DIRECTED BY STUART ROSENBERG
SCREENPLAY BY DONN PEARCE AND FRANK PIERSON
It's Not the Size of the Dog in the Fight; It's the Size of the Fight in the Dog.
Ignoring their suggestions, Luke taunts Dragline as he doggedly keeps fighting without surrendering. In the bloody fray, he takes the brutal punishment upon himself, suffering for their entertainment at first, and then taking the blows that could lead to his own death. Repelled by Luke's mindless, 'who-cares' attitude, Dragline eventually implores Luke to drop and quit so that he won't be killed:
Dragline: Stay down. You're beat.
Luke: You're gonna have to kill me.
By not submitting his spirit, Luke 'wins' the fight when his opponent walks away, although Dragline convincingly overpowers him physically. Luke's iron will earns the grudging respect of Dragline and other convicts.
I love how this scene encapsulates the moving character study of the film - a non-conformist, anti-hero loner who bullheadedly resists authority and the establishment. He will not conform and he will not give in.