The Louisiana State Boxing and Wrestling Commission has banned fighters with breast implants from boxing or mixed martial arts in the state. The surprise move was first reported by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
The ban is effective for 60 days as the commission investigates precedents and regulations in place in other states. The change stems from a female fighter having to withdraw from an unspecified bout due to issues with her breast implants. This set off something of a chain reaction that had the Louisiana governing body nervous regarding their liability should the implants rupture or become damaged during a bout.
"I don't know of a single plastic surgeon who is going to allow his artistic work to be messed up," said Thomas Ferguson, a doctor working with the commission, "those redo surgeries are more complicated and expensive."
This is not the first time women have been barred from combat sports due to breast implants. 25-year-old Sarah Blewden was barred from competing in an amateur boxing match in England due to the Amateur Boxing Association's concerns that repeated punches to the chest could damage her implants, as well as her natural breast tissue.
However, there have been no noteworthy issues involving the licensing of a female fighter due to breast implants in the United States until today.
Ruptured breast implants are typically not life-threatening, and simply result in pain, scarring and changes to the shape of the breast. However, as stated, repairing a breast implant can be a complicated, difficult and expensive process.
There are few noteworthy fighters with breast implants. In fact, the only widely-known person of this ilk would be transgender fighter Fallon Fox, who underwent breast augmentation as part of her gender reassignment surgery.
That said, there are no prominent female boxers, and no UFC fighters confirmed to have breast implants at this time. However, we may see female fighters start coming out should other commissions start adopting this ban.