The California State Athletic Commission has voted to approve bare-knuckle fighting in the state, following athletic commissions in states such as Florida, Utah and New York.
The vote passed unanimously, 6-0, for the state to begin regulating bare-knuckle fighting events in the near future. The CSAC will oversee bare-knuckle fighting under the same guidance in sports such as MMA and boxing.
BKFC — the largest bare-knuckle fighting promotion — has already announced plans to take a card to California in spring 2024 with a date and location still to be determined. BKFC has aggressively expanded its footprint in recent years, with more and more states regulating the gloves-off promotion.
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California approving the slap fighting will likely lead to other athletic commissions around the U.S. following suit. The Golden State is widely considered one of the gold standards for commissions and is led by executive director Andy Foster.
In addition to bare-knuckle fighting being approved in California, the commission also voted unanimously to approve slap fighting. UFC CEO Dana White immediately celebrated the announcement on Instagram; the UFC exec has pushed to get slap fighting legalized in Nevada, where his Power Slap promotion routinely holds events.
There’s no word yet when White will bring Power Slap to California, but it seems like only a matter of time now that the sport will be regulated there.