HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Promoters of mixed martial arts are hoping to legalize the sport in Connecticut.

Both proponents and opponents appeared Thursday before the legislature’s Public Safety Committee, which is considering a bill to legalize and regulate professional mixed martial arts matches.

Glover Teixeira of Danbury, a professional mixed martial artist who fights for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, urged lawmakers to pass this year’s legislation. He said he’d like to perform in his home state, adding how it’s a popular sport here.

Proponents see the sport as a financial boon for cities with arenas, including Hartford and Bridgeport. Teixeira said more than 16,000 fans turned out to watch him fight 12 days ago in Chicago. The live gate was $1.3 million.

But some lawmakers voiced concern about the violent nature of the sport.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. )


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