Violence Versus Economic Benefit, Senator Moore Mines Opinions On Mixed Martial Arts Support

mixed martial arts
Senator Moore wants to know what you think.

State Senator Marilyn Moore has opposed Mixed Martial Arts in Connecticut citing its violence as well as lack of healthcare and labor protections for the combatants. Supporters of the blood sport who embrace economic benefits have encouraged her to take a second look with added safeguards for the fighters. Moore wants to hear from her constituents about this in a survey. If approved by the state legislature, battles will take place at Webster Bank Arena.

From Moore:

You may have heard about recent proposed changes to legalize Mixed Martial Arts or MMA here in Connecticut. Some like the idea of having the sport held here in the state. The events can bring revenue to places like Bridgeport’s Webster Arena and Hartford’s XL Center and the surrounding businesses and restaurants in those areas.

The sport is already legal in neighboring New York state and at the two Native American casinos in eastern Connecticut.

Others are opposed to the idea for a number of reasons. Some think that the sport will not actually bring a considerable economic impact. MMA is also a very violent sport which many believe the state should not promote. Meanwhile some are concerned about the lack of healthcare and labor protections for the fighters.

Please complete the survey here, or contact my office at 1-800-842-1420 or through my website at



    1. What is more important to a broke city than potential revenue sources? This one may not be ideal, but at least she is asking for our input to see if we feel a semi-controversial revenue source would be worth the possible negatives it may bring with it.

    2. The mild scolding of Senator Moore for asking this question places our highly respected state senator in a damned-if-I-do-and-damned-if-I-don’t position.

      Let’s assume hundreds of topics cross her Hartford desk weekly. She is smart about her district and believes she can usually form an opinion without asking her constituents for advice in the moment. Or from time to time, she calls a handful to seek advice.

      Along comes this oddball matter. She says to herself, “Well, this is an oddball. I have no idea how Bridgeprters would react to this! I’m going to ask my staff to take ten minutes to set up a form on Google Sheets to collect Bridgeporters’ responses and then I’ll ask Lennie Grimaldi to publicize the link to the form. This way, I’ll gather opinions and get the guidance I need. I might even share the responses with Ed Gomes and our House delegation, too.”

      So the form is placed online and we’re asked for our opinion. And the first comments are, “Why did you bother with this?” Her answer likely is: It’s a bill for an act. It could affect Bridgeport. I did not choose to advance this bill, but here it is. I used a simple and easy way to ask Bridgeporters what they think, expressly so I could turn my attention to matters I consider more important while Google does its work simultaneously. My reward for being smart about this is to be criticized.

      Everyone knows knows for those who stick their neck out, no good deed goes unpunished. Senator Moore today finds herself included. She could make up her mind alone. But she knows the politics of exclusion lead to the politics of defeat.

  1. I support this. I supported this the first time this came around.
    This would be a huge draw for the Arena. These folks know the risk and accept the pay. This is not Spartacus and these men are not slaves. TV is a huge audience. I urge Ms. Moore to support this effort. No different than the WWE making money hand over fist.

    Folk who find this bloody and gross can go see a Disney presentation. This is an economic boon to the city. This is nothing major. There will always be extenuating circumstances that make you wonder if you made the right choice. That’s life. Others live to perform again and again. Any different than a stunt double in a movie? A football player? We know these come with risks. Ms. Moore, I recommend you support this and then not go to watch. You will not be held personally liable for any broken bones or nose bleeds.

    Say Yes!

  2. As human beings, we are what we are. We can surely be murderous and otherwise brutish. But, perhaps another vicarious outlet for our brutish impulses and rage–carried out on our behalf by consenting, well-trained, well-conditioned, consenting adults in a controlled environment–is just what the social psychologist ordered(?!). And if Bridgeport can earn some needed revenue while providing a mass, vicarious outlet for all of the brutish rage and anger that builds in us as a fact of our daily lives in this city/world, then perhaps it might not be the worst idea for us to host the modern gladiators of the UFC, et al. And maybe some of our athletically-talented/physical young people drawn to the martial arts might be able to find a path to discipline and legitimate economic success by such examples as provided by the MMA warriors who might come to Bridgeport (rather than choosing other paths per motivations driven by poverty and anger).

    Boxing can be pretty brutal. So can football. And even hockey. Certainly the military option has often proven to lead to very sad outcomes for kids looking for legitimate ways out of poverty in recent times. Why not MMA/the UFC?

    Like it or not; we are what are, and it’s a brutal world with or without MMA/the UFC. It’s another “legitimate” outlet for young people who might be driven to deadly, “illegitimate” things otherwise.

    Perhaps there should be a few panel discussions hosted throughout the state in which the medical, criminal justice and sociology communities could deliver ideas and empirical study evidence that would help the people of the legislature and state reach a conclusion on the cost-effectiveness/desirability of the official sanctioning of commercial MMA/UFC events in Connecticut(?).

  3. As an observer of politician activity for over 50 years I remember favorably the question Mayor Ed Koch would ask, loudly and frequently: “How am I doing?” Since that time social media and the internet have allowed the sampling of opinions held by the public. Congratulations to Senator Moore for asking for responses.

    When it comes down to funding, I would like to know more about the financial status of the Webster Arena, parking garage and Bluefish ballpark. Where is there an annual report that looks at the value of each on the City balance sheet, the demands on the City to maintain, repair, make changes, and what are current arrangements for lease, memo of understanding, etc.??? What debt burden does the City carry on its books from original or subsequent bonding? Is anybody clear on this subject? Does support of a new activity at this location really benefit the City in a way that can be comprehended and verified over time? Time will tell.

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