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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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Saturday, September 19, 2009

2009 World Wrestling Championships Predictions 


Every year, TheMat.com, the web page of USA Wrestling, conducts a poll of international wrestling journalists about their predictions for the gold medal winners in the World Wrestling Championships and, when they are held, the Olympic Games. I have been a part of this group for many years now.

Generally I am not too keen on making public predictions in the combat sports. They can bias your coverage, especially if there is a controversial decision and you want to “prove” your prediction right by crying about the officials. More importantly, they can simplify the analysis that is needed before the competition by not focusing specifically on what each athlete needs to do to win, and is likely to do. Plus, I prefer to be involved in controversies which are usually far more meaningful than debating who will win a particular fight or match. Just like the athletes, I like to pick and choose my battles.

But wrestling presents a special case because it is so important as a combat sport, and at the same time so poorly marketed, promoted, and presented to the public. It thus still needs all the help it can get, and doing these predictions is not much to ask of me at all.

The 2009 World Wrestling Championships take place Monday, September 21, through Sunday, September 27, in Herning, Denmark. Universal Sports in the U.S. will provide television coverage with one-hour primetime shows with highlights of the top matches at 7 PM ET nightly from Thursday, October 1, through Sunday, October 4. Also, beginning at 1:30 PM ET Monday, September 21, there will be a free, live, streaming video webcast of all the medal-match finals in each weight class, at UniversalSports.com.

TheMat.com also has a special coverage section on the World Championships with numerous links and articles, from previews to results when they become available, here.

We also did a special preview show of No Holds Barred about the 2009 World Wrestling Championships with Gary Abbott, the Director of Communications of USA Wrestling. You can play or download that edition of No Holds Barred here. You can also download it here.

Among the various international wrestling journalists who have participated in these polls, I have recently finished first in 2007 and tied for first in 2008. Besides a healthy dose of luck, there is no secret to making these predictions. They are based on studying past results, on who has beaten whom on the mat, on looking for wrestlers on hot streaks, on focusing on major international tournaments like the European and Asian Championships as well as past World Championships and Olympics, and on adding in some subjective factors like hometown advantage and old-fashioned hunches.

This method, of course, still produces numerous incorrect results, as it will no doubt again do this year. Regardless of how accurate, or, rather, inaccurate my predictions turn out to be, they will certainly serve to stimulate interest in the 2009 World Wrestling Championships, and will thus help the sport of wrestling.

So here are my gold medal predictions for the 2009 World Wrestling Championships:

Greco-Roman
55 kg/121 lbs. – Kohei Hasegawa (Japan)
60 kg/132 lbs. – Islam-beka Albiev (Russia)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Darkhan Bayakhmetov (Kazakhstan)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Mark Madsen (Denmark)
84 kg/185 lbs. – Alexej Mishin (Russia)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Aslanbek Khushtov (Russia)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Mijain Lopez (Cuba)

Women’s freestyle
48 kg/105.5 lbs. - Clarissa Chun (USA)
51 kg/112.25 lbs. – Tatyana Bakatyuk (Kazakhstan)
55 kg/132 lbs. - Saori Yoshida (Japan)
59 kg/130 lbs. – Johanna Mattsson (Sweden)
63 kg/138.75 lbs. – Mio Nishimaki (Japan)
67 kg/147.5 lbs. - Katerina Burmistrova (Ukraine)
72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Stanka Zlateva (Bulgaria)

Men’s freestyle
55 kg/121 lbs. – Viktor Lebedev (Russia)
60 kg/132 lbs. – Zelimkhan Huseinov (Azerbaijan)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Andriy Stadnik (Ukraine)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Denis Tsargush (Russia)
84 kg/185 lbs. – Abdulsalam Gadisov (Russia)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Khadshimourad Gatsalov (Russia)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Beylal Makhov (Russia)

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Friday, September 18, 2009

No Holds Barred: John Perretti on Mayweather-Marquez, Klitschko-Arreola, Offensive Promoters, and More 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again discusses boxing and mixed martial arts with the legendary former UFC and Extreme Fighting matchmaker, promoter, announcer, and martial artist, and our senior correspondent on this show, John Perretti.

We opened with a preview of the September 19 Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Juan Manuel Marquez fight. We worked in a preview of the September 26 heavyweight fight between WBC champ Vitali Klitschko and Chris Arreola. We commented on the latest series of bigoted, offensive, ignorant, and intentionally provocative remarks by promoters Bob Arum and Dana White. We explained how promoters in both boxing and mixed martial arts regularly utilize racism, nationalism, and homophobia to promote their events and make money for themselves. We discussed the issue of Juan Manual Marquez drinking his own urine, and how the Mayweather-Marquez fight has been built. We noted how what is happening in the combat sports is reflective of the overall decline of American civilization, and much more.

No one else will interweave such seasoned analyses of all these combat sports with these types of societal commentaries, so all thinking fight fans and combat sports aficionados will find it worthwhile to listen to our discussion and send in comments.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here. You can also download No Holds Barred here. If one link does not work, please try another. The show is in MP3 format, so may take some time to download.

You can also order tickets for the 2009 ADCC World Championship, which will be held September 25-27 in Barcelona, Spain, through Ticketmaster.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", by Ian Carpenter.

Make sure to visit the official boxing forum for No Holds Barred, the MySpace Boxing Forum.

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

Gladiator Magazine, for in-depth coverage of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, submission grappling, and MMA, as well as lifestyle articles on surfing, cars, movies, and more. Gladiator Magazine is available at any major bookstore and online at BJJMart.com or Jiu Jitsu Pro Gear.

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 http://americantopteam.com/.

MMA WORLD EXPO, an event designed for the mixed martial arts community offering hands-on instruction from professional trainers and athletes, educational sessions with the who's who of the MMA world, and an exhibit hall filled with the industry's top suppliers and services. MMA WORLD EXPO takes place Saturday, October 24th, and Sunday, October 25th, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

GRACIEMAG, the most reliable source of information on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. GRACIEMAG represents Jiu-Jitsu philosophy and features news, profiles, history, photos, videos, and tips and secrets of the mother of all martial arts. Published since 1996 in Brazil, GRACIEMAG: The Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle, is in both English and Portuguese, and is also online at GRACIEMAG.com.

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

Wrestling 411, providing coverage of the sport of wrestling on TV, the Internet, and radio. Wrestling 411 is produced by Media Sports Productions, whose sole mission is the marketing and promotion of the sport of wrestling.

FightBeat.com, for news, results, interviews, and free exclusive videos from the worlds of boxing and mixed martial arts.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

No Holds Barred: Gary Abbott of USA Wrestling Previews 2009 World Wrestling Championships 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Gary Abbott, the Director of Communications of USA Wrestling.

In this discussion, we preview the grand prize this year in the sport of wrestling, the 2009 World Wrestling Championships.

This event takes place Monday, September 21, through Sunday, September 27, in Herning, Denmark.

There will be virtually unprecedented coverage of the World Wrestling Championships this year.

Universal Sports in the U.S. will provide television coverage with one-hour primetime shows with highlights of the top matches at 7 PM ET nightly from Thursday, October 1, through Sunday, October 4.

Also, beginning at 1:30 PM ET Monday, September 21, there will be free, live online streaming video of all the medal-match finals in each weight class, at UniversalSports.com.

USA Wrestling will also have a special section on the World Championships on TheMat.com.

Our interview previewed this event by discussing many of the top wrestlers from around the world in the three styles which will be contested, men's and women's freestyle wrestling, and Greco-Roman wrestling. We also discussed the U.S. entries this year, which include many wrestlers making their first appearance at a World Championship.

If you've got wrestling under your skin like we do, then use your mentality, wake up to reality, and listen to this edition of No Holds Barred.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here. You can also download No Holds Barred here. If one link does not work, please try another. The show is in MP3 format, so may take some time to download.

You can also order tickets for the 2009 ADCC World Championship, which will be held September 25-27 in Barcelona, Spain, through Ticketmaster.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", by Ian Carpenter.

Make sure to visit the official boxing forum for No Holds Barred, the MySpace Boxing Forum.

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

Gladiator Magazine, for in-depth coverage of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, submission grappling, and MMA, as well as lifestyle articles on surfing, cars, movies, and more. Gladiator Magazine is available at any major bookstore and online at BJJMart.com or Jiu Jitsu Pro Gear.

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 http://americantopteam.com/.

MMA WORLD EXPO, an event designed for the mixed martial arts community offering hands-on instruction from professional trainers and athletes, educational sessions with the who's who of the MMA world, and an exhibit hall filled with the industry's top suppliers and services. MMA WORLD EXPO takes place Saturday, October 24th, and Sunday, October 25th, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

GRACIEMAG, the most reliable source of information on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. GRACIEMAG represents Jiu-Jitsu philosophy and features news, profiles, history, photos, videos, and tips and secrets of the mother of all martial arts. Published since 1996 in Brazil, GRACIEMAG: The Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle, is in both English and Portuguese, and is also online at GRACIEMAG.com.

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

Wrestling 411, providing coverage of the sport of wrestling on TV, the Internet, and radio. Wrestling 411 is produced by Media Sports Productions, whose sole mission is the marketing and promotion of the sport of wrestling.

FightBeat.com, for news, results, interviews, and free exclusive videos from the worlds of boxing and mixed martial arts.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

No Holds Barred: Freddie Roach on Pacquiao-Cotto, Paul Johnson on Boxers Organizing Committee 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman begins by discussing why upcoming fights like Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto, and the Showtime super middleweight tournament certainly do feature worthy matchups, they still are far from enough for boxing to shed its designation as the "red light district of sports". With highly controversial decisions happening seemingly every week, such as in the August 22 Paulie Malignaggi-Juan Diaz fight in Texas and the John McDermott-Tyson Fury fight in England September 13, perhaps that designation should be modernized so that boxing would become known as the "spam of sports".

There is some movement, however, to attempt to reverse the decline of boxing, particularly in the U.S. While what role in all this the newly-formed Boxing Promoters Association will play remains to be seen, their second meeting, held September 14 in New York, did mark a step forward in at least one respect. A special presentation was made by Paul Johnson, head of the Boxers Organizing Committee, which has been seeking to form a union for boxers for several years. He stated that such a union and the establishment of collective bargaining in boxing would not only provide much-needed security, insurance, etc., for the fighters, but would also help build the credibility of the sport, and thus improve its marketability.

Right after that meeting, we spoke with Paul Johnson about what the goals of the Boxers Organizing Committee are, how his presentation was received by the boxing promoters he addressed, what the election of Rich Trumka as president of the AFL-CIO at their convention this week might mean for boxers, what the fans can do to assist this process, and more.

At the news conference last Thursday, September 10, at Yankee Stadium for the November14 Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight in Las Vegas, we joined several members of the media is speaking with Freddie Roach, who trains Pacquiao. We discussed what strategy Pacquiao is likely to use in this fight, why he believes that Cotto is such a dangerous opponent for Pacquiao, why this will be the toughest fight of Pacquiao's career, the issue of fighters drinking their own urine, the effect of fighting Cotto at a catch weight of 145 pounds, why they will begin their training for this fight in the Philippines, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here. You can also download No Holds Barred here. If one link does not work, please try another. The show is in MP3 format, so may take some time to download.

You can also order tickets for the 2009 ADCC World Championship, which will be held September 25-27 in Barcelona, Spain, through Ticketmaster.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", by Ian Carpenter.

Make sure to visit the official boxing forum for No Holds Barred, the MySpace Boxing Forum.

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

Gladiator Magazine, for in-depth coverage of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, submission grappling, and MMA, as well as lifestyle articles on surfing, cars, movies, and more. Gladiator Magazine is available at any major bookstore and online at BJJMart.com or Jiu Jitsu Pro Gear.

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 http://americantopteam.com/.

MMA WORLD EXPO, an event designed for the mixed martial arts community offering hands-on instruction from professional trainers and athletes, educational sessions with the who's who of the MMA world, and an exhibit hall filled with the industry's top suppliers and services. MMA WORLD EXPO takes place Saturday, October 24th, and Sunday, October 25th, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

GRACIEMAG, the most reliable source of information on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. GRACIEMAG represents Jiu-Jitsu philosophy and features news, profiles, history, photos, videos, and tips and secrets of the mother of all martial arts. Published since 1996 in Brazil, GRACIEMAG: The Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle, is in both English and Portuguese, and is also online at GRACIEMAG.com.

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

Wrestling 411, providing coverage of the sport of wrestling on TV, the Internet, and radio. Wrestling 411 is produced by Media Sports Productions, whose sole mission is the marketing and promotion of the sport of wrestling.

FightBeat.com, for news, results, interviews, and free exclusive videos from the worlds of boxing and mixed martial arts.

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