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Professional wrestler Gia Scott (R) tries to break free from the grip of professional wrestler Aria Palmer (L) during Autumn Armageddon 2018 in Galena, Maryland on October 6, 2018. (Photo by Jim Watson/AFP Photo)

AFP presents a photo essay on professional wrestler Gia Scott shot by photographer Jim Watson over several months in 2018. Kierra Scott – better known by her stage name Gia – is a rising star in the US pro wrestling scene. This month, the 19-year-old became the youngest ever female champion of the MCW wrestling league in Maryland. Here: Professional wrestler Gia Scott (R) tries to break free from the grip of professional wrestler Aria Palmer (L) during Autumn Armageddon 2018 in Galena, Maryland on October 6, 2018. (Photo by Jim Watson/AFP Photo)
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26 Nov 2018 00:05:00
Iraqi women practice at the sports club in Diwaniya, Iraq on November 10, 2018. (Photo by Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters)

Iraqi women practice at the sports club in Diwaniya, Iraq on November 10, 2018. On the blue mats of the al-Rafideen Club in the conservative city of Diwaniya, some 180 km (110 miles) south of Baghdad, some 30 female wrestlers, some still wearing headscarves, train three times a week. When a big competition comes up, they train every day. (Photo by Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters)
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19 Nov 2018 00:03:00
A Cholita (Andean woman) fighter makes a key to their opponent during a wrestling session at the Havana Hotel Cholet in El Alto, outskirts in La Paz, Bolivia on June 29, 2018. (Photo by David Mercado/Reuters)

A Cholita (Andean woman) fighter makes a key to their opponent during a wrestling session at the Havana Hotel Cholet in El Alto, outskirts in La Paz, Bolivia on June 29, 2018. (Photo by David Mercado/Reuters)
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09 Jul 2018 00:01:00
Juliza meets with colleagues at her home. (Photo by Diana Bagnoli/The Washington Post)

Lucha libre is Mexico’s version of what in the United States refer to as pro wrestling. Its dates to 1863, when a Mexican wrestler named Enrique Ugartechea developed a form of “freestyle” wrestling that was based on Greco-Roman wrestling. Lucha libre began to soar in popularity in Mexico after two Italian businessmen started promoting fights in the early 1900s. It has since become popular around the globe. Here: Juliza meets with colleagues at her home. (Photo by Diana Bagnoli/The Washington Post)
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15 Jun 2018 00:05:00
Bam Bam makes a fan feel his sweaty chest at Johnson' s Station in Picayune, Ms., on February 11, 2018. (Photo by Emily Kask/AFP Photo)

Bam Bam makes a fan feel his sweaty chest at Johnson' s Station in Picayune, Ms., on February 11, 2018. The Micro Wrestling Federation is a full scale, WWE type event sporting an entire cast under five feet tall. Founded in 2000, the MWF is the longest running organization within the Little Person wrestling industry according to its manager. (Photo by Emily Kask/AFP Photo)
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17 Mar 2018 00:01:00
In this November 20, 2017 photo, Indian kushti wrestlers fight in the ring, during their daily training at an akhada, a kind of wrestling hostel at Sabzi Mandi, in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Dar Yasin/AP Photo)

In this November 20, 2017 photo, Indian kushti wrestlers fight in the ring, during their daily training at an akhada, a kind of wrestling hostel at Sabzi Mandi, in New Delhi, India. Like many traditions in rapidly modernizing India, kushti wrestling faces the threat of being left behind. But for many poor families, the ancient sport provides a glimmer of hope. (Photo by Dar Yasin/AP Photo)
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13 Dec 2017 07:35:00
Wrestlers perform at an all female wrestling event in London. England on August 17, 2017. (Photo by Neil Hall/Reuters)

Wrestlers perform at an all female wrestling event in London. England on August 17, 2017. (Photo by Neil Hall/Reuters)
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18 Aug 2017 08:50:00
Sumo wrestler Kaiho eats a “chanko” meal in Nagoya, Japan on July 18, 2017. After ending practice at 10:30 a.m., the wrestlers mingle with fans, sign autographs and pose for photos before the first of their two daily meals. (Photo by Issei Kato/Reuters)

Sumo wrestler Kaiho eats a “chanko” meal in Nagoya, Japan on July 18, 2017. After ending practice at 10:30 a.m., the wrestlers mingle with fans, sign autographs and pose for photos before the first of their two daily meals. (Photo by Issei Kato/Reuters)
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20 Jul 2017 07:49:00