West Virginia Amateur Rules:  

Legal Strikes for Amateur MMA:

Closed fist strikes to standing or grounded (ground n pound) opponent.

Open hand/palm of their hand strikes to grounded or standing opponent.

Forearm strikes to the head standing or grounded opponent.

Shoulder jabs to standing or grounded opponent.

Standing strikes with knees, shins, and feet

All wrestling, judo and jiu jitsu throws and takedowns

All chokes with arms and legs


Rounded elbow strikes to the head

Flagrant disregard of referee’s instructions

Unsportsmanlike conduct that causes injury to an opponent

Biting or spitting at opponent


Knuckle gouging

Clawing, pinching, or twisting of flesh

Throat strikes of any kind

One or two-handed chokes applied directly to the throat/windpipe

Knees to the head

Kicking or stomping above the waist on a grounded opponent

Kicking the front of an opponent’s knee

Kicks to the head

Heel kicks to the kidneys

Fish hooks (to eyes, nose, ear, or mouth)

Putting a finger into any open orifice

Grabbing of the clavicle

Hair pulling

Neck cranks

Groin attacks of any kind

Single digit manipulation

Small joint manipulation

Head butting

Striking the spine, back of neck, or back of head

Driving opponent’s head directly down into the mat (spiking)

Twisted leg submissions

Lifting, pushing, throwing or otherwise forcing an opponent out of the ring or cage

Intentionally delaying the contest due to improper equipment, or by

intentionally dropping or spitting out mouthpiece

Attacking an opponent on or during a break

Attacking an opponent who is under the care of an official

Using abusive language in the ring or cage

Interference by corner/trainer

Grabbing the cage to avoid take down

Holding opponents shorts or gloves

Protective Equipment:

  • Shin guards with instep pads (provided by promoter) shall be worn if contestants have 3 or less amateur MMA fights.
  • Ankle wraps are optional.
  • Gloves: 6 oz gloves (provided by promoter) for all weight categories.
  • Female Chest Protectors are optional.
  • Male contestants must provide and shall wear a groin protector during the match.
  • All contestants must provide and wear a mouthpiece during the match.


  • 3 or less amateur fights will be (3) 2 minute rounds with a 60 sec rest between. 4 or more amateur fights will be (3) 3 min rounds with a 60 sec rest between.

Mixed Martial Arts Weight Classes:

Male and female Contestant shall use the same weight classes.

Weight Class Weight Difference Allowed:

Flyweight up to 125 lbs. 10*

Bantamweight over 125 to 135 lbs. 10*

Featherweight over 135 to 145 lbs. 10*

Lightweight over 145 to 155 lbs. 10*

Welterweight over 155 to 170 lbs. 10*

Middleweight over 170 to 185 lbs. Note 1 Light Heavyweight over 185 to 205 lbs. Note 1 Heavyweight over 205 to 265 lbs. Note 1 Super Heavyweight over 265 lbs. Note 1

* If a fighter weighs 158 pounds or less, the fighter shall not be allowed to match another boxer when the weight differential is more than 10 pounds. See W. Ya. Code § 29-5A-19.

Note 1: If both Contestants weigh 159 pounds or more at the scheduled weigh in and their weights fall within the same weight class, then there is no restriction on the weight differential.

Matches which cross weight classes:

If the two Contestants are weighed at the scheduled weigh in and their weights fall in different weight classes, the Maximum Weight Difference Allowed shall be:

One contestant weighs 158 pounds or  less: 10 pounds

One contestant is Middleweight: 10 pounds

One contestant is Light Heavyweight: 15 pounds

One contestant is Heavyweight: 20 pounds

One contestant is Super Heavyweight: 50 pounds

Hand Wraps:

  • All contestants shall be required to gauze and tape (provided by promoter) their hands prior to a match. In all weight classes, the bandages on each contestant’s hand shall be restricted to soft gauze cloth not more than 15 yards in length and 2 inches in width, held in place by not more than 10 feet of surgeon’s tape, 1 inch in width, for each hand. Surgeon’s adhesive tape shall be placed directly on each hand for protection near the wrist. However, as opposed to boxing wraps, the tape may cross the back of the hand twice and extend to cover and protect the knuckles when the hand is clenched to make a fist. The bandages shall be evenly distributed across the hand. Bandages and tape shall be placed on the contestant’s hands in the dressing room in the presence of the inspector and, if warranted, in the presence of the manager or chief second of his or her opponent.
  • Under no circumstances are gloves to be placed on the hands of a contestant until the approval of the inspector is received. Substances other than tape and gauze shall not be utilized. For example, pre-wraps may not be used.

Use of Vaseline, Gels, or other similar substances:

  • Contestants may not apply any body grease, gels, balms, lotions, oils, or other substances to the hair, face or body. This includes the use of excessive amounts of water “dumped” on a contestant to make him/her slippery. However, Vaseline may be applied solely to the facial area at cage side in the presence of an inspector, referee, or a person designated by the commission. Any contestant applying anything other than Vaseline in an approved fashion at cage side may be penalized a point or subject to loss by disqualification.

Contestant’s Attire and Appearance:

  • Trunks.- A contestant shall wear mixed martial arts shorts, biking shorts, or kick boxing shorts.  Must not have any pockets or abrasive metal zippers.
  • Shirt or Gi.- Male contestants may not wear a shirt or gi during competition. Female contestants shall wear a body shirt or other appropriate attire during competition
  • Shoes.- Contestants may not wear shoes or padding on their feet during a competition.
  • No articles of clothing other than as specified above shall be allowed.
  • No articles of clothing shall be worn by any contestant unless approved by the Commission.


  • The inspector or Commission representative shall determine whether head or facial hair presents any hazard to the safety of the contestant or their opponent or will interfere with the supervision and conduct of the match. Facial hair may not be braided. Fingernails and toenails must be trimmed subject to the approval of the Commission.

Types of Match Results:

A match may end under the following results:

  1. Submission:
  • Tap out: when a contestant physically uses their hand(s) to indicate that they no longer wish to continue.
  • Verbal tap out: when a contestant verbally announces to the referee that they do not wish to continue.
  1. Knockout “(KO)”: failure to rise from the floor.
  2. Technical knockout “(TKO)”
  • Referee stops bout because contestant can no longer defend themselves; or
  • Cage side physician advises referee to stop bout; or
  • When an injury as a result of a legal maneuver is severe enough to terminate the bout.
  1. Decision via scorecards:
  • Unanimous: when all 3 judges score the match for the same contestant.
  • Split decision: when 2 judges score the match for 1 contestant and 1 judge scores for the opponent.
  • Majority decision: when 2 judges score the bout for the same contestant and 1 judge scores the bout a draw.
  1. Draws:
  • Unanimous: when all 3 judges score the bout a draw;
  • Majority: when 2 judges score the bout a draw;
  • Split when all 3 judges score it differently and the score total   results in a draw.
  1. Disqualification: when an injury sustained during competition as a result of an intentional foul severe enough to end the match.
  2. Forfeit: when a contestant fails to begin competition or prematurely ends the match for reasons other than injury or indicating a tap out.
  3. Technical draw:
  • When an injury sustained during the match as a result of an intentional foul causes the injured contestant to be unable to continue and the injured contestant is even or behind on the score cards at the time of the stoppage.
  • When an injury sustained during the match and a result of an unintentional foul causes the injured contestant to be unable to continue and the sufficient number of rounds have been completed with the results of the scorecards being a draw.
  1. Technical decision: when the match is prematurely stopped due to an injury and a contestant is leading on the scorecards.
  2. No contest: when a match is prematurely stopped due to accidental injury and a sufficient number of rounds have not been completed to render a decision via the scorecards.


  • A contestant may only consume water or an electrolyte replacement drink (such as Gatorade, power aid, etc.,) at cage side.

Seconds (Cornermen):

  • No person under the age of 18 shall be licensed as a second.
  • All seconds, shall be required to provide acceptable proof of age to the Commission upon request.
  • Dress. – Seconds and managers acting as seconds must be attired.
  • Demeanor. – Seconds may not excessively coach or in any way assist a principal during a round, or by word or action attempt to heckle or annoy his principal’s opponent.
  • Conduct. – Seconds may not enter a cage until an audible device indicates the end of the round and are prohibited from spraying or forcefully throwing water on a contestant, they shall leave the cage at the sound of the timer’s whistle 10 seconds before a round is to begin, removing all obstructions, buckets, stools, etc., promptly at the sounding of an audible devices.
  • Throwing in the towel. – Seconds may throw a towel in the cage as a token of defeat or may step upon the cage apron and indicate to the referee that his contestant should not continue; otherwise, the referee is the sole judge as to the ability of a contestant to continue.
  • Prohibition of certain dressings. – No second shall be permitted to use grease or any other substances on the body of a contestant. The use of petroleum jelly in corners is not allowed except in the use of stopping blood and on cuts. Petroleum jelly, or other substances approved by the commission, may be used in between rounds in the use of stopping blood and on cuts and only in the presence of a representative of the commission. The use of drugs, alcohols or stimulants during a match by any contestant is adequate cause for revoking license.


  • The weigh-ins will be at 3:00 p.m. the day of the show at the show location.

Bring the following to the weigh-ins:

  1. $10 for registration fee
  2. Driver’s license or government issued picture ID
  3. Groin protector/cup
  4. Mouthpiece
  5. Boxing shorts, kickboxing shorts, mixed martial arts shorts, latex bike-style shorts, board shorts or swim trunks (No pockets or zippers)


     Station 1.  Fighters and Corners complete appropriate forms.

     Station 2.  Registration fees are collected:

                      $10 for fighters


                      $20 backstage/fighter walkout wristband passes (this is not a cornerman 


     Station 3.  Physical Examination



  • Ruckus in the Cage will provide cornermen to all independent fighters not affiliated with certified gyms.
  • Certified gyms may have up to two (2) cornermen get licensed to work their fighter’s corners during event.
  • Cornermen must be present no later than 5 p.m. to register.
  • Cornermen must bring their own water buckets, towels, water bottle, and Vaseline only to be applied to the facial area at cage side in the presence of an inspector, referee, or a person designated by the Commission.
  • During round breaks, only one (1) cornerman is allowed in the cage.


  • Referees will explain rules.
  • All fighters and corners must be present.


  • MMA Gloves (6 oz.)
  • Shin guards with instep pads (must be worn for first 3 amateur fights)
  • Handwraps (gauze & tape)
  • Water (available at the red & blue corners & the fighter warm-up area)

If you have a question about the rules, send us an email.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]