City Council’s Fight Competition, Here Comes Mixed Martial Arts

And you think the best fights are at City Council meetings. Forget that, mixed martial arts and professional boxing are coming soon to the Webster Bank Arena. For some, MMA is a bloody kick in the teeth, but other legislators argue it’s a kick start to the local economy.

Bridgeport State House members Chris Rosario and Ezequiel Santiago championed Tuesday’s legislative approval that is expected to be signed by Governor Dan Malloy.

House Bill #6266 establishes regulations to allow MMA and boxing matches in the state and exempts such events from the admissions tax and eliminating a tax paid by promoters. It also requires promoters to provide insurance to competitors.

“I would like to thank my colleagues in the Senate for supporting the passage of this legislation that will help to generate much-needed revenue to Bridgeport and the state,” Rosario said in a statement. “I look forward to the governor’s signing the bill into law and for our great city to take full advantage of this opportunity.”

“I couldn’t be more pleased with this culmination of many hours of hard work,” said Santiago whose district includes the Webster Bank Arena. “Bridgeport’s economy will most definitely be enhanced by events that will be enabled through this legislation.”

State Senator Ed Gomes voted yes, State Senator Marilyn Moore voted no.

Senate vote here.

House vote here.



  1. A friend of mine had free tickets to an MMA event several years ago at Mohegan Sun. I found little, if anything, entertaining with the bouts. The object appeared to be to get your opponent on the mat and beat the crap out of him. They reminded me of a couple of bloody bar fights I witnessed when I was younger.

  2. I sense the attempt at humor by OIB in suggesting the change of venue from City Hall Council Chambers to the Webster Arena as competition for recent City physical altercations. I also remember a video of a police skirmish with a citizen lying on the ground that included some kicking blows to a seemingly inert person. As part of Bridgeport’s financial history, didn’t each of these occasions cause an action against the City and cost the taxpayers of the City the expense of settlements? Violent behavior that proves expensive for those who did not buy tickets for the performance?

    The newly authorized matches are being set in motion to generate revenue but how does that happen when tickets and promoters will be exempt from “taxation”? How is this good for the economy in the City? Perhaps people are thought to attend food purveyors before or after such matches? With the excitement of anticipating such events or re-living action moments of just experienced events will there be food fights or genuine fights that do not benefit the public, and may require added Police expense? Time will tell.

  3. CT Post this morning deals with another example of a member of the public getting his day in court as a result of an encounter with four policemen in May 2013. The facts indicate that the citizen faced several charges initially which were subsequently dropped 18 months later. The jury awarded $323,000 to the plaintiff to be paid by Bridgeport taxpayers should City Attorney office be unsuccessful in reducing the award. Police fear was mentioned by City Attorney Meyer as an explanation for the force demonstrated that he deemed “reasonable”.
    How does human behavior and emotions on both sides in such confrontations lead to such community outcomes? What basic and continuing training protects officers and citizens as such confrontations work themselves out? Time will tell.

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