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Tony Ferguson on Khabib Nurmagomedov — I’m in this dude’s head

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Tony Ferguson needed to delay Christmas season plans and his administration needed to reduce quick a Mexican trip, however when all was stated and performed, the long-awaited and often-delayed combat towards Khabib Nurmagomedov was signed, sealed and official for April 18.

After harm, sickness and destiny noticed this combat booked and cancelled on 4 separate events, Ferguson will problem Nurmagomedov for the UFC light-weight championship on the Barclays Heart in Brooklyn. That additionally was the positioning of their fourth scheduled bout in 2018, which fell aside throughout combat week.

With greater than 4 months to organize, Ferguson needs to maintain all the things as near enterprise as ordinary, which implies leaning into his notoriously intense exercise routine.

“I do not change something. I am all the time peaking,” Ferguson stated Monday on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Present. “I relaxation arduous, I celebration arduous, and I play arduous. That is precisely how I have been doing it for a really very long time, and nothing’s going to alter. The one issues I’ll change are for me and for my crew, and no person else goes to know.”

Ferguson is projecting excessive confidence towards the unbeaten Nurmagomedov as this lengthy stretch of ready begins, pointing to widespread opponent Gleison Tibau as a measuring stick. Nurmagomedov received by unanimous choice in 2012, whereas Ferguson earned a first-round submission victory by rear-naked choke over Tibau in 2015.

“I dealt with Thibault lots higher than the way in which Khabib did,” Ferguson stated. “I am not going to offer any spoilers, however I’ll say, although, Khabib could be very beatable.”

Ferguson hopes to go face-to-face with Nurmagomedov earlier than the 12 months is out, suggesting that Dec. 13, in the course of the combat week main as much as UFC 245 in Las Vegas, would possible be the date. In his thoughts, it might be a possibility to strengthen a psychological benefit he seems like he holds over Nurmagomedov.

“I’ll maintain poking the bear, I’ll ensure that Khabib exhibits up — that he will see me earlier than this 12 months’s performed,” Ferguson stated. “He’ll perceive. He’ll undergo the vacations and he will be questioning about me. I’ll be in his head once more. He’ll have lots on his plate, and I feel they obtained just a little too boastful with the way in which they dealt with issues.

“I am on this dude’s head. He’ll practice so arduous and he will be so nervous that he will make a mistake. I’ll capitalize on that. I’ll catch him in the course of the scramble.”

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Ariel Helwani says based mostly on the historical past of cancelled fights between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, he wonders why the bout was introduced over 4 months prematurely.

From film set to Octagon, Shevchenko retains new look

The particular person to thank for @BulletValentina’s new pink hair: @halleberry 👩‍🦰 (through @arielhelwani) pic.twitter.com/uaWA4EG7Ue

— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) December 2, 2019

Valentina Shevchenko goes to appear to be a distinct fighter when she steps into the Octagon on Feb. eight to defend her UFC ladies’s flyweight championship towards Katlyn Chookagian.

She is going to nonetheless have the slick footwork and well timed counters, particularly these deadly kicks and spinning assaults that make her one of many scarier strikers in MMA.

What can be totally different? The 31-year-old native of Kyrgyzstan (18-3) can be a red-head, not the blonde the combat world has come to know. “It was not my thought at first,” Shevchenko stated throughout Monday’s look on the Helwani Present. “It was the concept of Halle Berry.”

The Academy Award-winning actress is making her directorial debut within the forthcoming movie “Bruised,” which tells the story of an MMA fighter rebuilding her life. Berry, a longtime fan of the game, performs the lead position and solid Shevchenko as her opponent — with a change in hair coloration.

“The character within the film that I am enjoying ought to have pink hair,” Shevchenko stated Berry advised her. Shevchenko, who skilled with Berry for almost two months previous to stepping in entrance of the cameras, is completed engaged on the movie. However she is holding the pink hair for some time — past combat evening, not less than — “as a result of everyone likes it.”

There is no such thing as a publicly introduced launch date for “Bruised,” and filming continues. There was a quick postponement final month after it was reported that Berry was “barely injured” in the course of the filming of a combat scene.

Shevchenko didn’t tackle that with Helwani. Shevchenko is the one skilled blended martial artist within the movie — though she counts one other solid member amongst her peer group: “In spite of everything these years of coaching — as a result of Halle, she was coaching MMA for 2 or three years earlier than filming began — now we will say undoubtedly she’s an expert fighter as properly.”

Adesanya dishes on Costa, comparability to Conor-Aldo

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Israel Adesanya says a combat between himself and Paulo Costa would go the identical means as Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor, as a result of Costa is a bull and he may be the matador.

Sayif Saud on understanding when to throw within the towel

In the case of MMA fighters, there is a constant mentality amongst most about “going out in your defend” and never giving up whereas there’s even the slightest glimmer of hope of a comeback. With elevated scrutiny about fighter security within the boxing world in gentle of the deaths of Maxim Dadashev and Patrick Day, it is pure to ask how fighters in hopeless eventualities in MMA fights needs to be dealt with after they face super harm and have no real interest in gaining the repute for being a quitter.

Fortis MMA coach Sayif Saud mentioned his thought course of on stepping in and stopping a combat, together with the one second in his profession by which he was getting ready to doing so.

“I have been [in that situation] one time,” recalled Saud. “It was really in LFA. I had the towel in my hand, and it is the one time I’ve ever had it in my hand. And it was very troublesome. The fighter that received ended up going to the UFC, he is a world champion, nice fighter and a terrific man. And I had a younger child in there who beat him within the first spherical, however this man is a BJJ world champion. He obtained him on the bottom and he had him mounted, and I am going to always remember these elbows he was dropping on him. His head had nowhere to go, he was towards the fence, and he had taken some harm, however not lots.

“However I knew he wasn’t going to get out. And that is once I grabbed the towel, as a result of what is the level? What I’ve performed with another fighters who get hit lots, they usually know who they’re, I’ve advised them, I stated, ‘In case you go in there and also you’re getting hit lots, and you retain bleeding and doing all this and all that, make no mistake about it – I am going to throw within the towel.’ I am enormous on harm. I really like MMA, it is nice, however I care much more about my youngsters than I care a few combat. And I inform them that.

“Do not act like that is the most important deal on this planet, that is what we’re all doing proper now, however this is not eternally… It by no means got here to fruition, and also you by no means need your fighters to doubt your religion in them, but it surely goes again to speaking successfully and being sincere. I have not needed to do it but, however you are rattling straight I am going to do it.”

Alberto El Patron prepared for Tito Ortiz

Alberto El Patron needs to make one factor clear. Though he is finest identified for being a star within the scripted world of professional wrestling, his combat on Saturday towards Tito Ortiz for the Combate Americas promotion is completely on the sq..

That goes towards the assumption of some, together with ESPN MMA analyst Chael Sonnen, who has stated that he thought the El Patron-Ortiz combat was going to be a “work.”

“I feel it is fairly silly for somebody like him to say stuff like that as a result of now we have two people, two athletes, two Mexican-Individuals working their ass off,” El Patron stated. “For somebody like Sonnen to come back and say one thing like that’s disrespectful.”

For these unfamiliar with the 42-year-old El Patron, he is a two-time WWE champion who additionally has a background in MMA. He has a 9-5 report, which features a KO loss to Mirko Cro Cop in 2003.

El Patron hasn’t fought since 2010, however he is nonetheless assured that he can defeat Ortiz, a former UFC champion. As a stipulation for the pay-per-view combat, they’re each placing belts they beforehand received on the road: Ortiz’s UFC title and El Patron’s WWE championship.

“In an effort to get a title … it’s a must to put hours and hours of sweat, blood and tears with the intention to accomplish these awards,” El Patron stated. “So it is not a lot about taking the belt, it is taking his legacy.

“For me, it may be wonderful to kick his ass after which take that UFC title and put it in my trophy room.”

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What you need to know about rising UFC star Jairzinho Rozenstruik

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Jairzinho Rozenstruik has been within the UFC for under 9 months, and but he already has made sufficient noise within the heavyweight division for folks to take discover.

In three UFC fights, Rozenstruik has three finishes by way of KO or TKO. His final two fights have resulted in a mixed 38 seconds courtesy of a pair of knockouts. At UFC 244 on Nov. 2 in New York’s Madison Sq. Backyard, Rozenstruik flattened former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski in 29 seconds.

“I’ve had an incredible 12 months, sure,” Rozenstruik mentioned. “Does it shock me? No. I really feel like life has ready me for these moments. And this is without doubt one of the moments I’ve to indicate myself, to convey myself up there.”

The UFC will return on Saturday, with an up-and-coming heavyweight seeking to knock off a longtime veteran in the principle occasion. Jairzinho Rozenstruik, who’s 9-Zero and opened eyes along with his first-round KO win over Andrei Arlovski at UFC 244, will face the hardest problem of his profession in Alistair Overeem. “The Demolition Man” is 45-17 and has earned two straight first-round TKO wins.

UFC Battle Night time: Overeem vs. Rozenstruik
• Saturday, Washington, D.C.
• Early prelims: ESPN+, 5:30 p.m. ET
• Prelims: ESPN, 7 p.m. ET
• Most important card: ESPN, 9 p.m. ET

Subscribe to ESPN+ to get unique dwell UFC occasions, weigh-ins and extra; Ariel and the Dangerous Man; Dana White’s Contender Sequence; and extra unique MMA content material.

Rozenstruik (9-0) will compete in his first UFC principal occasion towards the perfect opponent of his profession, by far, in Alistair Overeem on Saturday. Overeem is a heavyweight legend in MMA and kickboxing, and somebody Rozenstruik has adopted for a very long time as a former kickboxer himself.

A victory versus Overeem would not simply cap a sensational 12 months for Rozenstruik, it could be a path towards stardom and an enormous step towards a heavyweight title shot in 2020. Overeem is ranked No. Eight within the division by ESPN, and if Rozenstruik wins, he is already calling out No. Three Francis Ngannou.

“This can be a massive factor for me and my nation and my group,” Rozenstruik mentioned. “We need to make it rely.”

Given Rozenstruik’s fast rise in 2019, let’s take a deeper have a look at the knockout artist referred to as “Bigi Boy.”

‘I by no means had ideas that I might grow to be a fighter’

After a pair {of professional} MMA fights in 2012, Jairzinho Rozenstruik selected to give attention to his kickboxing profession for the higher a part of 5 years earlier than returning to the cage in April 2017. Adam Hagy/USA TODAY Sports activities

Rozenstruik performed soccer and basketball rising up in Suriname, a small nation on the Jap coast of South America. He was larger than the opposite youngsters and wasn’t scared to get bodily. One time, after a battle on the soccer subject, a coach advised him that if he wished to throw punches, he may achieve this in a close-by kickboxing gymnasium. Rozenstruik was 17 years previous on the time. He took the recommendation.

“I went to the gymnasium, and I had an enormous mouth,” Rozenstruik mentioned. “I mentioned, ‘You need to spar with me?’ One of many guys mentioned, ‘OK, let’s go.’ Then he beat me up. I got here the following day and talked to the coach and mentioned, ‘I need to prepare to beat that man.’ He mentioned it would not work like that. He mentioned, ‘If you wish to prepare, come tomorrow once more.’ That is the way it arose.”

On Dec. 7, UFC Battle Night time will honor former SportsCenter anchor and MMA fan Stuart Scott.

The occasion is a part of V Week held Dec. 3-14. Donate to the V Basis for Most cancers Analysis.

You can even donate to the Stuart Scott Memorial Fund.

Rozenstruik, 31, laughs now when desirous about it.

“I wished to beat that man,” he mentioned. “I by no means had ideas that I might grow to be a fighter.”

In Suriname, soccer and basketball have been — and nonetheless are — way more widespread than fight sports activities. Considered one of Rozenstruik’s targets is to develop MMA in his residence nation.

Rozenstruik gushes about Suriname’s tradition and variety. Dutch is the official language, however 11 others are spoken there. Rozenstruik mentioned he speaks Dutch and English fluently, plus Portuguese and Spanish fairly effectively. Rozenstruik additionally speaks Sranan Tongo, the native Creole language derived from English and different languages.

“Dutch is our first language,” he mentioned. “If you speak to older folks, you communicate Dutch. It is extra respectful. The native language, you speak with your pals. You do not speak to your mother and father like that with the native slang.”

What’s in a reputation?

Rozenstruik (left), seen right here throughout his UFC debut in February towards Junior Albini, enters his fourth battle in 11 months with an opportunity to place himself within the higher echelon of fighters within the heavyweight division. Jason Silva/USA TODAY Sports activities

Jairzinho just isn’t a Surinamese title. Rozenstruik’s mother and father have been massive soccer followers, and so they named him after Brazilian soccer nice Jair Filho — higher referred to as Jairzinho. The unique Jairzinho was a key participant for the 1970 Brazilian nationwide group that received the World Cup.

“They cherished that title, in order that they named me after him,” Rozenstruik mentioned with fun. “I feel possibly they anticipated me to grow to be a soccer participant, however that is not the case.”

Rozenstruik mentioned he has by no means met his namesake however want to sooner or later. When he was in Sao Paulo, Brazil lately, he went to the well-known Soccer Museum there and appeared up Jairzinho.

“I searched his title, so I realized somewhat extra about him,” Rozenstruik mentioned. “It was good.”

Rozenstruik’s nickname “Bigi Boy” comes from a basketball recreation he performed when he was about 10 years previous.

“I used to be presupposed to make a shot,” Rozenstruik mentioned. “Everyone was saying, ‘Hey you, take the shot. You, you — ‘Bigi Boy,’ take the shot!’ I took the shot, and we received the sport. And I used to be somewhat bit taller than all of the gamers, so I used to be like an enormous boy in comparison with everyone. That is how I received that title.”

It has caught. Rozenstruik is 6-foot-2 and weighs greater than 240 kilos.

“Ever since then, I’ve used the title, as a result of no person actually knew find out how to pronounce my title,” Rozenstruik mentioned. “Everybody known as me, ‘Oh, umm, hey what’s your title once more?’ As quickly as they received the possibility to name me ‘Bigi Boy,’ that title stayed.”

Rozenstruik is a Dutch phrase which means “rose bush.” Suriname was a Dutch territory till the 1970s.

Price greater than gold

Rozenstruik has loads of targets within the UFC. They embrace turning into champion and placing his native Suriname on the MMA map. Within the fast future, although, there may be one factor he needs greater than anything: a battle with Ngannou. Rozenstruik is extra concerned with Ngannou than a title shot.

“I really need this battle towards this massive, scary man Francis Ngannou,” Rozenstruik mentioned. “Alistair Overeem is the man to cross, step up for that battle. I hope (Ngannou) accepts or the UFC provides me an opportunity to battle him. That is a very thrilling battle for me and my group, as a result of it is a massive, scary man knocking folks out. If you put these two guys within the Octagon, you create a bomb within the Octagon. I feel that is what the UFC followers need to see.”

Rozenstruik mentioned he believes a battle with Ngannou provides him an opportunity to show himself. And he is very assured the end result will likely be in his favor.

“I battle everybody, I beat everybody,” Rozenstruik mentioned. “It do not go every other method. If I do not imagine I can beat somebody, I do not try this battle.”

“I am falling in love with MMA now”

Jairzinho Rozenstruik is about on persevering with his rise by the UFC heavyweight division, and after preventing Alistair Overeem, Rozenstruik needs to step into the Octagon with Francis Ngannou, who he calls “an enormous, scary man.” Adam Hagy/USA TODAY Sports activities

He may be a brand new title within the UFC, however Rozenstruik just isn’t some newcomer in fight sports activities. He was an expert kickboxer for seven years, accumulating a file of 76-8-1 and successful a number of titles. Rozenstruik really had his first professional MMA battle in 2012, however he did not get again to it till 2017 as a result of he wished to give attention to kickboxing.

The primary time he tried MMA, Rozenstruik mentioned, was in 2011, when he was serving to prepare a good friend in Aruba. The good friend wanted a kickboxer to spar with, and Rozenstruik ended up performing some coaching in wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu whereas he was there. Different fighters on the gymnasium weren’t capable of take him down throughout sparring, which sparked his curiosity in MMA. Even throughout his kickboxing profession, Rozenstruik mentioned he by no means stopped coaching within the grappling arts.

“I am falling in love with MMA now,” Rozenstruik mentioned.

Rozenstruik now lives in Florida, the place he believes he can get the perfect MMA coaching. Rozenstruik has skilled below coach Henri Hooft and with longtime good friend and countryman Tyrone Spong at Exhausting Knocks 365, however he did this camp for Overeem at American Prime Crew. That is as a result of there have been extra heavyweights to spar with on the ATT gymnasium in Coconut Creek, Florida, Rozenstruik mentioned.

Rozenstruik can have his ordinary nook with him, together with head coach Michael Babb, however he took benefit of the chance to work with coaches Steve Mocco and Conan Silveira at ATT.

“It is an honor for me to coach there with all these skilled guys,” Rozenstruik mentioned. “For them to take me in like that, I am completely satisfied.”

Overcoming adversity

In 2014, Rozenstruik was arrested and convicted within the Netherlands for smuggling cocaine into the nation. Rozenstruik was with a gaggle of males who had medication, however no medication have been discovered on him personally, in response to media reviews on the time. Rozenstruik was despatched to jail, the place he spent a couple of 12 months, he mentioned. He maintains his innocence to this present day and mentioned his conviction was the results of his lack of monetary means to battle the cost.

“Again then, we did not have that monetary energy to afford [good attorneys],” Rozenstruik mentioned. “It was actually arduous. Even my household, my mother, dad, everybody was unhappy. But it surely made me stronger, it made me a greater man.

“I used to be harmless, and after I got here out I used to be centered alone issues,” Rozenstruik mentioned. “All these issues made me stronger. … It was heartbreaking for my household. I thank God I handed by these arduous occasions.”

Rozenstruik returned to coaching and had his return kickboxing match on Dec. 20, 2015, a first-round knockout win over Colin George within the Netherlands.

Since then, Rozenstruik mentioned he has stored his circle smaller and never trusted others so simply. He has vowed to enhance himself and assist others. Lately, Rozenstruik launched the “Rozenstruik Offers Again” basis in Suriname. He hopes to assist struggling youth to get into sports activities with the last word plan to construct an athletic advanced. Rozenstruik has labored carefully with the Ministry of Youth and Sports activities in Suriname.

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Wilpons negotiating to sell controlling stake in Mets to hedge fund manager

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Steve Cohen, a billionaire who owns a small share of the New York Mets, is negotiating an settlement to extend his funding, a transfer that would sign that Fred and Jeff Wilpon’s longtime management of the franchise can be over inside 5 years.

Sterling Companions, the corporate that runs the Mets, and Cohen launched an announcement on Wednesday, confirming the talks. The announcement mentioned that as a part of the settlement “Fred Wilpon will stay within the position of the Management Individual and CEO for 5 years and Jeff Wilpon will stay in his position of Chief Working Officer for the five-year interval as effectively.”

Bloomberg reported that Cohen is in talks to accumulate as much as 80% of the workforce, which might be valued at $2.6 billion.

Cohen, an investor and hedge fund supervisor value an estimated $13 billion, purchased a 4% share of the Mets in 2012 for $20 million. On the time, Cohen was additionally bidding to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Cohen, 63, a local of Nice Neck, New York, is chief govt officer of Level72 Asset Administration.

In 2013, Cohen’s former agency, SAC Capital, pleaded responsible to insider buying and selling prices and paid a document $1.eight billion penalty. Cohen was accused of failing to adequately oversee an worker and was not personally fined.

The Wilpons have been majority house owners of the workforce since 2002, once they purchased out Nelson Doubleday for $135 million. Wilson and Doubleday had purchased the workforce from former proprietor Joan Payson in 1980 for $21 million.

The Mets have been to the playoffs simply 3 times underneath the Wilpons, in 2006, 2015 and 2016. They misplaced to the Kansas Metropolis Royals within the 2015 World Collection.

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Lakers’ Anthony Davis has ‘monster game’ despite needing IV at half

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DENVER — After flu-like signs tore by means of the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster on Tuesday, Anthony Davis, below the climate himself, tore up the Denver Nuggets’ recreation plan, stymieing Nikola Jokic & Co. in L.A.’s 105-96 victory.

Davis, who required intravenous fluids at halftime, completed with 25 factors and 10 rebounds to Jokic’s 13 and 5, placing the Lakers again within the victory column after Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks snapped their 10-game profitable streak.

“Simply tried to struggle,” mentioned Davis, who missed L.A.’s exercise Monday and stayed in mattress most of Tuesday main as much as tipoff. “Do no matter I can to assist the workforce win. I felt like I might give it a go, and I used to be in a position to contribute as a lot as I can and get the win.”

LeBron James’ tip dunk with 1 minute, 15 seconds left to place the Lakers up 102-96 might need been the game-sealing play on offense, nevertheless it was Davis’ repeated stops on the defensive finish that put L.A. in that place within the first place.

“Simply felt awful the final two days,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel mentioned of Davis. “He is available in and has a … Defensive Participant of the 12 months kind of efficiency. He is guarding their two finest gamers, Jokic, single protection, all people’s staying residence and Jamal Murray taking him to the basket and he is making defensive play after defensive play.

“And he was excellent. For him to play by means of sickness and have that form of efficiency was one thing particular.”

For James, who had 25 factors and 9 assists, it was simply one other occasion of Davis main the workforce by instance after he additionally gutted it out by means of accidents to his shoulder, elbow and ribs.

“He is been doing all of it 12 months,” James mentioned. “Enjoying by means of accidents, taking part in by means of sickness like he did tonight. [He’s the] Defensive Participant of the 12 months, and he confirmed tonight as soon as once more taking part in one-on-one versus ‘Joker’ within the put up. When there have been switches, occurring with Jamal Murray, taking part in one-on-one versus a small. Obtained cease after cease after cease. Only a monster recreation for him.”

James estimated that not less than six gamers on the Lakers had been sick, together with himself, Davis, Kyle Kuzma and Rajon Rondo.

Davis went scoreless within the first quarter, however L.A. nonetheless went out to a 28-24 lead. He described his gradual begin as methodical, not torpid.

“[The sickness] did not think about,” Davis mentioned. “I used to be attempting simply to make the correct play. Not attempting to drive something. I feel the pictures that I had had been good pictures. However I used to be form of overthinking it a bit bit. Not due to sickness, however the best way they had been taking part in me. After which simply attempting to be aggressive within the second by means of fourth quarters. Simply attempting to get my workforce going, get them some appears and get myself some appears. So the sickness did not actually play an enormous half that I assumed it will, particularly taking part in in Denver within the altitude.”

The win put the Lakers again atop the NBA standings at 18-3, tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the league’s finest report.

Rondo mentioned that performances like Tuesday’s must also place Davis atop everybody’s minds when discussing the sport’s finest.

“I feel it is only a mindset: You may struggle by means of it,” Rondo mentioned. “Particularly together with his angle, it may be a bit bit powerful, however he is right here for a cause. He is a super-elite participant, if not the perfect participant within the recreation proper now as we converse. So I am not shocked that he performed effectively tonight.”

The Lakers proceed their stretch of 12 out of 15 video games on the highway with the second night time of a back-to-back set Wednesday in Salt Lake Metropolis in opposition to the Utah Jazz. Vogel says he believes his gamers will play by means of their diseases once more.

“He is certainly one of our leaders,” Lakers guard Danny Inexperienced mentioned of Davis. “He leads not simply by his phrases or verbally however by his actions. … Clearly he is handled some issues prior to now, injurywise and a few issues with illness, and he is all the time had some tweaks and bumps and bruises.

“He is had cause to sit down out, however he is not sitting out of any video games. Now he needs to struggle by means of all the pieces. And he is letting not simply us know that he has our again, however he is letting the league know that he is not sitting out for any cause.”

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