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Updated 5 Oz. Pound-for-Pound List


I recently updated my personal top ten pound-for-pound list. You can check it out below:

  1. Georges St. Pierre – St. Pierre avenged his loss to Serra in their rematch at UFC 83 but completely dominating him, just as he completely dominated Josh Koscheck in August and Matt Hughes in December. It wasn’t easy choosing him for this spot over Anderson Silva but physically, I don’t believe St. Pierre has a weakness while I still have questions about Silva’s wrestling.
  2. Anderson Silva – Silva was in trouble vs. Travis Lutter at UFC 67. While he still won the fight, he hasn’t been as untouchable in the UFC as some would have you believe (although, he’s been pretty damn close). After a so-so performance vs. Lutter, all Silva did was come back with convincing wins over Nathan Marquardt, Rich Franklin, and Dan Henderson.
  3. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson – It’s been a long time since Jackson last fought but I’m not going to penalize him for the UFC’s decision to put him on the seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Coming off wins over Chuck Liddell and Dan Henderson, I feel this spot is justified.
  4. B.J. Penn – Penn hasn’t been the most active fighter in the world but he’s certainly been much more active than Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko, which is why I have moved him ahead of those two. His wins over Jens Pulver and Joe Stevenson were total domination and he’s slated to fight again in May. A strong win over Sean Sherk could move him ahead of Jackson.
  5. Randy Couture – Inactivity is a growing concern and if Fedor had beaten a more credible opponent than Hong Man Choi, he would have supplanted Couture. “The Natural” hangs onto this spot for now, but if Emelianenko posts an impressive win over Tim Sylvia in July, it will be a non-brainer to move him ahead of Couture.
  6. Fedor Emelianenko – Does a win over Hong Man Choi qualify as activity? Technically it does but I will need to see him beat a credible opponent before moving him up. He’s scheduled to fight Tim Sylvia in July and Sylvia easily qualifies as Fedor’s toughest competition in nearly three years. Win or lose, Fedor’s ranking will not stay the same following that bout.
  7. Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto – Known for his amateur wrestling background, Yamamoto is also a threat with his hands. Following an impressive win over Rani Yahya on New Year’s Eve, it was easy to rank him here. What’s not so easy is figuring out what weight class to rank him in. Is he a featherweight, a bantamweight, or what?
  8. Urijah Faber – The knock against Faber is that outside of his most recent win over Jeff Curran, he hasn’t fought a lot of the top fighters in his weight class. Well, that might be true but Faber hasn’t tried to duck anyone. He’s fought whoever has been put in front of him and outside of Tyson Griffin, he’s beaten them. Now that the WEC is collecting featherweight talent, Faber is going to get the chance to beat the best of the best. I still feel strongly about this ranking because pure fighting ability should account for something, as well as his impressive win over Curran. And Faber will get another chance to beat a top featherweight when he fights Jens Pulver in June.
  9. Gesias “JZ Calvan” Calvancante – I’m a big fan of Calvancante’s but I had to take a hard look at his performance against Shinya Aoki during the first round of DREAM’s lightweight Grand Prix. Calvancante didn’t lose the fight, but he also didn’t win so I had to take that into account. Fortunately, Calvancante will get a chance to redeem himself in a rematch with Aoki.
  10. Miguel Torres – I had Matt Hughes in this spot before and I just didn’t feel right about it. The problem was, I didn’t know who else to rank ahead of him. And then I realize, Torres belongs in this spot. One of the most underrated fighters in the world, Torres has one of the most impressive records in MMA and is finally getting the notoriety he deserves in the WEC.

You can read my full rankings breakdown by each weight class by clicking here. They are the same rankings I submit each month to the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts.

  • Gabber says:

    Well, first off let me state, I am a huge fan of both GSP and Anderson Silva. GSP being my favourite.

    So, I have a very hard time picking either of these dudes as the #1. I can agree with your argument that Silva’s wrestling was lacking against Lutter. I could personally chalk this up to his knee surgeries. Meanwhile, when he fought Marquadt, he dominated his ass in the wrestling game. He was all over, great with position reversals and up/down action. Even with the Lutter fight, he still won with however much danger he was in. The mark of a great champion, even the #1 fighter in the world.

    Now, even though the loss was avenged, GSP still lost. He lost at what is supposed to be his “A” game, striking. Now you can call that lack of training, taking the opponent too lightly, getting caught, fluke or mental weakness. Whatever you call it, he lost. He still has yet to defend a title but has pretty much washed out his division. The new GSP has become a wrestling machine, that could be due to his preparations with the Canadian team for Bejing or perhaps he realizes he is a much more dominant ground and pounder. He could be scared of getting KO’ed again as many have stated. Regardless, I would have to give him points for evolving his game, whereas, Silva’s game is just dominant.

    The other factor that I think has to come into play would be quality of opponents and duration of the dominance. The UFC MW division is fairly weak, Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin x2 have been Silva’s biggest opponents. Looking at GSP’s wins he has fought the who’s who of UFC WW past and present : Hughes (2 Wins), Penn, Parysian, Koschek, Sherk; to name the most prominent, but still lost to a very beatable, mid-tier Serra. (it still makes me shudder to bring this point whenever the GSP argument comes up, kind of like all the ugly chicks you slept with when single & drunk)

    So, I guess, looking it over, if it were possible, I would give them both a 1A & 1B status. Since that’s not possible, I would have to go Silva #1 vs GSP #2 simply based off the very lopsided lost to the very mediocre Matt Serra.


  • paddiosf says:

    I love GSP alot but how can he put him ahead of Anderson Silva? Anderson has walked through his competetion Franklin twice,Lutter, Marqaurdt and Henderson..Look at there careers compared to Serra who was so so lucky to beat GSP on a fluke punch..he beat a Aging Matt Hughes who has hinted that he’s soon to retire..out wrestled a wrestler Koscheck..Anderson competition first off Henderson talk about a wrestler a Olympian Wrestler a Pride LHW champ..Franklin was the MW for how many years til Silva met him..Marqardt the King of Pancreas..a GSP matchup against Silva would be a dismantling of GSP..Silva stands at 6″2 walks around they say close to 200..I love to see the matchup but I think Dana wouldn’t want to risk seeing his WW champ get dominated on the ground and standup game….If anything let’s see if BJ will jump up after winning the LW belt..

  • Zack says:

    1 has a recent tapout/TKO loss to a middle of the road reality show winner; the other was coming off double knee surgery and “got in some trouble” but ended up finishing his opponent witth a combination triangle/elbow strikes.


  • Nick says:

    Now i love GSP as much as the next guy, and i have nothing but respect for his skill. But i’m still baffled how you think he is a better fighter than anderson silva. Although a fight between the two would never happen, I think it would be a good way to see who is the number one fighter in the world. And if you think GSP would win, i just feel sorry for you.

  • A.C Slater says:

    I disagree, Gab. It isn’t about how many Ws or Ls GSP or Silva have racked up, it’s about how they LOOK. GSP looks unstoppable, Silva looks near-unstoppable. At this point, anyhow. That’s the bottom line. It’s the same reason Urijah Faber is on this list, because of his performance, not his record.
    Miguel Torres is fookin’ nasty. That guy’s a force.

  • BJJDenver says:

    It is definitely tough to separate heart from brain on this one.

    I always thought that you don’t need a top 10 p4p, maybe just a top 5. After that it just gets to a point where you could plug about 20 different guys in.

    Make mine:

    Rampage (even this spot I had a lot of trouble making a choice over Faber and others)

    You were right to leave Hughes out. This is a current ranking, not an all-time list. He just isn’t as dominating as he was a couple years ago.

    This is like voting for an MVP. Is it the best all-around player, the most valuable to his team or just the best individual statistics? Personally, I always felt p4p required a well-rounded game, success and at least some ability to beat fighters of different weights.

    I just don’t see Randy as a top p4p guy, but I would put him near the top of the most cerebral fighter or best gameplans lists.

    I also hate ranking fighters with little activity, but there just is no way I can not put Fedor up there.

    Interesting that you have 2 WEC guys on there. Not saying it is wrong, just interesting because of the way many people view the WEC as minor leagues (not my opinion).

    Also interesting that the list is dominated by UFC or Zuffa fighters, who are very high profile. Could that have anything to do with their ranking (the exposure I mean)? I will admit it probably did in my rankings. Just like I would rank Florida higher than South Florida in football rankings. Or could it be that we are just hesitant to put a lot of light weighing fighters on the list, of which their are many fighting in Asia that deserve our attention, but have less exposure.

    My bottom line is, that P4P rankings have little impact and are mainly fodder for us to debate about.

    Overall not a bad list Sam, curious to know if you had a significant amount of trouble determining the bottom half of your list compared to the top half.

  • Gabber says:

    I don’t think you can separate the Zuffa guys, because really when it comes down to it, they’re facing pretty much the best competition going, which would have to be a requirement for the list. Now, I’m not saying Zuffa has *all* the best fighters, they probably average around 80% with the WEC/UFC different weight classes and the gross amount of money spent on having/had fighters. You can pick big ones Barnett, Fedor (notice the lack of Tim Sylvia? *zing*) or little dudes, Gilbert Meledez and JZ that aren’t there, but compared to what they have, it’s a small number.

    Slater, if you notice I mentioned the fact that Silva looked beaten and came back to win in a dominating fashion. GSP got rocked and got put out. He didn’t come back. I also have to reiterate, my favourite is GSP, BY FAR. His blemish sucks hard rocks, but a blemish nonetheless. Funny how both of the times in question came from the TUF 4 show fights. GSP getting KO’d and Silva mounted. One thing I will say though, GSP was supposed to win his last four fights. Silva was 50/50 going into the Hendo fight, he had a rough go in the first round and came back to annihilate Dangerous Dan.

    Like I said, we’re talking 1A & 1B here, not a clear 1 & 2.

    BJJ Denver has it right, I wouldn’t even make this list top 5, it’s a top 3. 😛 All day long.


    I don’t think anything after 1-2 matters anyway, does it?

  • pr0cs says:

    I don’t know if I’d give #1 to GSP but what this does confirm is if the UFC ever did a catchweight/superfight between Silva/GSP it would do huge numbers because both are so dominant in their current weight class. I think a lot of people would like to see who would win.

  • JacRabbit says:

    I just don’t get why people still bring up the first Serra fight in this argument… Lets stay current people! Is there anyone in the insanely stacked WW devision that GSP wouldn’t completely dismantle if they fought TODAY?

    I agree the same can be said for Silva, but the MW division is weak. GSP has fought a slew of different championship grade fighters, all with different styles–and he dominates. With the exception of Franklin and Henderson, there aren’t any other championship grade fighters for Silva to fight at MW.

  • Davey D says:

    I think Anderson Silva should get the #1 p4p vote, Sam. Lutter had him trouble yes, but that was well over a year ago. What about his decimantion of Dan Henderson? Rich Franklin defeated Lutter last Saturday and he all seen how Anderson had his way with Rich, twice. I would also take Rich Franklin & Hendo both over GSP if they fought him at 185 lbs.

    I think the fact that Silva has a BJJ black belt from the Nogueira brother’s makes up for his supposed “troubled wrestling”. If GSP vs. The Spider happened, my money would be on Anderson Silva. Silva , I believe, could also finish any of GSP’s previous opponent’s inside of 2 rounds if he were to fight at 170 lbs (that include’s BJ Penn). This super-fight could very well happen if those two are both still Champion’s a year from now. That would be fireworks!!!

    I agree with your #3 & #4 picks. They are very good choices and I don’t think people realize just how good BJ Penn & Rampage are in MMA.

    Why isn’t Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro Nogueira on this list? How can someone who is 31-4-1 not make your list? He has never been finished, lost two epic battles against the mighty Fedor with another ending in a NC affair which could’ve went a “little bit” longer if you ask me (God was that dissapointing back at Final Conflict 2004). He has also avenaged his split-decision losses against Barnett (UD) and Hendo (SUB).

    Fedor should be #5 with ARMN close behind at #6, IMO. Randy is great and a legend, no dout about it. Contract’s aside, he doesn’t want any part of Nogueira far as I can see. I’m sure he could’ve almost commanded his salary with a bout against Nogueira. Maybe/Maybe not? There’s just to much smoking mirriors going on with Couture’s situation. I will say this though, 31-4-1 against 16-8-0, tell me who’s the better fighter here again?

    Yamamoto vs. Urijah Faber would be expolvise and that one is up there with the other “super duper dream fight’s”. Maybe the WEC could make this happen or Faber, granted he defeats Pulver, could go to Japan? Only time and/or Zuffa will tell us what’s next.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t seen JZ ever fight before. I’ve read about him plenty over the past 2 years or so. Seeing as he’s the two-time defending HERO’S GP winner and trains at ATT, this kid is a stud. He has a lot more to do for any year’s to come. Gomi would also be a great opponent for JZ as well.

    Miguel Torres, another great pick. His jits is downright sick and could probably submit anyone put in front of him at any given time. I’m looking forward to seeing some amazing things from this kid from South Chicago.


  • Derek B. says:

    Good post Davey I agree with you on alot of things.

  • Davey D says:

    Thank you Derek. Cheers!!!

    I also agree with those who said the p4p list should stop at 5, or maybe take the top guy in each class and sort it from there. So here goes my top 10 since we’re at it.

    #1, Anderson Silva
    #2, GSP
    #3, Fedor Emelianenko
    #4, Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro Nogueira
    #5, Rampage
    #6, BJ Penn
    #7, Urijah Faber
    #8, Kid Yamamoto
    #9, Miguel Torres
    #10, JZ Calvancante

  • Sven says:

    This post led me to the specific Lightweight ranking on the site. I find it incredibly odd that it’s lacking Sean Sherk. That must be an oversight, no? He must be put ahead of Florian, at least. He isn’t the most exciting guy, but muscle counts too! Even if most of us hope that BJ will win over him in their upcoming bout , (nothing personal, but we all love the prodigy, right?)

    I think the risk of the opposite outcome is actually quite high. I mean, if Penn can’t finish Sherk in two rounds I don’t see how he can win. He might very well finish it in two rounds, (well, he is the Prodigy, after all and GSP did it) but Sherk is a hard guy to finish, to say the least.

    Also, WEC should really try to buy some Japanese fighters over. They need a bunch! (But I realize getting the Japanese superstars might be quite expensive.) And UFC should get Calvancante! He is truly a wild man. He will destroy Aoki in the rematch. He came close already at the last try.

  • keenan says:

    sean sherk isnot included because most lists dont include fighters who are inactive for 1 year, and also fighters who test positive for steroids. after the penn fight i will assume he will be placed back in, AND AT THE TOP WHEN HE BEATS PENN, sorry, big sherk fan lol

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Sean Sherk’s omission is not an oversight. He has not won a fight at lightweight since Oct. 14, 2006.

    Sherk defeated Hermes Franca on July 7, 2007, however, he tested positive for steroids. The win was not overturned or ruled a no contest because CSAC does not yet have the legal power to do so. However, Sherk was unsuccessful in his appeal (his suspension was reduced but not overturned) so how can I consider that a valid victory when CSAC’s position is that he was using performance enhancers?

    So one win in 2006 is enough to make the top ten at lightweight? If one win over such an extended period is enough, maybe I should have gone with my instinct and voted Eddie Alvarez into the top 10 after only one impressive win at lightweight?

    In response to the person who brought up Nogueira, no one can deny his legacy. But my top 10 p4p isn’t about ranking legacies. It’s the best of the best at the current time and Nogueira has not looked overly impressive in his last two fights. Nogueira is in my top 15… but if you think he should be in my top ten, who do you take out?

  • Rich S. says:

    i hate this argument sooo much.. because.. my statements lean completely towards Spider.. but.. I AM A GSP FAN..

    now that that’s out there:

    first of all…
    “all Silva did was come back with convincing wins over Nathan Marquardt, Rich Franklin, and Dan Henderson”

    what the hell does that mean? that makes it sound like you’re saying “oh, ya, he beat nate, franklin, and hendo.. but.. they’re not that tough”

    second of all…
    you make it seem as though GSP’s win over Serra makes his #1 p4p spot official.. GSP’s coming off a win against someone who shouldn’t have won the first time.. it was a fluke.. luck.. that’s it.. Spider Silva’s coming off an absolute dismantling of one of the best MW’s in the world in Hendo [and no, i wouldn’t say Serra’s one of the best WW’s in the world]. And in regard to your statements about how Silva was in trouble in the Lutter fight.. i feel that’s irrelevent also.. the only times Silva was in trouble were when he got taken down [only after a flying knee that almost KO’d Lutter] and when he got mounted [in which he probably took about 2 or 3 landed shots to the face, and then flipped Lutter off of him with EASE]. I just think the Lutter fight is a bad example to show that Spider isn’t “as good as we think” because in all actuality.. Spider dominated Lutter..

    i have no problem with your rankings..
    those are just MY opinions..

  • HexRei says:

    @#15 well, franca was using them too, so it kinda evens out. And FWIW, he didn’t have “one win in 2006”, he had three wins in 2006. He should still be in the top ten imho.

  • Cobra Kai says:

    Sam, I completely agree with you on ranking GSP over Silva. Yes, he lost to Serra. So what, he had a bad night. He has dominated everyone he has fought since then, including Serra. Silva has not. GSP has 2 losses. Both have been avenged. Silva has not avenged his losses.

    Silva had trouble with Lutter, people can debate that all day long, but he did not dominate him.

    He had trouble with Hendo. The first round he could not keep up with Hendo’s wrestling. The second round he caught Hendo. He dominated him on the ground after that but Hendo stated that he was out of it for a while and by the time he knew what was happening Silva had his back. Watching the fight that makes a lot of sense based on how Hendo was acting. I think if they fought 10 times each would win 5.

    Franklin got dominated the first time, and did a little better the second time. Franklin is one bad dude, but he isn’t very technical. He wins his fights with strength and conditioning. While anyone who can beat Franklin deserves tons of credit, it isn’t enough for me to make Silva the #1 P4P.

    Silva is a great fighter. He has defended his title well and deserves all fans’ respect. He hasn’t been as dominant as GSP. In a world where fighters are ranked on what they have done lately and not their entire career GSP has to be on top.

  • Titled Joe says:

    Great Ranking Sam:
    I agree with all of them, but I really appreciate your insertion of Torres. Excellent fighter, will be a force to reckon with.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Rich, the “all he did” comment was sarcastic. I thought it was obvious. There aren’t three better middleweights in the UFC he could have beaten.

  • p4p is a bullshit term for your favorite fighter list.

  • Reaser says:

    The reason you list for not having Sherk on the list would mean Fedor shouldn’t be on the list either, he only has 2 fights since Jan 1st 2007, in almost a year and a half he has 2 fights, one against a can and one against a guy two weight classes away from him, that equals up to just as bad as Sherk having a tainted supliment (Fedor doesn’t even get tested for PEDs also)…

    that said I hate Sherk and he shouldn’t be in the top 10, just found your reasoning a little weak.

    Besides that, Silva is obviously #1, can’t see how anyone couldn’t see that, what was even worse is GSP was #2 before the Serra fight and he wasn’t even the champion in his own weight class, he beats Matt Serra and that makes him pass Silva who beat Dan Henderson in his last fight. Who’s a better fighter, Henderon or Serra? GSP and Silva both beat their last opponent in the 2nd round. Silva’s last opponent was a lot tougher, and if you had GSP above Silva on the list when GSP wasn’t even champion of his own weight class then thats ridiculous. So GSP’s win over Serra would have had to move him past Silva in the rankings, which again, makes no sense, who’s been champion longer and can actually defend their title? Who’s last opponent was tougher? Who’s lost in their last 4 fights? exactly.

    WAMMA’s a joke anyways, you should do your own rankings with the 5 oz. staff Sam, would hold alot more importance to the MMA community.

  • BJJDenver says:

    I find it funny that people are willing to give GSP a pass for losing to Serra, saying things like he just had a bad night. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with that assessment and I also don’t put a lot of weight in that loss. The thing that gets me is, when that notion in some form, is used, but then they say AS barely got by Lutter. He got past him pretty easily and was coming off of double knee surgeries only a few weeks prior.

    Basically what i’m saying, is no matter which side of the argument you are on, if you discount GSP’s bad night, you MUST also discount Silva’s lackluster performance against Lutter.

    Damn, this is a close call between the two and I really don’t think going either way is wrong.

  • Davey D says:

    #15 Sam, thanks for your repsonse. I posted my top 10 p4p rankings in post #12.

    I took out Randy Couture because he hasn’t fought since 8/2007 and his last two fight’s were although impressive, not Nogueira-esque, if you will. I like Randy, I really do. However, Randy beat Tim via decision, dominating The Giant for all 5 rounds. Nogueira submitted Tim in the thrid round of their bout. Who’s victory was better? I say Nogueira.

    Nog’ also hold’s a victory over Josh Barnett. Should actually hold two but he doesn’t. Randy was defeated or TKO’d by Barnett (who was on roid’s which isn’t good, I know) if I remember correctly.

  • BJJDenver says:

    And if BJ smokes Sherk (please,pleae,please!!!) and Fedor destroys Silva, this could easily be a 4-way tossup for the best p4p, imo.

  • Rich S. says:

    I was hoping so..

  • HexRei says:

    @#18 Regarding avenging losses, GSP may have avenged all his losses but at this point Silva doesn’t have a chance to avenge his first two (they don’t even fight in the same org) and of the two losses he suffered to fighters that are in the UFC, one now fights a weight class below him (so no go there) and the last just hasn’t earned a title shot yet. It’s hardly silva’s fault he hasn’t avenged his losses, and i bet if dana offered him a chance to fight any of those guys and avenge the loss he’d jump at it and win too.

  • islandguy666 says:

    Look. All I can say about picking GSP over Silva is Silva wins more. What else is important? You can be the hottest fighter in the world but if you don’t win… GSP has lost a couple of key fights because.. who knows? (1st Hughes fight, Serra ) It’s the total package that counts.

    If you had a fighter who only had one arm but knocked out everyone who gets near him.. It would be him. It’s not about having the “complete package”. It’s about having the winningest package. If you want to give points for artistic merit like figure skating thats fine but it aint MMA. Winning fights. That is what counts. Silva is at this moment the winningest guy around.

  • Fight Fan says:

    I hope they invent a Size-increasing or decreasing ray so we can end this.
    Either that or GSP grows some nuts and fights Silva.
    Why no Chuck? he’s beaten Randy twice and has avenged all his losses except one (Rampage and they will fight again soon) and the calibur of fights is just as high or higher than anyone on this list. He is better than Randy ” I’m so overrated” Couture and has proven it.
    I think tere might be a case for Lyoto in there to.

  • Fight Fan says:

    I forgot about Jardine.

  • Fight Fan says:

    #1 Fedor
    #2 Silva
    #3 GSP
    #4 Rampage
    #5 Lidell
    #6 BJ Penn
    #7 JZ
    #8 Faber
    #9 Yamamoto
    #10 Lyoto

    I couldn’t fit in Kalib Starnes.

  • king mah mah says:

    Franklin beat Lutter more convincingly than Silva. I am so tired of everyone swinging off of Silva’s *uts!! Gsp was the absolute right decision! Great job Sam! Nate Marquart will beat silva next time they meet!

  • king mah mah says:

    I agree with the Liddell thing too fight fan.

  • […] I posted my top ten pound-for-pound list and the list for some reason always draws a strong […]

  • Jackyl says:

    We’re on Silva’s nuts because he’s a bad ass. I wouldn’t say Lutter beat Franklin more soundly. Lutter had Franklin in trouble as well, he just gassed. Big time. Anderson Silva has not only defeated all of his competition, he has crushed them. Franklin can own just about anyone in the MW division, but Anderson destroyed him…..twice. He took Leben out like nothing, submitted Lutter, almost killed Franklin, and made it look pretty easy against Henderson. I think Bisping is a great addition to the weight class. I would love to see Bisping vs Franklin but we’ll see how the fight against Leben goes. I think we can all agree that the winner of Bisping/Leben should fight Franklin, with the winner getting a title shot.

  • king mah mah says:

    Uh i wouldn’t say lutter beat anyone more soundly either! Franklin beat lutter more soundly than silva!

  • Big D says:

    Great pick with Miguel Torres i was so ready to see him and manny go at it. i think manny could really give him a run for his money. but then again i think that of all the guys he fights and then he wins and not just wins but finishes

  • Amazing some people saying that GSP’s losses “don’t count” but Silva “having trouble with Lutter is a mark against him. What counts? Silva was having trouble with Lutter and came back and beat him. He won the fight. That’s the sport.. winning fights.


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