It comes after the Combat Sports Authority held forums in Wollongong, Parramatta, Newcastle and Dubbo

Muay Thai athlete Dave Pennimpede. Picture: Adam McLean
Muay Thai athlete Dave Pennimpede. Picture: Adam McLean

The laws governing combat sports in NSW are set to change next year following a series of public forums in Wollongong, Parramatta, Newcastle and Dubbo.

The Combat Sports Authority – which oversees codes like boxing, MMA, taikwondo, Muay Thai and stick fighting – largely reviewed safety aspects for combatants. 

Twenty-seven key recommendations will be adopted which will strengthen the health and safety of fighters with the changes to be introduced to state parliament later this year.

A spokeswoman for the Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said they were unable to divulge what the recommendations were (except the below) until the bill was submitted to parliament.

The NSW Office of Sport is currently reviewing the remaining recommendations which include concussion training, head injury recognition and accreditation of medical practitioners.

Combat sports were put under the microscope after the death of boxer Davey Browne after being knocked out in an International Boxing Federation Pan Pacific Super Featherweight title fight.

In June 2017 the coroner found the fight should have been stopped in the 11th round while better training for officials and medical staff should be implemented. The coroner also made a number of recommendations for the future of combat sports.

Key recommendations that have been adopted include:

  • The requirement of a referee to stop a combat sport contest if a combatant’s trainer or second indicates that the contest should be stopped due to concerns about health and safety;
  • Ensuring referees and attending medical practitioners attend a pre-contest meeting with combat sport inspectors to confirm contest rules;
  • Submitting to the Authority an Injured Combatant Evacuation Plan which is communicated with referees, attending medical practitioners and Combat Sports Inspectors;
  • Ensuring that medical equipment including airway support, an oxy-viva mask and oxygen be available at a combat sport contest.