How do you become a Mixed Martial Arts referee?

Actually, the requirements for each state's athletic commission are similar, but could be different, so it depends on your state.

The lack of qualified referees has stretched the few good ref's available, and most state athletic commissions are looking to Certify new refs as quickly as they can. (Please note - only your state Athletic Commission can Certify you to become an MMA referee.)

As you most likely know, it is important you train, or you have trained, in at least one if not more of the martial arts techniques that make up MMA, otherwise it's most likely you will not be certified by your state to become an MMA referee. And while an individual may practice some or many of the martial arts systems that make up MMA, this does not necessarily mean they are familiar with the MMA Unified Rules of Conduct (MMAURC). So quite often, in spite of their martial arts training and enthusiasm, even the most ardent MMA-trained fighter or fan may not be qualified to serve as an MMA referee.

The issue for most state athletic commissions that sanction MMA is: "how do we determine who is, or who is not, qualified to referee MMA fights?" This is especially true if MMA has been previously outlawed in your state - how have local residents been exposed to fight events, giving them an opportunity to referee them and learn the MMURC?

State AC's want to know: (1) does an applicant for referee Certification have the knowledge it takes to be a qualified MMA referee; (2) does the applicant know if they have what it takes to control the ring; and (3) if they do not have what it takes yet, can they learn?

If you've been practicing in one or more of the martial arts systems, then your chances of getting Certified by your state AC is increased.