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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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Friday, March 17, 2006

Weekend Boxing and Wrestling Media Notes 

Boxing in Sports Illustrated

Thanks to Rich O’Brien of Sports Illustrated for the mention and plug in his latest online boxing column called Worth the weight - A calmer, gentler Toney could get jump on Rahman.

Rich will be covering Saturday’s Rahman-Toney fight in Atlantic City for the SI.com web site, while Chris Mannix will be covering it for the magazine. It’s also good to see Sports Illustrated paying more attention to a sport whose very nature had engendered some of the best sportswriting ever. We will also be there.

SecondsOut Radio and TheSweetScience.com Rahman-Toney Coverage

You can also still listen to our pre-fight interviews with both Hasim Rahman and James Toney on SecondsOut Radio. More info is here.

Plus, my latest column on TheSweetScience.com is up.

Called Waiting for the Heavyweight Message, it discusses many of the issues surrounding this fight.

And for those who cannot get to Atlantic City for the fight, it will be shown live on HBO starting at 10 PM EST. This is regular HBO, not pay$per$view. Plus, this is a free preview weekend on HBO, so you don’t even have to be an HBO subscriber to watch it.

NCAA Wrestling: Cowboys Up Again

I spoke briefly with Bob Mayeri who is in Oklahoma City for the 2006 NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships. He reported that despite some up and downs in the regular season, the three-time defending champion Oklahoma State Cowboys have just about clinched the team title by the second day of this three-day tournament.

To find out more information about how to follow this event, check our post here.

Also, the finals will be televised live Sat., March 18, on ESPN beginning at 6:30 PM CST/7:30 PM EST, so check your local listings.

Down Goes Blogger Yet Again

Finally, there have been some technical problems with Blogger, the host of this blog.

Not everything has been displaying properly, including the links and contact information on the right-hand column. So if you are using this to contact me (and don’t run into me at my periodic sojourns to the fights, press events, and bars), e-mail me here.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Eddie Goldman on "Joey Reynolds Show" Late Thurs./Early Fri. 

This Thursday night/Friday morning, March 16/17, I will be a guest on the nationally-syndicated "Joey Reynolds Show" on radio. I will be coming to the studio directly from Madison Square Garden where undefeated middleweight prospect John Duddy headlines a card Thursday night.

The "Joey Reynolds Show" is heard on over 80 radio stations. This talk show airs live beginning at 1 AM EST and runs to 5 AM, on WOR 710 AM in New York.

You can also listen to the "Joey Reynolds Show" online. For more information on the show's webcast, go to: http://www.wor710.com/listen.shtml.

For more information on the "Joey Reynolds Show," go to: http://wor710.com/joey_reynolds.shtml.

For more information on Myra Chanin, who works with the show, and also about Joey and the show, go to: http://motherwonderful.com/.

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NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships Get Underway Today 


The biggest wrestling event of any kind in the USA opens Thursday, as the NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships kick off in the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, OK.

The finals will be held Saturday evening, March 18, beginning at 6:30 PM CST/7:30 PM EST. They will be televised live on ESPN, so check your local listings.

USA Wrestling's web site, TheMat.com - which is still the best wrestling web site in the world - has a special section devoted to the NCAA championships. It can be seen at TheMat.com.

The official event web site is at http://www.okcallsports.org/ncaawrestling/.

And the official NCAA wrestling web site is at http://www.ncaasports.com/wrestling/mens.

You can also still listen for free to our NCAA preview with wrestling journalist Bob Mayeri on "No Holds Barred". Just click here for the links to hear the show.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

No Holds Barred: Shamrock-Gracie and NCAA Wrestling - Eddie Goldman speaks with Eugene Robinson and Bob Mayeri 

On this week’s edition of NO HOLDS BARRED, Eddie Goldman speaks with combat sports journalist Eugene Robinson about the historic March 10 Shamrock-Gracie mixed martial arts card, and with wrestling journalist Bob Mayeri about the 2006 NCAA Wrestling Championships.

To listen to “No Holds Barred”, just click here or here or here or here.

The show is in MP3 format, so may take some time to download. And the volume level of this show was set loud, so those with good hearing might want to adjust their settings.

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

Underhook, with Next Level Apparel, the tops in grappling shorts, rashguards, and more.

BJJMart.com, your premier source for all Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gear, videos, books, and much more.

Throwdown Magazine, action lifestyle for extreme sports and the best in combat sports journalism.

King of the Cage, the number one cage fighting promotion on the planet.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Hasim Rahman and James Toney Interviews on SecondsOut Radio 

Will we ever again see the day when there is one consensus heavyweight champion of the world? Many hope so, despite the absence of one since Lennox Lewis retired two years ago.

Many also hope that Saturday night’s fight between WBC heavyweight champ Hasim Rahman (41-5-1, 33 KOs) and the former middleweight, super middleweight, and cruiserweight champion, James Toney (69-4-2, 43 KOs), will be a step on the road to the crowning of an undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. We shall see.

Rahman and Toney face each other in the main event of a card Sat., March 18, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, USA. In the USA, it will be televised live on HBO, and, fortunately, not on pay-per-view.

To preview this fight, we spoke with both Rahman and Toney to get their thoughts on what to expect in the ring. Each fighter assured us that he would win by a knockout. That, of course, cannot happen, even in as bizarre a sport as boxing sometimes is, so we can discuss this fight now and learn the outcome Saturday night.

On this week's edition of SecondsOut Radio, Eddie Goldman interviews both Hasim Rahman and James Toney.

It is free to listen to SecondsOut Radio, but you must register to gain access to it. Just click here, and listen, learn, and enjoy.

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Cowboy Troy Takes Over TV; Plus, Two Foot Fred on “Nashville Star” 


His hybrid style is known as hick-hop, and you will get a huge chance to sample it this week if you’ve thus far been derelict in your cultural duties.

Cowboy Troy’s new video, “My Last Yee Haw”, has just been released. You can see it on the Yahoo music site at http://music.yahoo.com/promos/premieres/.

Troy will also debut as co-host with Wynonna Judd on the new season of “Nashville Star”. The first episode is on Tuesday, March 14, on the USA Network, so make sure to check your local listings for the time as well as replays. Also, they are going to be running a contest on MySpace.com involving Nashville Star and CBT, so check out his page there.

In addition, after a stint as an announcer on Monday’s WWE show (I could only watch about two minutes of that, so please don’t ask), he will be making the following TV appearances this week:

3/14 - Nashville Star - 10pm EST on USA
3/16 - Imus In The Morning - 6am EST on MSNBC
3/17 - The Weekend Today Show - 7am EST on NBC

Let us know what you think, y’all!

Update from Two Foot Fred:

Check out Two Foot Fred on Nashville Star. Two Foot will be interviewing the contestants when they get voted out telling them to: "HIT THE BRICKS." Make sure to watch the show all the way to the end, as Two Foot's part will be during the credits. Cowboy Troy and Wynonna will host this season!

Also, TFF will be hosting a new podcast called "Smalltalk With Two Foot Fred." The first 9 episodes will concentrate on Nashville Star as it is deemed the "official" podcast of Nashville Star 4. You can check it out at http://www.nashvillestar.usanetwork.com/ under the blogs section!!!!

Nashville Star premiers Tuesday March 14th at 9pm Central, 10pm Eastern time. Check local listings for channels.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

FDA: Stop Selling Steroids in “Dietary Supplements” 

Athletes who are caught cheating for using illegal substances which are supposed to be performance-enhancing do not have the greatest track record for credibility. No dopes, for that matter, do. But when athletes claim that they have ingested these substances without their knowledge and against their consent, their claims must be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Take mixed martial arts fighter Nathan Marquardt, who has recently begun fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and is also the current middleweight King of Pancrase in that organization based in Japan.

Marquardt made his UFC debut on Aug. 6, 2005, winning a three-round unanimous decision victory over Ivan Salaverry in Las Vegas in an outcome some considered to be an upset. After the fight, however, Marquardt tested positive the anabolic steroid nandrolone, and was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

At a commission hearing in January, according to an article by Kevin Iole in the Jan. 7, 2006, Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Marquardt said he bought an over-the-counter supplement at a Max Muscle store that, much to his eventual chagrin, caused the positive test."

Marquardt subsequently had his suspension lifted, and returned to fight in the UFC on March 4 to win another three-round unanimous decision, this time over Joe Doerksen.

Now more evidence has emerged that the problem of many of these otherwise legal over-the-counter “dietary supplements” being laced with illegal substances like steroids is widespread. This past week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had sent out letters to a number of manufacturers and distributors of these products.

In a press release, the FDA warned those who make or sell these “unapproved drugs containing steroids that continued distribution and sale of these products without FDA approval could result in regulatory action including seizure and injunction.”

Of course, this has become an increasingly growing problem since 1994, when the U.S. Congress passed the Dietary Supplements and Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), which basically deregulated this racket. Not surprisingly, as pointed out in a series on this industry in the July 15, 2001, edition of the New York Daily News, politicians of both supposedly feuding major political parties have accepted large contributions from these outfits.

According to the watchdog group the Center for Responsive Politics, since 1990 this industry has made $5,920,013 in campaign contributions to politicians, giving 69 percent to Democrats and 31 percent to Republicans. Of this amount, $4,230,569 was soft money, that is, contributions made via legal loopholes so that they are not regulated under federal election laws.

With so many politicians on this legal dole from this sleazy industry, it is not surprising that some honest athletes are getting caught in the middle of what should be a major and shameful national scandal.

Here is the FDA press release cited above:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
P06-37
March 9, 2006

FDA Warns Manufacturers About Illegal Steroid Products Sold as Dietary Supplements

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today warned several manufacturers and distributors of unapproved drugs containing steroids that continued distribution and sale of these products without FDA approval could result in regulatory action including seizure and injunction. FDA is concerned that the use of these products, which are marketed as dietary supplements and promoted for building muscle and increasing strength, may cause serious long-term adverse health consequences in men, women, and children. These products claim to be anabolic and problems associated with anabolic steroids include: liver toxicity, testicular atrophy and male infertility, masculinization of women, breast enlargement in males, short stature in children, adverse effects on blood lipid levels, and a potential to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

"FDA takes its responsibility to protect Americans from dangerous unapproved drugs seriously. Today's action is indicative of our resolve," said Margaret O'K. Glavin, FDA's Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs.

Consumers who have any of the products listed below should stop taking them and return them to their place of purchase. FDA issued warning letters for the following so-called dietary supplement products:

· Anabolic Xtreme Superdrol, manufactured for Anabolic Resources LLC, Gilbert, Arizona, and distributed by Supplements To Go, Cincinnati, Ohio

· Methyl-1-P, manufactured for Legal Gear, Brighton, MI and distributed by Affordable Supplements, Wichita, Kansas

These warning letters are part of FDA's continued efforts to protect consumers from dangerous steroid products. In March 2004, FDA sent warning letters to 23 manufacturers and distributors of products containing androstenedione.

Warning Letters:

Affordable Supplements
http://www.fda.gov/foi/warning_letters/g5739d.pdf
http://www.fda.gov/foi/warning_letters/g5739d.htm

Anabolic Resources LLC
http://www.fda.gov/foi/warning_letters/g5736d.pdf
http://www.fda.gov/foi/warning_letters/g5736d.htm

Legal Gear
http://www.fda.gov/foi/warning_letters/g5738d.pdf
http://www.fda.gov/foi/warning_letters/g5738d.htm

Supplementstogo.com, LLC
http://www.fda.gov/foi/warning_letters/g5737d.pdf
http://www.fda.gov/foi/warning_letters/g5737d.htm

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Dr. Wafa Sultan: Fanaticism vs. Rationality 

In 1979, when Dr. Wafa Sultan was still a medical student at the University of Aleppo in her native Syria, she experienced what she described as “the turning point of my life.”

Now a psychiatrist based in California and an American citizen, she recounted in a March 9 radio interview with Tovia Singer on Israel National Radio how during one of her classes, Islamic terrorists burst into the classroom and began firing at her professor.

“They filled his body with hundreds of bullets before my eyes while they were screaming, ‘Allah is great, Allah is great,’” she said. “At that moment I was traumatized. I had just lost trust in their god and started to question his teaching.” (Her interview starts about 26 minutes into this show.)

Ever since she has been refining her views on just why the Arab and Muslim worlds have largely remained captive of what she describes as “a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages.”

She recently elaborated on her views in a must-see interview on Feb. 21 on the Qatar-based, Arabic-language Aljazeera television, which can be viewed for free online in its original Arabic with English subtitles. There she was paired with Dr. Ibrahim al-Khouli, an Egyptian professor of religious studies, but the show turned more into a virtuoso performance as her adversary could say little against her.

Just click here to see the interview. Save that link because you will most likely want to watch it again and send it to other people.

In a booming voice and with the unwavering authority that knowledge gained the hard way provides, she said, according to a transcript of this show:

“The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations do not clash, but compete.”

She also very favorably compares the contributions made to world civilization by Jews with those made by Muslims.

Such clearly and concisely stated humanism coming from a Syrian-born woman who was brought up in an Islamic culture and in a closed, one-party military dictatorship has caught the attention of the world’s media. After numerous blogs and web sites began reporting on the buzz and excitement about Dr. Sultan which was reverberating throughout the world, and after over one million downloads of her Aljazeera interview, she was profiled in a front page story in the Saturday edition of The New York Times.

However, although The Times’ piece afforded Dr. Sultan perhaps the widest coverage she has received in the English-speaking world, the article contains at least one major error.

It is entitled “For Muslim Who Says Violence Destroys Islam, Violent Threats”. The article does say, “She said she no longer practiced Islam. ‘I am a secular human being,’ she said.”

Yet in the Aljazeera interview – which is hyperlinked next to this article on The Times’ web site – she goes much further than what The Times decided to include here. She stated:

“I am not a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew. I am a secular human being. I do not believe in the supernatural, but I respect others' right to believe in it.”

When Dr. Al-Khouli asked her if she was a heretic, she replied: “You can say whatever you like. I am a secular human being who does not believe in the supernatural.”

Thus The Times chose to edit out the fact that Dr. Sultan clearly stated that she no longer considers herself a Muslim or is a believer in anything “supernatural.” Whether she is an atheist, an agnostic, or simply prefers to be identified with the term she used on Aljazeera, “secular,” is not specified. But what is crystal clear is that she does not consider herself a Muslim. No doubt that news was not fit to print in The Times.

To understand better, however, why the type of fanaticism she is so courageously and brilliantly campaigning against has taken hold among so many Arab and Muslim people, all you have to do is look at that same Saturday edition of The Times at the article directly above her profile.

This one is called "Symbol of Abu Ghraib Seeks to Spare Others His Nightmare". It is a profile of Ali Shalal Qaissi, a former prisoner at that notorious prison in Iraq.

In the print edition, right above that article is a current photograph of a gray-haired and bespectacled Qaissi holding a much more famous photograph of himself from two years ago. In that one, apparently taken by a member of the U.S. military in Iraq when he was a prisoner in Abu Ghraib, he is seen wearing a pointed hood covering his entire head, standing on a box, holding his arms in an outstretched position, and with electrical wires attached to him.

As The Times correctly wrote, this photo “became the indelible symbol of the torture at Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad.”

All this muddies up the good vs. evil debate quite a lot. Dr. Sultan was, obviously, addressing the Arabic-speaking world on Aljazeera when she argued that the supposed clash of civilizations was really “a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on other hand.”

With atrocities such as Abu Ghraib by the U.S.-led forces in Iraq, it becomes a much harder sell to convince those to whom she is appealing that all these laudable values are actually practiced in deed in the West and are the sole possession of their culture as well.

Then again, someone like Dr. Sultan who has condemned barbarity and embraced rationality should be expected to address these concerns. I, for one, cannot wait to hear any and all interviews with her again, to read what she has written, and, if I can arrange it, to interview her myself.

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“My Cage Fighter” Film Coming Soon 


A new independently-produced documentary about the mixed martial arts called “My Cage Fighter” is now in production by the California-based husband-and-wife team of Tamera and Todd Sturgis.

They describe their film as “a behind the scenes look at the world of mixed martial arts. The movie shows what it’s like to have a family member in the fight game. Focusing on the families, as well as the fighters, really creates an original perspective on the sport of cage fighting.”

According to Tamera, the film should be completed shortly.

You can view the trailer and find out more information on their web site.

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