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Mixed martial arts matches get a makeover

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Bryan Vetell of the Pitbulls battles Ben Rothwell of the Silverbacks in Moline, Illinois. (Getty Images/ courtesy of IFL)

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Jamal Patterson of the Pitbulls and Matt Horwich of the Tiger Sharks throw punches in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (April Pishna/courtesy of IFL)

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Mixed martial arts matches, banned in many states as too brutal, are getting a makeover with the new International Fight League, a team-based version of the sport. With mainstream sponsors and two TV deals, promoters are betting that the sport will be the next generation’s boxing.