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MMA fighter Jorge Masvidal promoting fight card in Savannah on Aug. 5

As professional mixed martial arts fighting has grown in popularity, new generations are attracted to the combat sport.

Jorge Masvidal has experienced this firsthand when the popular UFC star encounters his fans.

“It’s crazy now,” Masvidal said Tuesday. “Thirteen-year-olds will come up to me, ‘I can’t believe I’m meeting you here at the gas station.’ I’m like, ‘I can’t believe your parents let you watch it so young.’ Seven-year-olds come running and hug me.”

The Miami native, 37, said MMA made a strong first impression on him as a youth, “but not everybody around me was comfortable with the sport or gravitated to it as fast as I did.”

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