Posts tagged: Pride FC

Gomi continues decline, Nelson proves legitimacy at UFN 21

Once regarded by many as one of the top lightweights in the world, former Pride FC lightweight champion and Japanese MMA legend Takanori Gomi met his match Wednesday night as he squared off with TUF vet Kenny Florian in the main event of UFC Fight Night 21.

Florian vs. Gomi

The event, held at the Bojangles Coliseum, marked the first time that the UFC has visited Charlotte, N.C., since UFC 5 in 1995. The event also marked Gomi’s UFC debut and his first fight in America since 2003.

Gomi and Florian exchanged on the feet for the majority of the main event, and Florian controlled the action. He utilized his four-inch reach advantage throughout the fight, landing stiff jabs from a distance, which took a toll on Gomi. Gomi shot for the takedown on the BJJ black belt in the first round, but was unable to get the fight to the ground or stay close enough to trade blows effectively.

In the last round Florian successfully took the fight to the ground, landed ground-and-pound, and used an arm triangle to pass to full mount. Florian used his BJJ to lock in a rear-naked choke as Gomi turned, forcing the tap at 2:52 into the third round. Florian outstriked Gomi 80-41, according to compustrike.com, and won “Submission of the Night” honors. Florian is expected to face Gray Maynard next in August, when the UFC visits his hometown of Boston, Massa.

In the co-main event, heavyweight Roy Nelson proved that his TUF win was no fluke and that he is ready for the UFC’s toughest competition by running through Stefan Struve in the first round. After a brief power outage the fight commenced, and Nelson didn’t let the reach advantage of the 6-foot-11-inch Struve become a factor in the fight.

Rivera vs. Quarry

Nelson pressed his opponent in the opening exchanges, closed the distance and landed an overhand right, which clippedA�Struve. He quickly followed up with another overhand right that dropped Struve. Nelson jumped on his opponent, landing ground-and-pound until the fight was stopped at 0:39 into the first round. Nelson outstriked Struve 9-2 in the match and won “Knockout of the Night” honors.

TUF vet and 12-fight UFC vet Jorge Rivera put on an impressive performance in a standup battle with fellow TUF vet and former UFC middleweight title challenger Nate Quarry in the second fight of the night. Rivera dominated the first round, dropping Quarry three times with strong rights, and nearly finished him.

Quarry got rocked with a left at the start of the second round and Rivera followed up with ground-and-pound, putting an end to the fight at 0:29 into the second round. The fight marked Rivera’s third consecutive UFC victory.

The first fight of the night featured an explosive lightweight battle between TUF 9 winner Ross Pearson and 8-fight UFC veteran Dennis Siver. The fighters traded back and forth on the feet for most of the fight. Pearson rocked his opponent several times in the fight and showed good takedown defense.

Pearson vs. Siver

Pearson utilized his superior standup to earn a unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring the contest 30-27. The bout earned “Fight of the Night” honors. All fighters earning bonus honors earned $30,000.

A preliminary bout between Caol Uno and Gleison Tibau was also featured on the broadcast before the co-main event. Tibau overwhelmed Uno with punches in the contest, took his back, and pounded him out. The fight was stopped at 4:13 into the first round.

Overall, the Bojangles Coliseum had an attendance of 7,700 and a total gate of $590,685. The broadcast on Spike TV peaked at two million fans during the main event, according to mmapayout.com. The event was followed by the premier of the eleventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

The next UFC event, UFC 112, will feature a middleweight champion match between Anderson Silva and Demian Maia, and a lightweight championship match between B.J. Penn and Frankie Edgar. The event will mark the UFC’s first trip to Abu Dhabi, UAE. Live pay-per-view coverage of the event will begin at 1 p.m. EST on Saturday, April 10. The event will be re-aired at the UFC’s normal event time of 10 p.m. EST via delay.

UFC Fight Night 21 Full

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Mastering The Armbar

The development of a solid ground game in MMA competition relies heavily on a fighter’s ability to effectively execute, defend and counter the armbar technique, one of the most commonly used submissions in modern MMA.

The armbar is a basic submission commonly used in MMA, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, jujutsu, judo, catch wrestling, and various grappling martial arts. The technique uses leverage to hyper-extend the opponent’s elbow joint, causing submission.

The first step to execute an armbar is to secure the opponent’s arm. This is commonly achieved using a punch counter. Next, the attacker must secure the opponent’s wrist while turning his hips and opening his legs.

The attacker then quickly rotates his body, moving into position and closing his legs across the opponent’s chest, or chest and face.A�The opponent’s arm is trapped between the attacker’s thighs with his elbow facing the attacker’s hips and palm facing away from the attacker’s chest.

The attacker squeezes his knees and retains control of the opponents wrist using his hands and arms in order to secure arm control and prevent escape. With the opponents wrist at the chest and elbow at the hips the attacker extends or arches his hips toward the elbow. This extends the opponent’s arm and/or hyper-extends the elbow leading to submission or injury.

The armbar can be executed effectively from various positions, which makes the technique a threat in nearly any situation. The most basic form of the armbar is performed from the top mount position. However, the move can also be applied from bottom guard, top or bottom side control, and even from the stand-up, called a flying armbar. In MMA it is most commonly applied from the top mount or bottom guard.

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The armbar is a difficult technique to counter. However, there are numerous defenses to the move.

Armbar defense starts with the defender keeping his arms in tight and simply not leaving an arm out to get caught. An effective hand grip to avoid arm control involves the defender grabbing onto his own arms and bringing them close to the body, making it difficult for the attacker to gain control of a wrist.

Once the armbar effort is initiated the defender should attempt to keep his elbow bent by grabbing the arm being attacked with both hands and wrenching it free before the position is secured. However, this often merely delays the application.

A very common armbar escape in MMA is to simply lift up and slam the opponent to the mat in an attempt to free the arm before it is fully extended. This technique worked very effectively for Quinton “Rampage” Jackson during his time fighting in Pride FC.

The most common counter to a secured armbar is the shoulder-roll escape. The defender turns his thumb toward the attacker, rotating his elbow upward, away from the attackers body, and then rolls away from the attacker to escape. The defender rolls into the top guard of the opponent or back to his feet.

A failed armbar attempt by the attacker will not land him in a severely vulnerable position. Commonly, the most vulnerable position the attacker will end up in is bottom guard.A�Although the attacker ends up on his back, he is not in a very dangerous position: especially for a fighter well versed in submissions. However, the attacker can lose a huge advantage by risking an armbar attempt from full mount.

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The armbar is a very effective move in MMA and a failed attempt often effects the fight and attacker minimally, because the submission relies on timing, technique and leverage more than a fighter’s strength.

Inside The Guard, A Versatile Position

Usually the starting point of grappling action in MMA matches, the guard is often overlooked by fans and even fighters, but a fighter using proper technique can prove the position dangerous.

Ortiz inside the butterfly guard of Griffin

The goal of the top fighter in the guard is to utilize ground-and-pound striking while aiming to improve their position. The top fighter also has the option of opening the guard and going for submission attempts.

The goal of the bottom fighter in the guard is most commonly to attempt various submissions off of their back or to escape using sweep techniques to return the fight to their feet. However, there are a few effective strikes from the bottom as well.

There are two basic forms of the guard: the closed guard and the open guard. In the closed guard the bottom fighter has their legs wrapped around the top fighter’s back, as well as their arms in cases. The aim of the closed guard is for the bottom fighter to keep the top fighter’s body as close to theirs as possible, limiting range in order to prevent devastating strikes and set up submission attempts.

In the open guard the bottom fighter uses his legs to control the opponent with the goal being to keep the opponent further away rather than close, because the bottom fighter becomes more vulnerable to strikes. The open guard can be used by the bottom fighter to set up submissions, but is most commonly used to create a sweep in order to return the fight to the feet or transition to the top position.

Alan Belcher trapped in Jason Day's rubber guard at UFC 83. Day lands 10 elbow strikes and 17 unanswered punches

There are various forms of the open guard such as the butterfly guard, the rubber guard, the x-guard, the spider guard, De la RivaA�guard and 50-50 guard. Arguably the most common in MMA are the butterfly and rubber guard.

The butterfly guard is a position in which the bottom fighter’s legs are hooked with their ankles inside the top fighter’s thighs. This allows for good control of the top fighter’s movements and distancing and allows for effective sweeps.

The rubber guard, created by Eddie Bravo, is gaining popularity and becoming more common in the MMA world. The bottom fighter uses a leg to trap the top opponent in their guard, opening up possibilities for submissions, sweeps and even effective striking from the bottom. Dream lightweight champion Shinya Aoki has developed one of the most effective rubber guards in MMA along with UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn.

The main goal of the top fighter in the guard is to advance his position. However, striking can be effective. Tito Ortiz is among one of the most effective strikers from the guard in MMA, in great part due to his devastating elbows. Elbows, hammer fists, closed fist strikes, and even Royce Gracie style palm strikes can cause damage from the guard.

Mousasi KO's Jacare via up-kick

Fighters inside an opponents open guard also have the option of standing in the guard to attempt various leg locks, such as knee bars, heel hooks and achilles locks. However, this can make them vulnerable to commonly the most devastating strike from the bottom guard.

Up-kicks have proven to be extremely effective in MMA and are a good tool for fighters on their back. Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi knocked out Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in dramatic fashion with a single upkick in the final round of the Dream middleweight grand prix at Dream 6 on September 23, 2008.

The bottom fighter has a clear advantage in the submission game from the guard. The most common submissions pulled off from guard are the guillotine, arm bar, triangle choke and kimura. Other popular submissions are the omoplata and gogoplata, but these techniques are most often used as a sweep to simply transition to the top or a standing position. However, they can be very effective when used from the rubber guard.

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The top fighter must aim to improve his position above all else while in the guard. A ground-and-pound fighter must move out of harms way against a submission specialist rather than being contempt to strike from the guard. Mark Coleman learned this lesson not once, but twice when he was submitted from within WAMMA and former Pride heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko‘s guard during Pride FC competition in 2004 and then again in 2006.

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A Legend is Stopped, Others Rebound at UFC 110

Rising star Cain Velasquez defeated the legendary Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in dominating fashion in the main event of UFC 110 on Saturday to secure a spot as a top contender for the UFC heavyweight title.

Velasquez v. Nogueira

The two ground specialists exchanged in a brief standup battle in the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia. A�Velasquez landed a combo, which sent Nogueira to the canvas and he quickly followed up with vicious ground and pound that left Nogueria unconscious. A�Referee Herb Dean called for a knockout stoppage, putting an end to the contest at 2:20 in the first round.

“We’ll see what happens with Mir and Carwin – see who wins that – and if the guys come out unscathed, they’ll fight for the title,” said UFC president Dana White at the post-fight press conference. A�”If not, then Cain Velasquez will get that spot.”

Velasquez’s performance earned him “Knockout of the Night” honors along with a $50,000 bonus.

The co-main event featured another legendary brazilian fighter and Pride FC champion in Wanderlei Silva, who squared off against Michael Bisping. A�The contest saw both fighters standing and exchanging for the majority of the fight.

Bisping took Silva down several times in the first and second rounds, but was unable to keep him down once on the ground. A�Silva caught him in a tight arm-in guillotine off of a Bisping takedown attempt with about 15 seconds left in the second round, but was unable to force a tap.

Silva v. Bisping

Bisping landed two fouls which briefly stopped the action in the middle of the third round: first a kick to the cup of Silva and then a finger to the eye. A�Silva took the offensive, coming out swinging for the fences in the last two minutes of the fight. A�Silva rushed Bisping and landed a right hook to drop him just before the final bell.

Silva was awarded a unanimous decision with all three judges scoring the contest 29-28 in his favor.

Bisping disagreed with the official decision. “It’s a close fight, but personally, I thought I won rounds one and two,” he said during the post-fight conference. A�He also stated that he would love a rematch with Silva in the future.

Australian native George Sotiropoulos defeated Joe Stevenson by unanimous decision in a thrilling and extremely technical match. A�Sotiropoulos controlled the fight on the feet, dropping Stevenson in the second and put him in several dangerous situations on the ground utilizing his superior submission game.

All three judges scored the contest 30-27 in a dominant victory for Sotiropoulos. A�The match was named the “Fight of the Night” and earned both fighters a $50,000 bonus.

The Ultimate Fighter season eight winner Ryan Bader took down and controlled Keith Jardine on the ground in the first round of the second main-card fight. A�Jardine controlled the second round with strong punches and leg kicks and was able to stuff the takedown attempts of Bader.

Bader landed a right hand that hurt Jardine in the third and quickly followed up with a flying knee to the body and a left hook, which dropped Jardine to the canvas. A�Referee Josh Rosenthal called for a knockout stoppage, putting an end to the fight at 2:10 of the third round.

Cro Cop v. Perosh

In the first main card fight Croatian legend and Pride FC champion Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic faced overmatched Australian native Anthony Perosh. A�Cro Cop was originally scheduled to face former IFL champion Ben Rothwell who was forced to withdraw just days before the event due to illness. A�Perosh took the fight on two days notice.

Cro Cop controlled the fight, landing devastating strikes in the standup and denying Perosh’s numerous takedown attempts. A�Perosh continually went for the takedown only to end up in Cro Cops sprawl and to receive brutal ground and pound.

Cro Cop landed a powerful elbow from inside the guard, opening up a cut above Perosh’s eye with about a minute left in the second round. A�Cro Cop was awarded a TKO (cut) victory at the end of the second round after a dominant performance.

The “Submission of the Night” along with a $50,000 bonus was awarded to Chris Lytle who countered a takedown from Brian Foster to lock in a kneebar, putting an end to the preliminary card bout at 1:41 of the first round.

UFC 110 marked the organizations first trip to Australia and proved extremely successful for the UFC. A�The event saw the second-fastest ticket sell-out in the 16-year history of the UFC. A�Dana White announced his intentions to return, to Melbourne, Australia for an event in 2011, during the post-fight press conference.

UFC 110 – FULL

Silva Looks to Rebound at UFC 110

This Saturday Brazilian strikerA�Wanderlei Silva will meet Michael Bisping (18-2) in the main card of UFC 110 in Sydney, Australia. A�Silva hopes to rebound from his recent losses in UFC competition and reform himself as an elite middleweight fighter.

Wanderlei Silva

Silva, known as “The Axe Murderer,” “Cachorro Louco” and “Mad Dog,” will make his middleweight (185 lbs) debut this weekend. A�Previously fighting in the light-heavyweight division (205 lbs), Silva is the former IVC light-heavyweight champion, the first even Pride middleweight champion (205 lbs) (2001-2007), the 2003 Pride middleweight grand prix tournament winner, and was named the 2004 fighter of the year by Sherdog.

Fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil, Silva developed his devastating muay tai striking at Chute Box Academy under Rudimar Fedrigo. A�Upon moving to the United States in 2007 to compete in the UFC, he has trained with Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. A�Silva is currently training for his upcoming fight at his newly opened facility, Wand Fight Team Academy based in Las Vegas.

Silva holds a professional MMA record of 32-10-1, 1NC coming into his fight at UFC 110. A�Despite his impressive record, against top-level opponents, he has lost five of his last six fights, including his last two inside the octagon. A�However, Silva hopes to transform himself as a middleweight fighter.

With a strong background in muay tai as well as a black belt in brazilian jiu jitsu under Carlos Gracie Jr., Silva is a complete MMA fighter. A�His muay tai skills have proven pivotal and at times devastating throughout his career. A�Of his 32 career wins, 20 have come by way of knockout or TKO.

UFC 110 Open Workout

Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson knocked out Silva in their third professional meeting on Dec 27, 2008 at UFC 92. A�Jackson landed a quick left hook that sent Silva to the canvas, leaving him unconscious, in the first round (3:21) of the light-heavyweight battle. A�Silva was victorious by way of knockout and TKO in their first two fights, which took place in Pride Fighting Championship.

His next fight proved more competitive as Silva lost a unanimous decision to former UFC middleweight champion RichFranklinA�on June 13 in the main event of UFC 99. A�It was a back and forth battle featuring both fighters on their feet striking for the majority of the fight. A�The contest, which won fight of the night honors, was fought at a catchweight of 195 lbs.

Despite his reputation as a distinguished striker, Silva’s striking defense has been his most noticeable weakness in recent fights. A�In his last six fights he has faced three knockout losses. A�Of his 44-fight career Silva had never been knocked out and had only ever been TKO’d twice before this point, one due to a cut.

Silva’s muay tai skills will be extremely relevant in his fight with Bisping and will likely be utilized as often as possible. A�Bisping is a striker as well, and is known for keeping the fight standing. A� Of Bisping’s 18 career wins, 11 have come by way of knockout or TKO. A�The match will likely be a stand-up battle, featuring two talented strikers relatively new to the middleweight division.

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Live pay-per-view coverage of UFC 110 will begin at 10 p.m. EST

Countdown To UFC 110 Video

Nothing But Pride

Say you were a world-class MMA fighter, and you wanted to showcase your skills. Before 2007, there was only one organization you needed know: Pride Fighting Championships.

Pride was a Japan-based MMA organization that held more than sixty events, one of which, Shockwave/Dynamite in August of 2002, held the largest live MMA event audience record of over 70,000 people. So how did this hugely successful organization come to an end? Read on to find out!

Conceived in 1997, Pride Fighting Championships held events that searched for ‘the world’s best fighter.’ The Pride Grand Prix was one of the first events to pose the competition, with American fighter Mark Coleman winning national fame and recognition, as well as the tournament.

In August 2002, Pride teamed up with Japan’s leading kickboxing and fight promotion, K-1, and held the world’s biggest fight event, Shockwave, (known as Pride/K-1 Dynamite!! in Japan), which attracted over 70,000 fans. That’s more fans than the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Browns combined have attracted all season! (Probably).

Riding it’s new millennium success, Pride introduced multiple new events in 2003: Bushido (Japanese for ‘way of the warrior’), a series of events focusing on the lighter weights of lightweight and welterweight fights; Total Elimination 2003 and Final Conflict 2003, a two-event middleweight grand prix that added Critical Countdown 2004 a year later as a third event; and annual tournaments in the following years for all weight classes. Needless to say, Pride was at the top of its game.

So what happened to Pride? It became so popular that it realized it’s own success and looked to go even higher. By 2007 UFC had already established itself as the premier fighting organization. In March, Pride was sold to UFC, they merged, and Pride had realized it’s full potential. Today, the only true way you’ll get to see a Pride event is on DVD. UFC is now a dominant force, and Pride is now a member of the strongest MMA promotion family in the business.

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Two Retirees, Two Amazing Careers

The MMA world received a blow to the gut this past week, as Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ FilipoviA� and Quinton a�?Rampagea�� Jackson announced they were hanging up their gloves.

Jackson, having recently been cast as B.A. Baracus in the new “A-Team” remake film, is looking for greener pastures, as well as a few more zeroes on his paycheck, on the big screen rather than in the ring.

“I’m hanging it up,” Jackson wrote in his blog. “I’ve been getting negative reviews from the dumba– fans that don’t pay my bills or put my kids though college.”

Jackson, who was known for his powerful body slams and power bombs, was 30-7 all-time and beat former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell in 2007 for his own Light Heavyweight championship.

FilipoviA�’s retirement came as no surprise; he told reporters on Saturday that his fight with up and coming UFC heavyweight Junior Dos Santos was probably his final professional MMA bout.

a�?Maybe the ones who have said that Ia��m done are right,”A� he said.A� “Obviously, I cana��t break my mental block in the Octagon. I have twenty years of training like a spartan behind me. It has caught up with me, my body is broken down. Ia��ve been worn out.a�?

FilipoviA� had a career that most fighters would envy; he had a left high kick that opponents shuddered to think about, he won the Pride 2006 Open Weight Grand Prix, and, with a 35-7 record, was a UFC regular beginning in 2007.

FilipoviA�‘s manager, Zvonimir Lucic, released all Team Cro Cop members from their respective duties, ending an era spanning 15 years.

Both fighters will be missed, but hey, NFL QB Brett Favre retired 20 different times. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of these guys.

Affliction: Back To The Basics

When the popular clothing brand Affliction, which markets itself to fighters and fans of a�?extremea�? sports, launched Affliction Entertainment in June of 2008, the MMA world was very optimistic. It was the makings of what could potentially be the next major promotional organization. One that would gather up all the great fighters not signed under the UFC. However, many remained apprehensive as it was unclear if Affliction was poised for greatness or destined for bankruptcy.

Wonderful! It’s my first medical products, but they work great for me! ? We fill thousands of online prescriptions everyday because our customers know that we offer unmatched value and the highest level of customer service delivered 24-7.

Affliction: Banned, took place a month later in Anaheim, California at the Honda Center. The fight card was stacked, and would include a fight between former Pride FC heavyweight champion Fedor Emeliankenko and former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia. It also featured two other heavyweight and one light heavyweight fight, each including a former UFC champion.

With an exciting fight card, free to watch undercard, live performance from the band Megadeath, and famed ring announcer Michael Buffer, it seemed that Affliction had the ability to achieve all the fana��s expectations.

The event had a total attendance of 14,832, grossing $2,085,510 at the gate and well over 100 thousand pay-per-view buys which generated somewhere in the ball park of another $2.1 million. This made their total revenue from the event around $4.2 million.

Banned was considered a mini success; nearly selling out the Honda Center and experiencing record high pay-per-view purchases, more than any MMA promotional company other than the UFC.

However, everything hadna��t played out as well as things seemed. Behind the facade of a packed Honda Center and solid pay-per-view numbers, Affliction Entertainment had taken a hard financial hit. What seemed like a healthy growth in the company; was in reality the beginnings of a bloody financial ulcer.

Affliction had purchased nearly one quarter of total gate earnings themselves and total fighter payroll for the event was $3,332,100; more than three quarters of estimated revenue. After fighter salaries, many expenses were still unpaid. With less than a million dollars left to do so, Affliction was bleeding profusely.

In January of this year, six months after Banned, Affliction: Day of Reckoning was scheduled to take place. Another stacked fight card featuring Emelianenko defending his title against former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, and former light heavyweight UFC champion Vitor Belfort in a 195 pound catchweight fight; meant another stacked payroll.

The event which once again took place at the Honda Center, had 13,255 in attendance with a total gate of $1,512,750, and was projected to have between 150,000 and 200,000 PPV buys. But with a reported payroll of $3,318,660 plus bonuses, the financial hemorrhage was only made more profuse.

Affliction: Trilogy was scheduled to take place on the first of this month, nearly seven months since their last event. The main card was destined to be an MMA classic, featuring the much anticipated match up between Emelianenko and former UFC & Pride sensation, Josh Barnett.

To the shock of the MMA world, Barnett was forced to pull out of the fight 10 days prior to the event due to positive steroid tests. The fight that was supposed to pull Affliction Entertainment out of bankruptcy was now the final nail in the coffin for the company.

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Ridiculous payrolls, long periods of time between events, and lack of hype and advertisement had all taken their toll and on July 24, Affliction Entertainment declared bankruptcy.

Although Affliction Entertainment is no more, Affliction Clothing was a separate entity and is still a vibrant company. They once again have a deal with the UFC to sponsor fighters. It was a falling out between the two companies in January of last year that had lead to the formation of the now defunct Affliction Entertainment.

The fate of the fighters signed with Affliction is uncertain. However, it is suspected that the UFC will pick up the contracts of some 22 or so fighters left out in the cold by the cancelation of Trilogy. But for right now, their fate is largely uncertain. What we can be certain about is that when the UFC decides to sign some of the best fighters in the world, it can only mean exciting things for MMA fans.

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