States Where Mutual Combat is Legal
Washington state is one of only two states in America where mutual combat is totally legal. Most states do not have a specific law relating to mutual combat, leaving consensual fights in a sort of gray area. Washington state, however, does have a law legalizing mutual combat.
The Washington state law regarding mutual combat does lay out one provision that makes fighting legally a little challenging: To be legal, a fight has to be overseen by a police officer. Most of the time, police officers have something better to do with their time than watch a couple of guys brawl.
The police officer is supposed to act as a referee by breaking up the fight when an obvious victor has emerged. The police officer also must keep bystanders from being injured and property from being damaged. This would make the fight illegal.
Mutual combat is also legal in Texas. Like Washington state, people who wish to duke it out in Texas must do so under the watchful eye of a police officer. Considering that Texas law allows people to carry swords in public, it's hardly surprising that consensual fistfights are legal.
Mutual combat becomes illegal under Texas law if one of the participants is seriously injured. Hopefully, the police officer/referee would step in before this point. The only exception to this is if the participants are fighting as part of their occupation or as part of a medical experiment.
Consent to fight in Texas doesn’t need to be explicitly stated. If someone’s words and actions make it clear that they want to fight, this is considered consent under the statute.
Note that amateur “fight clubs” are likely to be illegal in Texas, as it is almost inevitable that someone will sustain serious injuries. As a fight club’s events are not sanctioned professional fights, this would make this form of mutual combat illegal.
States Where Mutual Combat is Illegal
As previously mentioned, most states leave mutual combat in a sort of gray area. However, Oregon specifically bans it. Mutual combat is only allowed in Oregon if the participants are taking part in a licensed fight. Licensed fights must be approved by the Oregon Athletic Commission to be legal. This means that amateur “fight clubs” are totally illegal in the state, even if no one actually gets seriously hurt.