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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, June 05, 2010

No Holds Barred: Bjorn Rebney on the State of the Bellator Fighting Championships 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again speaks with Bjorn Rebney, the founder and CEO of the mixed martial arts company, the Bellator Fighting Championships.

For the next three Thursdays, Bellator will be running their season 2 tournament finals. On Thursday, June 10, Toby Imada faces Pat Curran in the lightweight (155 lbs.) finals in Hollywood, Florida. On Thursday, June 17, Ben Askren fights Dan Hornbuckle in the welterweight (170 lbs.) finals in Kansas City, Missouri. And on Thursday, June 24, there are two finals, as Joe Warren fights Patricio "Pitbull" Freire in the featherweight (145 lbs.) finals and Bryan Baker takes on Alexander Shlemenko in the middleweight (185 lbs.) finals, in Louisville, Kentucky.

All three cards will be televised live in the U.S. on Fox Sports Net and their affiliates, which will also air replays of these shows. In addition, highlight shows of these cards will air on NBC, Telemundo, and mun2. In Canada, The Score will telecast these shows on tape-delay. As always, check your local listings.

The winners of these four tournaments will face the Bellator champions in their respective weight classes in season 3, which starts Thursday, August 12.

We spoke with Bjorn Rebney Friday afternoon by phone about these tournament finals. Our lengthy discussion not only previewed these fights, but also focused on the business side of Bellator. We discussed the results thus far of their multi-network television deal, and the problems associated with running live shows for Fox Sports Net, where they have been preempted in many markets in various weeks over the course of season 2. We discussed the average number of viewers Bellator has been getting in season 2, the possibility of a new television deal in the future where there will be no preemptions, and how their national tour has been going for their live events.

We also discussed a number of other issues, including the possibility of Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez fighting Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez in what would be a co-promotion, and the future of Roger Huerta, who lost in the semifinals of the season 2 lightweight tournament.

We got a glimpse of season 3, which will feature these four championship fights as well as at least three new tournaments. There will be a heavyweight tournament, including two-time NCAA Div. I wrestling champion Cole Konrad. There will be a bantamweight (135 lbs.) tournament. And there will be the first women's tournament for Bellator, in the 115-pound weight class, scheduled to include such top fighters as Megumi Fujii, Rosi Sexton, Lisa Ward, and Jessica Pene.

Overall, Bjorn Rebney painted a positive and optimistic picture. "Projections that were in our business model are projections that we are currently exceeding," he said during this interview.

Make sure not only to listen to this informative interview, but also to send in your comments and reactions to 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.

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/.

Bragging Rights Corner, for news and always independent opinion about the sport and business of boxing. Check out their web site at http://www.braggingrightscorner.com.

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

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

No Holds Barred: Dr. Margaret Goodman on Next Steps in Anti-Doping Battle 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks about the latest developments in the battle against doping in the combat sports of boxing and mixed martial arts with Dr. Margaret Goodman, a neurologist, the former chair of the Medical Advisory Board of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and the medical correspondent for No Holds Barred.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission will be holding a meeting Wednesday, June 9, at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building in Las Vegas, which includes on its agenda "Review of Protocol for Steroid/Drug Testing and Disciplinary Matters." This meeting is open to the public.

We spoke with Dr. Goodman Thursday about this meeting and the lessons to be drawn from the anti-doping procedures used for the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Shane Mosley fight on May 1, where drug-testing was conducted by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as well as the Nevada commission. We discussed how even this testing by USADA was inadequate, since they stopped blood testing over two weeks before this fight.

Among the many other issues we addressed were the continued refusal of Manny Pacquiao and his camp to accept the international anti-doping procedures; why drug testing for a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight must strictly adhere to the procedures of the World Anti-Doping Agency and include random, unannounced testing up to the fight and right after the fight; the award being given by some boxing writers to Pacquiao as best fighter of the past decade despite his opposition to serious drug testing; why the widespread use of human growth hormone by athletes is both dangerous to their health and difficult to detect; why agencies independent of the various athletic commissions in North America must be used to conduct drug testing; the current role of former BALCO founder and convicted dope distributor Victor Conte, who is now working with anti-doping forces; the role of the media in the fight against doping; 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/.

Bragging Rights Corner, for news and always independent opinion about the sport and business of boxing. Check out their web site at http://www.braggingrightscorner.com.

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

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

No Holds Barred: Kid Peligro Previews 2010 World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, the Mundials 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with our colleague and correspondent Kid Peligro about the 2010 World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, also known as the Mundials.

This event, the most prestigious in the world in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, takes place Thursday, June 3, through Sunday, June 6, at California State University Long Beach, in Long Beach, California.

There will be a free, live webcast of the final two days of this event, including the much-anticipated black belt finals, on Saturday, June 5, and Sunday, June 6, on Budovideos Online.

With the registration for athletes now closed, we discuss some of the favorites to win in both the men's and women's weight divisions. Roger Gracie, who dominated in 2009 by submitting all eight opponents en route to winning both his weight and the absolute, will be competing again, but less than a month after fighting in a Strikeforce mixed martial arts event. His longtime rival, Xande Ribeiro, who did not compete last year but defeated Roger Gracie in the 2008 black belt absolute finals, is back this year, and the world awaits another rematch between these two.

We also discuss the problems faced by athletes who try to compete at the top level in jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts at the same time, the enduring culture and camaraderie in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community that keeps so many people involved in it despite the absence of the type of financial rewards available in other sports, 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/.

Bragging Rights Corner, for news and always independent opinion about the sport and business of boxing. Check out their web site at http://www.braggingrightscorner.com.

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

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