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A Close-Up Look At The Bloody World Of Mixed Martial Arts

On a Saturday night in ‘Sin City,’ spectators gather from far and wide to watch two men wrestle, box and karate-chop each other in a metal cage. It’s called Mixed Martial Arts, and a French reporter finds it taking Las Vegas – and the rest of America – by

MMA or free-fighting mixes karate, Thai boxing, judo, wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
MMA or free-fighting mixes karate, Thai boxing, judo, wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
Mustapha Kessous

LAS VEGAS - No body armor or helmets, just tattooed skin and shaved heads, or maybe a Mohawk. The only weapons are muscles and fists of steel. The goal? To be the best Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter in the world. To win the title, these modern gladiators do battle night after night, not on a karate mat or in a boxing ring, but squared off inside a metal cage.

MMA or free-fighting is a worldwide phenomenon that mixes karate, Thai boxing, judo, wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. It has developed over the past 10 years through the Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC, which has its bulging fan base in a frenzy. Every UFC fight night is an event, especially if it takes place in Las Vegas.

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Geopolitics

NATO Entry For Sweden And Finland? Erdogan May Not Be Bluffing

When the two Nordic countries confirmed their intention to join NATO this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his plans to block the application. Accusing Sweden and Finland of' "harboring" some of his worst enemies may not allow room for him to climb down.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO

Meike Eijsberg

-Analysis-

LONDON — When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared his opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO, it took most of the West's top diplomatic experts by surprise — with the focus squarely on how Russia would react to having two new NATO members in the neighborhood. (So far, that's been a surprise too)

But now Western oversight on Turkey's stance has morphed into a belief in some quarters that Erdogan is just bluffing, trying to get concessions from the negotiations over such a key geopolitical issue.

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To be clear, any prospective NATO member requires the consent of all 30 member states and their parliaments. So Erdogan does indeed have a card to play, which is amplified by the sense of urgency: NATO, Sweden and Finland are keen to complete the accession process with the war in Ukraine raging and the prospect of strengthening the military alliance's position around the Baltic Sea.

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