired while serving on active duty, please go to the Military Outreach home page.

Combative Sports is a full contact competition between two contestants. The primary sport in this program is boxing. Other sports regulated by this program are kick boxing, shoot wrestling / fighting, pancration wrestling / fighting, mixed martial arts contests or any form of competition in which a blow is struck which may reasonably be expected to inflict injury. Kick boxing is a form of boxing in which blows are delivered with any part of the arm below the shoulder, including the hand, and any part of the leg below the hip including the foot. Shoot wrestling / pancration wrestling is a form of full contact martial arts in which opponents may, while standing, strike with the open hand, kick, wrestle, throw grapple and submit. For more information about combative sports, e-mail TDLR.

Event Schedule

All events are subject to change or cancellation and are subject to review of the current overall COVID-19 situation, which will be re-evaluated near the end of April 2020.


  • 07/11/20 - FORCETRAIN Promotions, Houston
  • 07/25/20 - Garcia Promotions, Dallas

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

None at this time

Combination Events

None at this time


None at this time

News and Updates

TDLR Adopts Rule Review

At their meeting held January 11, 2019, the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation adopted the rule review of 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 61, Combative Sports, effective January 25, 2019.

The rule review adoption was published in the February 8, 2019 issue of the Texas Register (44 TexReg 593).

TDLR encourages all persons interested in the Combative Sports program to review the rule review adoption.

Notice of Intent to Review Rules

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) is reviewing the Combative Sports program (Title 16, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 61) for re-adoption, revision, or repeal.

The Department will determine whether the reasons for adopting or readopting these rules continue to exist by answering the following questions for each rule:

  • Is it obsolete?
  • Does it reflect current legal and policy considerations?
  • Is it in alignment with the current procedures of the Department?

The Department encourages anyone interested in the Combative Sports program to review the Notice of Intent and current Chapter 61 rules online. Comments may be submitted by email to

Deadline for comments: September 24, 2018

Vacancy on the Combative Sports Advisory Board

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation announces vacancies on the Combative Sports Advisory Board established by Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2052.  This announcement was published in the July 6, 2018 publication of the Texas Register.

This announcement is for: a representative of a boxing promoter and a representative of a mixed martial arts promoter.  

Serving on the Board is not a paid position and there is no compensation or reimbursement for serving on the Board.

Interested persons should complete an application on the Department website. Applicants can also request a paper application from the Department by telephone at (800) 803-9202, fax at (512) 475-2874 or e-mail.

The Dangers of Weight-Cutting

The dangers of weight-cutting are real and well documented. Losing pounds rapidly creates serious physical and health problems such as dehydration, decreased kidney function, heat illness, or stroke. Learn more about these dangers in the Popular Science article, “This is why cutting weight is so dangerous for professional fighters.”

Online Training for Contract Inspectors

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation now offers online training for Contract Inspectors who are an essential part of the Texas Combative Sports Team. If you are interested in an opportunity to work as an inspector at a boxing or mixed martial arts event, the department encourages you to watch the videos in this YouTube playlist and then contact the combative sports program .

Live Seminar for Medical Doctors

If you are a medical doctor licensed by the State of Texas interested in participating in TDLR’s Combative Sports program or are currently a ringside physician and want a refresher, you can watch videos of our live seminar in this YouTube playlist.

Combative Sports Safety Webinar

TDLR encourages anyone interested in the safety of combative sports participants to view this "Diagnosis and Management of Concussion in Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Combatants" webinar.

Advisory Board Meetings

October 23, 2020

The next Combative Sports Advisory Board meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 23, 2020 at 11:00 AM. The meeting will be held via videoconference. The public will be able to view the meeting on TDLR’s YouTube page. When the agenda and staff reports are available, they will be posted online.

September 20, 2019

The Combative Sports Advisory Board met September 20, 2019 in Austin. The agenda and staff reports (PDF) are available online. The meeting was archived and is available on TDLR's YouTube channel.