Tyson Griffin talks future UFC lightweight title shot, possible rematch vs. Urijah Faber, whether he’s a gym jumper, and more in new 5 Oz. interview

While no guarantees are being made to Tyson Griffin regarding his lightweight fight at UFC 90 on Oct. 25 against former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk, the stakes are very high.

Griffin has worked hard climbing his way up a long UFC lightweight ladder with four consecutive victories inside the Octagon over Clay Guida, Thiago Tavares, Gleison Tibau, and Marcus Aurelio. A win over Sherk could earn him a future title shot against current champion B.J. Penn, or put him in a position where he could be fighting for number one contendership.

Griffin doesn’t need anyone to explain to him what’s at stake. One of the most exciting fighters in the UFC’s lightweight division, Griffin has earned his way to the top through hard work. In the midst of a hard training camp at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Griffin recently took a break from training to speak exclusively with FiveOuncesOfPain.com to discuss a potential rematch vs. Urijah Faber; his response to past comments by Nick Diaz that he’s a “gym jumper” for leaving the Cesar Gracie camp; whether he has any particular interest in a fight vs. Diaz’s younger brother, UFC lightweight Nate Diaz; who the best pure wrestler is in the UFC’s lightweight division; and more.

Sam Caplan: In a recent interview you said you had no interest moving down to 145 lbs. to fight Urijah Faber again. What if he was willing to move up to 155 lbs. and fight you in the UFC?

Tyson Griffin:
I’m up for anything that the UFC puts in front of me. He had the opportunity a long time ago to move up to my weight class, which is the only way the rematch is going to happen and it hasn’t happened yet. I’m not opposed to anyone at 155, I’m just not one to cut the weight and be a 145 pounder.

Sam Caplan: You’ll be fighting Sean Sherk next at UFC 90 on Oct. 25. He’s a former UFC lightweight champ and a former number one contender. If you beat him, do you feel like you’ll deserve a guaranteed shot at the lightweight title?

Tyson Griffin: I don’t think they’ll be any guarantee but I definitely think that if I win over Sean Sherk that I’m deserving of a title shot or at least a chance to fight for a number one contendership if they don’t have a title fight soon. I think it will be a big move for my career and big jump in rankings for the UFC.

Sam Caplan: Sherk’s a good wrestler and you’re a good wrestler. Who do you consider to be the better wrestler of the two?

Tyson Griffin:
I guess we’ll see Oct. 25. We both never really wrestled at a Division I level but we both have Division I-level training partners and it’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top as far as wrestling skills.

Sam Caplan: What do you think of Sherk’s standup?

Tyson Griffin:
I think he’s well-rounded. He uses his punches, his kicks, his elbows; he does everything. He’s a true mixed martial artist and it’s going to be a fun fight.

Sam Caplan: As far as the lightweight division in the UFC is concerned, who do you consider the best pure wrestler?

Tyson Griffin: Awwww man… best pure wrestler? I mean I’d have to go with my training partner, Gray Maynard. He’s got the most credentials and the most skills and he’s honestly one of the best wrestlers I’ve ever worked with in MMA.

Sam Caplan: Gray Maynard is an up-and-coming guy in the UFC and is quickly moving up the rankings after some big wins. Both of you train at Xtreme Couture with a lot of talented fighters and I was wondering if training there prevents you from fighting teammates such as Gray Maynard? If that fight was offered to you, would you be able to accept it?

Tyson Griffin: I don’t think that I could. He’s my training partner. He’s the guy I train with every day right now and unless they offered us a whole lot of money… I mean, we beat up each other pretty good every day in the gym but unless they offered us a whole lot of money, I don’t see that fight happening.

Sam Caplan: You used to train out of Cesar Gracie’s camp in California before moving over to Xtreme Couture. Nick Diaz has been critical of you in the past by labeling you a “gym jumper.” Can you talk about your decision to switch camps and your feelings about Nick Diaz?

Tyson Griffin: I don’t have any feelings or at least any hard feelings towards Nick Diaz. But I decided to make the move out here (and) it was David Terrell who decided to bring me out here in the first place so I can’t really say I jumped to anything because I tried to have a relationship with both gyms and Dave wasn’t for it and that’s not my problem. I want to be the best fighter that I can be and this is where I can be the best fighter.

Sam Caplan: Nick Diaz fights for EliteXC so that’s a fight that can’t happen. Nate Diaz just recently improved his UFC record to 5-0. Is that a fight that interests you at all?

Tyson Griffin: Not at all. If our careers collide, our careers collide but I don’t take anything personal. I’m not a big s— talker; I talk with my hands. If our careers collide, then so be it.

Sam Caplan: At UFCs 63, 67, 72, and 76 you won either a submission of fight of the night bonus. How big of a difference in lifestyle do those bonuses make for a fighter?

Tyson Griffin: I guess it depends on how you take it. Personally, I’ve used that money to help my family out and make my way of living a little bit better but I haven’t really splurged much. I have a house here that I am buying pretty soon so I’m going to be use the money to pay my mortgage. But I’m not a big glamor guy. I don’t need big fancy watches or big fancy cars.

Sam Caplan:
Training at Xtreme Couture in Vegas, how often do you see Randy Couture?

Tyson Griffin: Right now? Every day, man. He’s getting ready for his fight. He’s in the gym working his butt off every day.

Sam Caplan: How do you see his fight at UFC 91 against Brock Lesnar going down?

Tyson Griffin: I just see Randy coming up with a good game plan like he always does and pushing the pace of the fight and breaking Brock’s conditioning and breaking his will and maybe finishing him before the round is up.

47 COMMENTS
  • BRAD says:

    sounds to me that you arent interested in any Diaz fight at all…….

    would be a great fight

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  • HexRei says:

    I dunno… I think sherk is more well-rounded than Griffin with roughly equal wrestling and much better standup. I see this going to decision in favor of Sherk.

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  • jeff the drunk says:

    Great interview. I didn’t know that Griffin trains with Grey Maynard. That would be one helluva fight if it ever transpired.

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  • Smokes says:

    Its tough when you fight like Tyson, to fight Sherk. Sherk is a power house with out a doubt in my mind the best cardio of any fighter in the UFC. Anyone can try to argue it but that guy is a train that does not stop. Take that with his tremendous take downs and ground control and you’ve got a dangerous fight for anyone. I think they’ll probably keep this fight standing for the first few rounds to fell each other out and this is where I think Tyson is making the mistake. If Tyson does this then he’ll be falling into the game plean Sherk originally had planned out for Penn.

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  • screwface says:

    sherk is just a below avg fighter without his juice, im not a big tyson fan but tyson will put a beat down on him for sure. when ‘honey i shrunk the sherk’ came out against bj penn lookin like half his usual size and gas tank on empty it just proved what i already knew. no way this is an interesting fight, tyson ftw. i hope urijah considers comin to this weight class, its the only way he will get the fame and cash he deserves. thats the rematch i want to see.

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  • rob says:

    I think everyone will take this: _______ by decision. Can anyone see one stopping the other?

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  • keenan says:

    joe stevenson looked elow average against penn too pulver looked below average i dont think the penn fight is how u can base ur whole opinion on sherk. that being said often when two wrestlers fight the wrestling is negated and they stand and to be honest i see griffin having the best stand up. i dont think i have ever, and i mean ever, seen sherk move his head once while fighting standing up he has ZERO head movement and that will e the deciding factor in the decision going griffin’s way

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  • HexRei says:

    screwface on October 13th, 2008 4:50 pm

    sherk is just a below avg fighter without his juice,

    That is a ridiculous statement, he was fighting one of the P4P best fighters in the world and took him farther than Stevenson. Does that make Stevenson even further below average? I get the feeling that by “average” you mean “elite”.

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  • screwface says:

    nothing ridiculous about the statement, look at sherk on the juice and look at him off the juice, big difference. ridiculous is “and took him farther than Stevenson”; by farther do u mean punished every step of the way? penns plan was to punish and show the world who sherk really was, and his victory was that much sweeter then the stevenson fight in comparison. but yes penn can and will make any1 look bad. and my belief is that if penn wanted to end that fight earlier he could have with ease. having said that tho its obvious sherk was a different man in that fight, physically and mentally without the ragu. his weakened appearance was obvious to everyone watching, well everyone except you now :p

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  • THORAZINE says:

    Tyson VS Sherk will be a good brawl, Sherk has an edge but I think Tyson has a reasonable chance to pull off an upset… I think it was a wise choice for Tyson to go to Xtreme Couture… freakin’ Nick Diaz…lol.. shut up.

    Tyson seems a little bigger than Faber, he fits 155LBS better than Faber… Faber would make a small 155LBS… I don’t see Faber going to the UFC, he’s the face of the WEC why risk ruining a good thing… if Faber was a huge 145LBS and had trouble making that weight,,,, yeah go to the UFC… but that’s not the case.

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  • HexRei says:

    screwface on October 13th, 2008 11:02 pm

    nothing ridiculous about the statement, look at sherk on the juice and look at him off the juice, big difference. ridiculous is ?and took him farther than Stevenson?; by farther do u mean punished every step of the way? penns plan was to punish and show the world who sherk really was, and his victory was that much sweeter then the stevenson fight in comparison. but yes penn can and will make any1 look bad.

    Um, Stevenson looked worse. he was finished earlier and blood squirted out of his head as Penn choked him out to a tap. meanwhile the refs ended the sherk fight, sherk would have kept going. you’re just plain wrong.

    and my belief is that if penn wanted to end that fight earlier he could have with ease.

    ah right because penn is in a habit of letting fights go longer than they need to. wait, wait, no he isn’t.

    having said that tho its obvious sherk was a different man in that fight, physically and mentally without the ragu. his weakened appearance was obvious to everyone watching, well everyone except you now :p

    lololol its funny cause i didnt say it but you’re accusing me of it :) looking for a fight much?

    perhaps you should stick to segal movies, they seem more your speed.

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  • Robert says:

    Tyson Griffin is a gym jumper just ask the Diaz brothers.He may not have any ill will but they certainly do.Also i think a non-juiced up Sherk wins.I thought i would ad that part since our society is obsessed with steroids.People can pop pills like candy and get refills on prescriptions endlessly but that’s ok. I love how people pick and choose what drugs are ok and which ones they get to frown on while they pop pills smoke cigarettes and pound beer after beer, but that’s ok i guess.

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  • Rich S. says:

    in the Penn fight..

    Sherk looked like the exact same fighter he’s looked like for the last 7 or 8 years..
    he was equally explosive..
    equally dangerous..
    he was simply trying to use the striking to set up a takedown, never got into his groove, and was outclassed by the best LW in the world and one of the best p4p fighters in the world..

    all of these comments about the “juice” or “roids” are immature..
    steroids make for a more intense workout regimine, it’s not like they guaruntee a win.. every win on Sherk’s record was EARNED by HIM..
    whether he’s on roids or not, he still has endless heart and determination, and he’s STILL one of the best LW’s to grace the earth..

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  • Jason says:

    Agree with Rich S.

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  • Jason G says:

    I think a lot of people would be surprised that virtually all of these guys have taken something on the nsac’s banned list at some point in their lives. They can’t even test for hgh. there’s no telling how many people might be on that. basically people hate on sherk because they think his style is boring. not too many people are still talking about barnnett, bonnar, or any of the athletes in other sports that get caught all the time.

    i’m a chiefs fan so naturally i don’t like the chargers but i didn’t think shawn merriman was a cheater when he got caught with steroids when he was having an awesome year because i know there’s probably guys on the chiefs doing the same thing.

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  • Patrick says:

    “sherk is just a below avg fighter without his juice, im not a big tyson fan but tyson will put a beat down on him for sure. when ?honey i shrunk the sherk? came out against bj penn lookin like half his usual size and gas tank on empty it just proved what i already knew. no way this is an interesting fight, tyson ftw. i hope urijah considers comin to this weight class, its the only way he will get the fame and cash he deserves. thats the rematch i want to see.”

    What the hell were you watching? Sherk looked to be the EXACT same size/musculature as when he tested positive before, it’s that fact that leads me to believe now that he did not intentionally take nandrolone. Sherk looked the exact same as he did previously, the only difference is the man he fought was better. B.J. is the best lightweight fighter in the world hands down, and one of the best p4p fighters the sport has ever seen, Sherk didn’t want to take him down and thought that he could land those left hooks, he was wrong, he lost.

    Don’t say the guy is a terrible fighter when he rampaged that entire division thoroughly except for B.J., Sherk is a top 3 lightweight and has the resume to prove it.

    Essentially, you’re damn ignorant Screwface.

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  • mike wolfe says:

    BJ is a great fighter, but the biggest factor in his win over Sherk was his height and reach advantages. He was able to keep Sherk at a distance and picked him apart with his punches. Griffin doesn’t have those physical advantages as compared to Sherk, so his fight with Sherk is more likely to be up close and personal. You can make an argument for either fighter, but I’d lean toward Sherk on the basis of Griffin’s loss to Frankie Edgar, another talented wrestler.

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  • screwface says:

    i love how some of you guys defend steroids in mma, hilarious to say the least. sherk had a monster build in all his fights. but he was no doubt no where near the same build in the penn fight (the first official fight where he was under the microscope). please watch it again or take take a b4 and after pic if your eyes are truly blurry. all this talk of sherks great stamina but in the penn fight he was clearly gassed every round which had a lot to do with his lackluster performance. not taking anything away from penn one of my fav fighters, but without his steroids sherk was a different fighter plain and simple. ignorance is claiming steroids makes no difference in mma or defending it.

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  • Patrick says:

    Sherk was gassed every round? Seriously man, what the hell are you talking about. I think you’re the guy with the blurry eyes here, I’ve looked at before/after pics for Sherk, he’s got the exact same musculature.

    Nobody said steroids didn’t make a difference or change outcomes, and nobody here is defending steroid use, you’re being completely unreasonable and just outright incorrect in your statements though.

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  • Mr.PIBB says:

    I think everyone has a right to his own opinion. If this guy feels a certain way about Sherk, then so be it.You guys disagree, so be it.To call a guy “damn ignorant” is uncalled for.This is America, where we have the right to form an opinion about who and what we want.A wise man once told me: Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and most of them stink.Don’t insult a guy because he doesn’t see from your point of view.

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  • HexRei says:

    just as everyone has a right to their opinion, everyone else has a right to have an opinion on your opinion.

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  • Mr.PIBB says:

    that’s your opinion

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  • HexRei says:

    no, that’s a fact, at least here in america. 1st amendment baby.

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  • Mr.PIBB says:

    I was making a joke.

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  • HexRei says:

    you opinion is a joke!

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  • Rich S. says:

    “i love how some of you guys defend steroids in mma”

    i dont’ know who that was aimed for, but if you think i’m in that category..
    i, in no way, support steroid use in MMA..
    but i will completely stand by what i said about sherk..

    “Anabolic steroids, or anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), are a class of steroid hormones related to the hormone testosterone. They increase protein synthesis within cells, which results in the buildup of cellular tissue, especially in muscles”

    There you have it..
    Steroids don’t produce work ethic.
    They don’t produce heart.
    They don’t produce talent.
    And they sure as hell don’t put W’s on a record.

    They produce muscle.

    I DO feel that steroid use in the business is wrong, and every time i hear about it i get this feeling of disappointment.
    But, to say that Sherk is nothing without “the juice” or that he’s really a below average fighter is absolutely ridiculous..

    the guy’s record speaks for itself, and the names on his record speak even louder.

    if anyone saw Sherk as weak, or smaller in the fight with Penn, it’s simply because they were expecting it, and they LOOKED FOR IT..

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  • HexRei says:

    right on rich S

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  • Mr.PIBB says:

    Sherk is now a gate-keeper. That’s hilarious. The guys record speaks for itself. He beats up nobodies and loses to real competition(i.e. Penn, GSP abd Matt Hughes).His reign as UFC lightweight champion was a farce and,at UFC 90,he will be exposed for what he really is, a big name gate-keeper.The funny thing is he got WAYY smaller when off the juice, but his head got bigger.You guys should quit defending cheaters of the sport.

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  • Patrick says:

    Sherk is the #2 LW in the UFC, not just a gatekeeper. Everyone in that damn division is a gatekeeper except for Penn, same as 185ibs for Silva.

    He isn’t way smaller, please back up your claims with weigh in pics, because the ones I’m looking at, he’s damn near identical.

    He’s 32-3-1, those 3 losses are against Hughes, Penn, GSP. If you somehow think that’s a terrible record… then I’m still of the OPINION that you’re ignorant.

    If you don’t like the guy, it’s fine, say it, hell, I don’t really love seeing the guy fight but I sure as hell don’t hold some personal vendetta towards him and feel the need to propagate false statements to back up my vendetta. He’s a top tier fighter, he’s got skills, and his work ethic is only paralleled by a few other guys in the sport, I respect him for the work he puts in.

    All this Sherk hate is just ridiculous bandwagon crap, Penn is my favorite fighter and I still respect Sherk; I’m 99% sure some people just drank too much haterade this morning sheesh.

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  • HexRei says:

    Mr.PIBB on October 14th, 2008 8:21 pm

    Sherk is now a gate-keeper. That’s hilarious. The guys record speaks for itself. He beats up nobodies and loses to real competition(i.e. Penn, GSP abd Matt Hughes).His reign as UFC lightweight champion was a farce and,at UFC 90,he will be exposed for what he really is, a big name gate-keeper.

    You don’t understand what a gatekeeper is, lol noob :D

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  • Mr.PIBB says:

    HexRei
    Are you serious? noob? What are you, 16?Look here, young man,go get your allowance from your mother, take out your trash and let the grown folks have a conversation here.Now when your through crying and spouting insults that only kids understand, your mother and I will come get you ready for naptime.Any lip and I WILL take my belt off!!! :-)

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  • Sergio Hernandez says:

    To be fair, Mr.PIBB… if you think Sherk is a gatekeeper then you obviously have no grasp on that concept.

    Sherk beats every other LW in the UFC, save for Penn, 8 or 9 times out of 10.

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  • Mike Wolfe says:

    You’re all grounded. For those of you who aren’t, do you believe Griffin will beat Sherk, and why?

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  • HexRei says:

    Mr.PIBB on October 15th, 2008 4:55 am

    HexRei
    Are you serious? noob? What are you, 16?Look here, young man,go get your allowance from your mother, take out your trash and let the grown folks have a conversation here.Now when your through crying and spouting insults that only kids understand, your mother and I will come get you ready for naptime.Any lip and I WILL take my belt off!!!

    I hope after you finished typing up all that tough talk you googled for the actual meaning of “gatekeeper”. The more you learn!

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  • Sergio Hernandez says:

    Mike: I don’t think he beats Sherk.

    Sherk’s wrestling will prove to be too much from Tyson.

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  • Mr.PIBB says:

    HexRei,
    I hope you are through circle jerking with your buddies so you can call a meeting with your Halo clan and find some new insults to throw at me for not having your same opinion.

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  • HexRei says:

    lol wtf is a halo clan

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  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Hey! You two are grounded! Off the internet, and no texting, either.

    Sergio: I think you’re right. Griffin lost to Frankie Edgar, and I think Sherk is a better wrestler than Edgar. Hits harder, too.

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  • Lyquid says:

    One of the most exciting fighters in the UFC’s lightweight division. Im sorry fiveounces of pain you lost all credibility on that one. Someone who decisions everyone is not exciting. Sherk takes this by decision

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  • HexRei says:

    There are two schools of thought on that Lyquid. Some people think a finish is the most exciting thing. Some people think incredible action is exciting regardless of whether a finish happens.

    Certainly I’ve seen fights were boring despite including a finish.

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  • Sergio Hernandez says:

    Hex: Gonzaga/Jordan immediately springs to mind.

    Lyquid: You gonna tell me that fight, with its KO ending, is more exciting than Sanchez/Diaz, which ended in a *yawn* decision?

    Give me a break.

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  • HexRei says:

    Sergio- that was actually going to be my first example if I was asked to produce one :D

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  • RJA says:

    Wow!!after reading all of that i completely forgot what i was gonna say.well anyway sherk by decision.And i guess there’s no need to chew out screwface anymore.

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  • RJA says:

    Oh and hexrei what the hell is that gravatar?Is that a hexrei?I thought hexrei was the name of a band.please i’m perplexed

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  • Rich S. says:

    Gonzaga/Jordan is without a doubt the best example of a non-exciting non-decision fight..
    that was going to be the first i threw out as well..
    that may be the single most boring fight in MMA history..
    aside from maybe Gracie/Shamrock 2..

    and Sanchez/Diaz is probably in my top 3 favorite fights..

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  • Robert says:

    Severn vs. Kimo was worst fight i have seen besides some guys at smaller shows that have no buisness in a cagefight what so ever.

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  • HexRei says:

    RJA, as far as I know I am the only hexrei in existence :) and I have done quite a bit of googling. there is a german word “hexerei” and that’s the closest I have ever seen anyone or anything else to “hexrei” (which I made up).

    The gravatar is from the movie Casshern, which if you haven’t seen it, do so immediately. It’s incredible if a bit long.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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