Are UFC fighters’ hands registered weapons?

The martial arts world is huge and so is the amount of questions that appear on the surface. Here is a question that arises often among combat sports fans: Are UFC fighters’ hands registered weapons?

We have a FAQ series here on our martial arts and BJJ online project where we are continuing to reveal interesting UFC and MMA facts. The topic of the post fits well into the series.

So let’s dissolve the question mark.

Do you have to register your hands as weapons?

In fact, we have seen different variations of the same question:

  • Do boxers have to register their hands?
  • Can hands be registered as lethal weapons?
  • Do MMA fighters have to register their hands?

It means it deals not only with the UFC fighters’ hands. People want to know about the registered hands meaning regarding the pro fighters in general and maybe themselves if they do striking martial arts.

Answering the main question, no, fighters don’t need to register their hands as weapons. It’s some sort of an urban myth that appeared at some point. There is no requirement in the US for citizens to register their hands as lethal weapons.

Boxers or fighters who are even black belts don’t have to get a license for using their hands.

Unless you are from Guam? Keep reading to get the facts what is it about the registered hands law in Guam.

McDojo confirms

Register hands as lethal weapons in Guam

And here is an elephant in the room whom nobody was expecting.

There is one place for sure (if the law is still live) where you have to register your feet and hands if you are a martial artist.

It’s Guam.

10 Guam Code Ann. § 62100

Any person who is an expert in the art of karate or judo, or any similar physical ar[t] in which the hands and feet are used as deadly weapons, is required to register with the Department of Revenue and Taxation.

A karate or judo expert required to register by the provisions of this Chapter shall be a person trained in the arts of karate, judo or other hand-to-hand fighting technique, whereby the hands, feet or other parts of the body are used as weapons, who shall have completed at least one level of training therein and shall have been issued a belt or other symbol showing proficiency in such art.

The cost for certification is claimed to be $5 as of 2014.

Now you know it. Deal as you want.

Do MMA fighters have to register their hands as weapons?

Once again, no.

We have found a couple of stories that are related to the registered hands’ law subject.

There was a true story in 2014 in New Mexico when a professional MMA fighter – Joe Torrez – was cleared after killing one and injuring several assailants who attacked him in his home with his family inside. Although right after the incident, Torrez could face criminal charges for his actions.

As we hear from the news report, nothing is said about the registered hands law or etc.

Dustin Poirier vs Joe Torrez MMA fight

Another case happened a year earlier in Texas when an MMA fighter Jamal Parks beat his friend with his hands so he got to the hospital. Local authorities believed it happened because of Parks’s involvement in MMA which makes his hands dangerous deadly weapons.

As a result, he was sentenced to six years in prison because the judge believed Parks was on drugs during the assaults.

In this context, a local former UFC fighter Travis Lutter was asked what he thinks about designating somebody’s hands as deadly weapons:

“How do you make the distinction? How effective I am? How good I am at my job?” – Lutter said.

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