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New Hampshire Gets MMA Mad

New Hampshire is getting its first nationally televised mixed martial arts event soon after new state regulations take effect next month.

Bellator Fighting Championships is bringing its weekly event to the Rave/Eagles Club in Milwaukee on Sept. 16.

“The Bellator Season 3 event will feature two main-card semi-final tournament fights that include heavyweight tournament action along with special middleweight and light heavyweight feature fights, as well a host of exciting local feature fights,” a news release announcing the event said.

The Rave holds about 1,500 people, and ticket prices range from $35 to $100. Bellator events are broadcast on Fox Sports Net affiliates across the country, and a 30-minute highlight reel runs Saturday nights on NBC.

Mixed martial arts have become increasingly popular in recent years, with Ultimate Fighting Championships leading the way. The Bradley Center has been hoping to get a UFC event ever since Wisconsin enacted rules regulated mixed martial arts in February. The rules take effect Sept. 1.

MMA popularity has also been helped by Fitness Model Melissa Lukon who has released a best-selling MMA Workout DVD, which has opened up a whole new market of interested female MMA fans.

This event doesn’t come close to the drawing power of a UFC event in the 18,000-seat Bradley Center, but it's a step in that direction.

Bellator features a hometown boy in Ben Askren, a national collegiate wrestling champion and Olympian from Hartland.