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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, November 27, 2009

No Holds Barred: So Many Fights 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman previews some of the fights taking place around the world this weekend, and addresses continuing controversies in boxing and mixed martial arts.

We comment on the recent report by the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 about the bankruptcy of Station Casinos, in which they charge that "the company could have averted bankruptcy if not for the substantial debt it took on largely to enrich a small group of company insiders," in particular the Fertitta family, who also own UFC.

After discussing a recent interview with Fedor Emelianenko on Russian television, where he advocates that "sport should make the world a better place to live in", we preview the Art of War 15 mixed martial arts card, which takes place Saturday, November 29, in Beijing, China. We mention the boxing cards which will be on American television this Saturday night, including the rematch between IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute and Librado Andrade. We also preview what is likely to be the biggest boxing event of the weekend, when WBC flyweight champion Daisuke Naito takes on the controversial Koki Kameda in Saitama, Japan. We comment on another story from Japan, where the two biggest mixed martial arts organizations, Dream and Sengoku, will be working together on a joint show for New Year's Eve. And we close with a topic that is necessary to address although almost no one cares about the organization involved, my dispute with the archaic Boxing Writers Association of America.

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.

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:

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

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/.

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.

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

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Report Shows Station Casinos Insiders, Not the Recession, Drove the Company into Bankruptcy 

Press Release from Culinary Workers Union Local 226:

Report Shows Station Casinos Insiders, Not the Recession, Drove the Company into Bankruptcy: Labor Union Calls on Company Creditors to Demand Significant Equity Investment from Insiders

Las Vegas—In light of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Station Casinos, Inc., the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 is calling on creditors to demand a significant equity investment by insiders, who have amassed over $1 billion from the company. According to an analysis released by the union, the company could have averted bankruptcy if not for the substantial debt it took on largely to enrich a small group of company insiders. The report examines how this debt enabled insiders to extract over a $1 billion from the company in recent years and that these insiders, not the global recession, drove the company into bankruptcy.

Station Casinos is a major employer in the Las Vegas Valley, many of whose over 13,000 employees are family members or friends of Culinary Union workers. The union’s members, as well as the larger community, are rightly concerned about the continuing uncertainty over the future of the company and its impact on Las Vegas.

“Station Casinos is a uniquely Las Vegas company that owes it success to Las Vegas locals like our members,” said D. Taylor, Culinary Workers Union Local 226 Secretary-Treasurer. “The company has a special obligation to our community. Its owner-managers have a responsibility not just to their Wall Street lenders and investors, but to their employees, customers, suppliers, and vendors right here in this community. The livelihoods of a lot of people and their families are closely tied to this company’s financial well-being. Clearly, the owner-managers and other insiders were more interested in extracting wealth from the company for themselves than ensuring its and its employees’ future. Now it’s time for them to give back.”

The report shows:

· Company insiders, led by members of the Fertitta family, nearly tripled the company’s long-term debt load between 2005 and the end of 2007 from $1.9 billion to $5.2 billion.

· Of the new debt incurred during this period, more than two-thirds was used to buy back shares and to complete a management-led buyout, both of which significantly benefited a small group of insiders.

· In 2006 and 2007, the company borrowed $990 million to buy back 14 million in outstanding shares. This was the true cost of the company’s stock compensation program over the previous years, which had been described by an independent proxy advisory firm as “the most expensive and liberal we have reviewed” and an “excessive transfer of wealth” to insiders.

· In 2007, the company took on $1.6 billion of new debt to complete a management-lead buyout. More than $660 million – or 40% – of the proceeds went to company insiders. The Fertitta family received $495 million alone as a result of the buyout.

· If the company had forgone these two non-productive transactions – the share buybacks and the buyout – it would have $2.6 billion less debt, significantly less interest expense, and could have averted bankruptcy.

· Since 2001, company insiders received more than $1 billion in executive compensation and from the buyout even as they led the company down the path toward bankruptcy. In contrast, other stakeholders in the company have had to suffer the consequences of their financial mismanagement. Not only is the company in Chapter 11 reorganization under the bankruptcy code, the company stopped matching employees’ 401(k) contributions, more than doubled PPO health care premiums for rank-and-file workers, slashed shifts and cut hours for workers, and terminated hundreds of long-time employees by replacing coffee shops with subcontracted restaurants.

The Culinary Workers Union, Local 226, an affiliate of UNITE HERE, is the largest local labor union in the gaming industry. The Culinary represents approximately 55,000 casino and resort workers on the Las Vegas Strip, in downtown Las Vegas, and in downtown Reno.

For a copy of the report please contact Ken Liu at 702-387-7001 or kliu@culinaryunion226.org.

http://www.culinaryunion226.org/

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

No Holds Barred: Roxanne Modafferi 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with one of the most interesting mixed martial arts fighters in the world, Roxanne Modafferi.

Born in Delaware and a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with a major in Japanese language and literature and a minor in linguistics, Roxanne Modafferi now lives in Japan where she teaches English. She is also an active professional mixed martial arts fighter, competing in many events both in Japan and the U.S. Fighting primarily at 135 pounds, she has an impressive record of 13-5. She recently signed to fight with Strikeforce in the U.S., and made her debut November 7. Affable and articulate, she is sometimes called "the happy warrior".

In a lengthy phone interview, we spoke with Roxanne Modafferi about a wide variety of topics. We discussed her educational background and work in Japan as a translator and teacher. We reviewed her two fights with Marloes Coenen, against whom she is 1-1, including her loss on November 7 by submission, where she went up in weight. We discussed why she became a martial artist and fighter, why she is living and working in Japan, her love of Japan, her entire fighting career, her difficulty in getting fights, her writings on many subjects, what life is like both for her and in general in Japan, how women are treated in Japan, the role of women fighters in mixed martial arts, why she boiled a turkey for the Japanese Labor Thanksgiving Day on November 23, 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.

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:

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

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/.

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.

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

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

No Holds Barred: Why Roller Derby Means Happiness, with Dainty Inferno 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman begins with a discussion of just why the sport of roller derby means happiness. The sport itself, its humor and culture, and the atmosphere around it, provide a unique sense of joy to those who watch and participate in it.

We then demonstrate this further by reviewing the 2009 league championship game of the Gotham Girls Roller Derby.

Held Saturday night, November 21, before a standing room-only crowd at the Hunter College Sportsplex in New York, the Bronx Gridlock captured the league title with a 116-105 come-from-behind win in a wild game with numerous lead changes. Bronx was trailing 81-39 at the end of the first half, but had a spectacular second half to win the title and close the 2009 season.

Right after the game, we spoke with skater Dainty Inferno of the Bronx Gridlock. We discussed how Bronx adjusted after falling so far behind in the first half, what we might expect in the 2010 season which starts in the spring, the growth of roller derby as a sport, the loss at the 2009 national championship tournament the previous week of the Gotham Girls to the upstart Oly Rollers, and much more.

If you want to learn more about roller derby, the fastest-growing sport in America, No Holds Barred is the place to be.

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.

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:

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

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/.

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.

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

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