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Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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    Wednesday, November 26, 2014

    No Holds Barred: Coach Tom Brands on Iowa Wrestling 2014-15 



    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Olympic gold medalist, world champion, and three-time NCAA Div. I national champion wrestler Tom Brands, who is the current head wrestling coach of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes.

    Although the Iowa Hawkeyes have won 23 NCAA Div. I wrestling championships, they have not finished first since the 2009-10 season. This season, however, the early polls put their team atop the rankings, as they hope to end the four-year reign of Penn State.

    We spoke with Coach Brands, now in his ninth season as head coach, by phone Tuesday.

    As for these early season rankings, he said, "I think that you keep it in context like anything, and we have to do a lot of work before we get there in the end."

    He continued, "There's a lot of parity out there, at least that's what people are excited about, fans and pundits are excited about. And I've never been a fan of parity. And what we do is the same whether we're ranked number one or number three. What we have to do is, we have to continue to get better every day in such a way that we widen the gap. There's no automatic, but there's also no reason why this team can't be the champion at the end."

    Interestingly, he did note that while the team is ranked number one, no individual Iowa wrestler has a number one ranking now, nor are there any returning national champions on the team. But he does believe that this team has a number of wrestlers who could win national titles, including: heavyweight senior and two-time All-American Bobby Telford, 133-pound sophomore and returning All-American Cody Clark, 174-pound senior and two-time All-American Mike Evans, 125-pound sophomore and bronze medalist in freestyle wrestling at the 2014 junior world championships Thomas Gilman, and several others.

    We also discussed the importance of wrestling freestyle for college wrestlers and how the team encourages that, why college wrestling needs a "more entertaining style" to appeal to fans, why the 1982 NCAA 177-pound finals between future Olympic champions Mark Schultz of Oklahoma and Ed Banach of Iowa is still one of his favorite matches to watch, the effect the court ruling which mandates that some colleges compensate some college athletes will have on Olympic sports in college like wrestling, why "entertainment will bring in fans", this Saturday's in-state showdown with longtime rival Iowa State, and much more.

    You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

    No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

    Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

    The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

    No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

    American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at AmericanTopTeam.com.

    Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

    Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.com.

    Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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    Monday, November 24, 2014

    "Give Mark Schultz An Award", on DefenseSoap.com 



    My latest blog for the Defense Soap site, "Give Mark Schultz An Award", is up at http://blog.defensesoap.com/news/give-mark-schultz-an-award/.

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    Sunday, November 23, 2014

    No Holds Barred: Renzo Gracie and Mario Mercado on Metamoris 5 


    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA legend Renzo Gracie, and Mario Mercado, who among many other tasks coaches wrestling at the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York.

    Our main topic was the grappling match between Renzo Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba held Saturday, November 22, at Metamoris 5 in Long Beach, California. This match, in which you could only win by submission and there were no points of judges, went to a 20-minute draw, although most observers felt that Renzo dominated the positions in it.

    We spoke with Mario Mercado at the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York right after a viewing party there of Metamoris 5. We discussed what happened in the match, Renzo's game plan, the influence of wrestling on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, plans for a Team Renzo Gracie vs. Team Joe Warren wrestling meet at the 2014 Grapple at the Garden event at Madison Square Garden December 21, and much more.

    We spoke with Renzo by phone Sunday, before he returned from California to the East Coast. We discussed this match, in which he said his "knee popped out" early on, hindering him somewhat.

    While showing great respect for catch wrestling and wrestlers in general, Renzo did not agree with those who said that this match with Sakuraba was a showdown between Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and catch wrestling.

    "The knowledge is out there," he said. "To claim that Sakuraba is a catch-canner -- Sakuraba is a jiu-jitsu man. That's what made him brilliant."

    Noting that Sakuraba lasted 20 minutes with him without ever being in serious danger of being submitted, he said, "He was able to survive there, which amazed me. And that shows what kind of jiu-jitsu he has."

    We also discussed why he likes the Metamoris format, more on this BJJ vs. catch wrestling rivalry, the growing wrestling program at his academy, his ADCC 2015 superfight with Matt Hughes, his plans to return to fighting next year in UFC, how he feels "better than I was 27," his plans to accompany Roger Gracie at the December 5 ONE FC event in Manila, and much more.

    You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

    No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

    Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

    The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

    No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

    American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at AmericanTopTeam.com.

    Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

    Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.com.

    Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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    Thursday, November 20, 2014

    No Holds Barred: Mark Schultz on 'Foxcatcher' 




    (Photo of Dave and Mark Schultz, courtesy of Mark Schultz.)

    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with the 1984 Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion in freestyle wrestling for the U.S., a three-time NCAA Div. I wrestling champion at Oklahoma, and 1-0 MMA fighter, wrestling legend Mark Schultz.

    The book of his life story, Foxcatcher: The True Story of My Brother's Murder, John du Pont's Madness, and the Quest for Olympic Gold, written with sportswriter David Thomas, has just been released.

    The film Foxcatcher, which is a dramatization based on that book and focuses on the events surrounding the 1996 murder of his brother, fellow Olympic, world, and national champion wrestler Dave Schultz, by the crazed multi-millionaire John du Pont, was released in New York and Los Angeles November 14, and will be released in many more cities around the world in the coming weeks and months.

    We spoke with Mark Schultz by Skype Wednesday.

    The movie has already been widely mentioned in the film media as a major candidate for numerous Academy Award nominations. In particular, the performances of actors Steve Carell (du Pont), Channing Tatum (Mark Schultz), and Mark Ruffalo (Dave Schultz) have all been singled out as extraordinary, as well as the directing of Bennett Miller. The film is already being recognized as a major work of art, and easily the most important film ever made involving wrestling.

    Speaking about the film, he said, "It's like epic. There are so many themes and undertones and metaphors."

    He noted, "It's like a Greek tragedy about what happens when everything can be had at a price. And it teaches people, too -- it's about what happens when these worlds collide."

    Stressing that the film's story has lessons which go far beyond the particulars of this one tragic tale, he said, "It's a movie for people who like to think."

    But the film will also have an effect on the sport of wrestling, since the murder of Dave Schultz took place on du Pont's Foxcatcher estate while Dave was employed there as a wrestling coach.

    The film, Mark said, "is going to make wrestling a part of pop culture."

    But besides showing the countless benefits of wrestling, such as building character, molding one's body and mind through hard training, etc., the film, along with Mark's book, also demonstrates the weaknesses in the governance of the sport of wrestling. The result has been that wrestling legends like Mark and Dave Schultz, in Mark's own words in his book, "were having to stoop to rely on a lowlife like John du Pont to survive."

    He also said that the most important thing to him in this whole project of this book and film is "immortalizing my brother." Few will argue that he has not succeeded in doing precisely that.

    We also discussed more on what wrestling needs to do in order to become self-sustaining, the appeal of submission wrestling and catch wrestling, his training in jiu-jitsu and his one pro fight in UFC in 1996, his experience seeing his project bloom from a draft of his book into a major motion picture and autobiography, his connecting with the actors in the film and in particular with Channing Tatum, his current activities of doing public speaking and conducting seminars, and much more.

    The No Holds Barred recommendation: For Mark's whole story, get the book. It is a must-read, whether or not you know much about wrestling. For a dramatization which will also go down in history, watch the film. It is a must-see.

    You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

    No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

    Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

    The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

    No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

    American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at AmericanTopTeam.com.

    Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

    Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.com.

    Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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    Wednesday, November 19, 2014

    No Holds Barred: Chris Thomas on the Bellator Boom, Renzo-Sakuraba, and Foxcatcher 



    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with our longtime colleague and correspondent, Chris Thomas.

    Chris covered the historic Bellator 131 card on November 15 at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. Besides taking place in a packed arena, the main event between Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar drew 1.8 million viewers in the U.S., peaking at two million, on Spike TV, making it the most-watched and highest-rated MMA fight on cable in 2014, and the sixth-highest rated cable show of all types that night in ages 18-49 in the U.S.

    In that fight, the ever-popular Tito Ortiz won by split decision over Stephan Bonnar. Will Brooks, coming in as the interim lightweight champion, scored a fourth-round TKO over a former champion, Michael Chandler, to capture the Bellator lightweight belt. "King" Mo Lawal dominated Joe Vedepo and won by third-round TKO. And in what was, as expected, a slugfest, Joe Schilling survived a first-round knockdown and onslaught from Melvin Manhoef to win by knockout in the second round.

    We spoke with Chris Thomas by phone Tuesday.

    "It was really interesting seeing this be the first real, in my opinion, Scott Coker show," he said, referring to new Bellator president and former Strikeforce head Scott Coker. "And he put his stamp on it like he is going to make a statement. And you could tell that he is ready to take the next step."

    He continued, "Everything was on par. I mean everything. The production, the look, the feel, the fans were there, it was a sold-out show. It was pretty amazing. It was pretty exciting. I felt like MMA is about to take another step in the right direction."

    We also discussed the fights themselves, the emergence of Will Brooks as a bona fide star and top-level MMA fighter, Bellator's plans for 2015, and more.

    In addition, this coming Saturday, November 22, two legends hit the mat, as Renzo Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba have a grappling match at Metamoris 5 in Long Beach, California. We discussed how this match, unlike their Pride 10 MMA fight in 2000, is being positioned as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu vs. catch wrestling, and what that says about the growth of the prestige of catch wrestling. We also discussed some of the strengths and weaknesses of the Metamoris organization.

    This past week saw the release of the highly-acclaimed "Foxcatcher" movie as well as the book of the same name, which inspired the film, by Olympic, world, and national champion wrestler Mark Schultz. We discussed some of the lessons of this tragic tale of the 1996 murder of Mark's brother, fellow Olympic, world, and national champion wrestler Dave Schultz, by the crazed multi-millionaire John du Pont, for the sport of wrestling.

    Plus, we discussed some of Chris's business ventures, and a lot more.

    You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

    No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

    Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

    The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

    No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

    American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at AmericanTopTeam.com.

    Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

    Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.com.

    Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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    Sunday, November 16, 2014

    No Holds Barred: Frank Shamrock, Movie Star 



    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with MMA legend Frank Shamrock.

    Now retired as a fighter, he is focusing on many entertainment projects, including acting. He is currently starring in a new horror short film called "Everlast". Mainly shot at YouTube Space LA, it is showing on BlackboxTV, one of YouTube's most popular horror channels, and for free, at https://youtu.be/6hAUjD3MZj0.

    We spoke with Frank Shamrock by phone Friday about this film and what else he is doing.

    In this film, Frank plays MMA fighter Nikolai Faust.

    "I'm actually dead. I've crossed over to another world," he said of his character. "I've actually done a deal with the Devil about a decade ago to become the greatest fighter in the world. And that sort of traps me in this little parallel universe where I have to sort of live in that inter-hell and have to fight every comer that comes along, until someone takes my place, I guess. And that's what happens in the movie."

    The film climaxes when Faust must take on the undefeated Angel Shepard, played by Kevin McNamara.

    We discussed this film, and to what degree its underworldly theme is an allegory about the real world of MMA. We also discussed how today's movie fighting is utilizing realistic MMA techniques, how the future of martial arts and combat sports may change with a new generation becoming much more aware of the dangers of head trauma than earlier generations, what role scripted film fighting can play in satisfying the desire of many to watch fights, how this more educated next generation of fighters will change martial arts for the better, how he would "love to see" catch wrestling grow, and much more.

    You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

    No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

    Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

    The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

    No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

    American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at AmericanTopTeam.com.

    Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

    Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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    Thursday, November 13, 2014

    No Holds Barred: Chris Thomas on Bellator 131, Wanderlei Silva, and Robot Fighting 




    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with our longtime colleague and correspondent, Chris Thomas.

    He will be covering this Saturday's Bellator 131 card at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California, headlined by the Tito Ortiz-Stephan Bonnar, Will Brooks-Michael Chandler, "King" Mo Lawal-Joe Vedepo, and Melvin Manhoef-Joe Schilling fights.

    We spoke with Chris Thomas by phone Wednesday.

    Besides discussing the fights on the Bellator 131 card, we also noted how MMA legend Wanderlei Silva had originally been scheduled to appear at a pre-party kickoff event for that card the night before the fights, but was pulled from that, reportedly because of contractual obligations.

    "For anybody to begrudge someone like Wanderlei Silva, who's given so much of himself to this sport for so many years, and to not allow him to make a living, is ridiculous in where the sport is today in 2014," he said. "That's horrible."

    We also had a wide-ranging discussion on numerous topics, including the potential for robot fighting to become the future of combat sports, even in the wake of the poor ratings for the Robot Combat League TV show last year; the WSOF 15 card with three title fights, also on November 15; the proposal to have same-day weigh-ins in MMA and boxing, as is done in wrestling; in boxing, last Saturday's Bernard Hopkins-Sergey Kovalev light heavyweight title fight, and this coming Saturday's Wladimir Klitschko-Kubrat Pulev heavyweight title fight; the success of the Baltimore Orioles and failures of the New York Yankees in baseball, along with the reasons for the sharp increase in injuries in that sport; the issue of doping in sports; and much more.

    You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

    No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

    Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

    The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

    No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

    American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at AmericanTopTeam.com.

    Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

    Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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    Tuesday, November 11, 2014

    No Holds Barred: Will Brooks On His Nov. 15 Bellator Title Fight 



    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with American Top Team fighter and Bellator MMA interim lightweight champion Will Brooks.

    His next fight will be featured on the Bellator 131 card on Saturday, November 15, from the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. There he will fight for the vacant Bellator lightweight title against former champion Michael Chandler. These two first met on May 17 of this year, with Will Brooks winning a five-round split decision in a close and thrilling fight to capture the interim belt.

    Bellator 131 will air in the U.S. live and for free this Saturday night on Spike TV, and on Sunday, November 16, in the U.K. on Viacom's 5*.

    We spoke with Will Brooks by phone Monday.

    "I think everybody can expect a high level of skillsets," he said of this rematch. "In the last fight, I think I did a good job, showed everybody that I was evolving as a fighter. There were a couple of things I didn't do as well as I wanted to do, especially because there were a lot of skills I was just learning, just working on. But this fight I think people can expect a cleaner, sharper performance on my part coming out of the gate."

    He said he would be "getting back to the basics and coming right out the first round, the first bell, and putting on a display of striking that people haven't seen."

    We discussed the rapid trajectory of his MMA career, including his upset TKO victory over Japanese submission master and former Sengoku lightweight champion Satoru Kitaoka on the Dream 18 New Year's Eve card in Saitama, Japan, on December 31, 2012; his first-round knockout loss to Saad Awad in the Bellator season 8 lightweight tournament semifinals on February 28, 2013; his bouncing right back to win the season 9 lightweight tournament, including avenging the loss to Awad by winning a clear-cut unanimous decision over him in those semifinals; his unexpected opportunity, on very short notice, to face Michael Chandler on the Bellator pay-per-view on May 17, 2014, after then-champion Eddie Alvarez withdrew because of an injury; and the advantage of now having a full training camp to prepare for the rematch.

    In addition, we discussed how his training at American Top Team has developed him as a fighter; how he is now based in the Coconut Creek, Florida, area so he can train regularly with the many people at American Top Team; the changes in Bellator since Scott Coker took over as president this past summer; and more.

    You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

    No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

    Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

    The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

    No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

    American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at AmericanTopTeam.com.

    Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

    Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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    Monday, November 10, 2014

    No Holds Barred: Mark Setrakian on the Future of Robot Fighting 



    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with robotics expert Mark Setrakian.

    Besides being the designer and creator of the robots on the Robot Combat League, which aired in 2013 on Syfy in the U.S. and on Space in Canada, he has been involved in robotics and animatronics since his youth. He started his professional career at the age of 19 at George Lucas's Industrial Light & Magic. Besides developing animatronics for numerous major films, he has been involved in several robot fighting ventures including Robot Wars, BattleBots, and RoboGames, which is still holding events.

    We spoke with Mark Setrakian right after he made a presentation on Saturday, November 8, entitled "Making TV and Movie Magic with Robots" at the Engadget Expand New York 2014 event at the Javits Center in New York.

    At present, the Robot Combat League TV show is in limbo. It received disappointing ratings last year on Syfy, and was not renewed, or, for that matter, officially cancelled. Numerous problems in the positioning of that show led to a decline in its ratings as the season progressed.

    "We went in with the intention of creating a sports show," he said. The Syfy network, however, is more "skewed" to running what are called (usually inaccurately) "reality shows".

    "It became more like a reality competition and less like a sporting event," he continued. "And as a result, I think the tone of the show came off inauthentic enough that people who were tuning in who really wanted to see the sport aspect of it were really disappointed."

    We discussed the status of that show, which he also noted did not draw a big enough audience to survive, and was not promoted well. However, there has been a change in leadership at Syfy, so there is a glimmer of hope that it can be revived.

    Whatever the fate of that particular show, he is committed to robot fighting.

    "I can tell you on my own, that I have been thinking about it non-stop since the show was on," he said. "I am still very much intending to go forward with some form of humanoid robot fighting. I really believe in that format."

    Right now he is in the process of developing new robot prototypes. We discussed how close we are technologically to the creation of the kind of self-contained humanoid robots seen in the popular fictional movie "Real Steel", which was set in the future.

    We also discussed events like RoboGames which do not use humanoid robots, whether one day robot fighting can at least partially replace combat sports which have people fighting, why it is "inevitable" that there will be successful humanoid robot fighting shows and events, and much more.

    You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

    No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

    Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

    The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

    No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

    American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at AmericanTopTeam.com.

    Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at DefenseSoap.com.

    Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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    Sunday, November 09, 2014

    "'Foxcatcher', A Review of the Book and Film", on DefenseSoap.com 



    My latest blog for the Defense Soap site, "Foxcatcher, A Review of the Book and Film", is up at http://blog.defensesoap.com/news/foxcatcher-a-review-of-the-book-and-film.

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