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Referee Ron Bath closely watches a match between Chris Humble and Harlem local Richard Neal. Humble defeated Neal.

A crowd gathered for Georgia Arms Fights in Sunset Auction House on May 11 to watch 80 pullers battle, about 30 of them being amateur fighters. The event was coordinated by David Hobbs, Tanner Maynard, and Ike Ford of team Dirty South. This is the first tournament of its kind that’s been held in Thomson.

At the beginning of the tournament, amateurs had a briefing. People could sign up same-day to compete but had to have the briefing as a safety measure.

Matches were set at a three-out-of-five competition. The pro-arm wrestlers went up first. Each match had its own feel. Some of the wrestlers practiced laser focused and went for slamming down their opponents quickly. Some played with their opponent’s minds and used growling and trash talk to get to the other puller. And still others, went with raw strength to over power and win.

 The biggest battle of the day was between Paul Passmore and Chris Chandler. Hobbs said that he expected Chandler to win due to the man’s history of defeating the best in the sport. However, the match came close.

“It was war,” Hobbs said. “It gave me chills.”

The crowd, he said, felt that moment too. They both showed immense strength and had a few moves went differently, Hobbs said Chandler could have lost. Instead, he came out victorious in the end.

In Hobbs’ own battle with the pros, he said he had to get himself in a certain headspace to win. That required him to zone out all around him. This match, in particular, meant something to him.

“It’s my hometown,” he said. “There was no option of losing.”

During his match, Hobbs quickly pulled down his opponent, triumphing in his home court at a 3-0 scoring.

All around, Hobbs said that the matches went great for the event. There were many close calls. The amateurs, he said, get better and better every year.  And, Hobbs said the crowd was happy.

Next year, he said he wants to see more participation from Thomson residents. However, he also said he’s happy with how the event turned out for this year.

“It’s not for everybody, but it’s a major sport,” he said. “It’ll take you places.”

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