Mutual Combat Law: Is Mutual Combat Legal?

In Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competitions, fighters get the opportunity to test their skills and abilities in a controlled environment. It is not until these athletes compete at a regional or national level that they begin to run into problems with local laws and regulations.

These various governing bodies will have different laws, rules and regulations regarding combat sports. Each state has its own set of laws when it comes to boxing, wrestling, kickboxing and other forms of martial arts competition. While some states may allow for certain types of competitions in general, others will require each athlete to have an individual license or permit before participating in any events.

There are many different factors that go into the legality of these types of matches, so read on for more information about Mutual Combat Laws across the United States.

What Are Mutual Combat Laws?

Mutual Combat laws are statutes that prohibit two or more people from fighting each other in an unsupervised environment. For example, if two people agree to meet up and wrestle, then the law would prohibit that since they are not supervised or officiated by a referee. This differs between states, as some states have Mutual Combat laws that prohibit two or more people from engaging in any type of fighting or physical altercation.

There are three types of Mutual Combat laws:

Voluntary Mutual Combat

The individuals engage in the fighting willingly, without any outside pressure or coercion.

Non-Voluntary Mutual Combat

The individuals are forced or coerced into fighting each other by an outside source, such as a gang or criminal organization.

Unconscious Mutual Combat

Two or more people fight each other after being knocked unconscious by a third party.

Is Mutual Combat Legal in The US?

Only two states in America allow mutual combat to take place with no restriction. In most states, mutual combat is not specifically prohibited, leaving it in a grey area.

Mutual Combat is Legal in Washington

Washington is one of the two states that explicitly allows mutual combat. Police officers must supervise mutual combat in Washington state, making it slightly more difficult to fight legally. Police officers usually have better things to do than watch two guys brawl.

Mutual Combat is Legal in Texas

Texas, like Washington, allows for mutual combat. Police officers must be present to witness such a scuffle, as is the case in Washington. It is hardly surprising that fistfights are permitted in Texas, given that the law allows people to carry swords in public.

It is unlawful to engage in mutual combat in Texas if one of the combatants is seriously injured. The police officer/referee should intervene before this occurs, unless the combatants are fighting as part of their occupation or a medical experiment.

Mutual Combat is Illegal in Oregon

Although mutual combat is not specifically prohibited in most states, mutual combat is banned in Oregon unless it occurs in a sanctioned fight. Even if no one is seriously injured, “fight clubs” formed by amateurs are outlawed because the Oregon Athletic Commission must approve them before they are legal.


It is important to note the difference in Mutual Combat laws among different states. Keep in mind that these laws and regulations may change over time. It is important for athletes to stay informed of any changes to the law in their respective state.

More to Read: