The Iowa City city council has voted unanimously to ban amateur fighting in establishments that serve alcohol.
The vote is in response to "fight nights" that feature mixed martial arts fighting at an Iowa City club called The Union Bar.
Councilman Mike O’ Donnell says he can’t see any positives from combining alcohol and fighting. "I don’t think anybody’s trying to impose any restrictions on the sport," O’Donnell said during Monday’s council meeting. "I think it’s more appropriate in a gymnasium — certainly not in a bar downtown."
Amateur fighting promoter Monte Cox defends the sport’s safety, pointing to required preflight physicals and the matching of fighters by size.
The city council must endorse the ordinance at two more council meetings before the ban on amateur boxing in the Iowa City goes into effect.