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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, February 06, 2013

    No Holds Barred: Bellator and Spike Conference Call on New Fight Master Show 

    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman presents the complete and unedited audio from the Bellator MMA and Spike TV media conference call of February 5 to announce the new reality series "Fight Master: Bellator MMA," which will premier this summer. This conference call took place during a live Bellator-Spike press conference in Santa Monica, California.

    Participating in both the press conference and the conference call were the four coaches slated for "Fight Master": MMA legends Randy Couture and Frank Shamrock, well-respected trainer and coach Greg Jackson, and former Greco-Roman wrestling world champion and former Bellator featherweight champion Joe Warren. Also participating were Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, Spike TV president Kevin Kay, and Sharon Levy, the Executive Vice President, Original Series, Spike TV.

    Also announced was a multi-year partnership between Spike TV and Randy Couture. This includes his participation on "Fight Master," as well as another series called "MMA Rescue," where he tries to save failing gyms, and other projects still to be developed.

    On the surface, the format of "Fight Master: Bellator MMA" seems similar to that of other MMA reality shows. 32 fighters, all welterweights (170 pounds), will be divided into four camps, each led by one of these four coaches. The fighters will then compete in a tournament to win a $100,000 cash prize and to earn a slot in a regular season Bellator tournament. The show will also focus on the backgrounds, personalities, and training of these fighters.

    All this will unfold over 10 one-hour, pre-recorded episodes, all shot in Louisiana. The executive producers are Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri, whom the Spike TV press release call "the visionaries behind 'The Amazing Race.'"

    What will set this show apart from other reality shows, however, is that it is not positioned as a spectacle with all sorts of antics and absurd behavior, but rather as a springboard for developing real future stars in the sport of MMA.

    Speaking on the conference call and at the press conference, Spike TV's Sharon Levy said the show will aim at both diehard and new MMA fans.

    "Strategy, technique, when these guys size up these fighters and really pinpoint what's missing in their game, and what they can bring to improve their game," will be a focus of this show, she said.

    "It's not going to be a bunch of drunk guys running around and acting like idiots. That's not how we're looking at the show."

    Besides the speakers, there were numerous questions taken and answered, both from those in attendance at the press conference and those listening in on the conference call.

    We also open with some commentary on the significance of the positioning of this new show and what it means for MMA.

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    MMA World Expo. The mixed martial arts community comes to New York City February 16 and 17, 2013, for the fourth annual MMA World Expo, featuring an amateur MMA tournament, grappling, MMA fighters, seminars with world-class trainers, vendors, panel discussions, and much more. The MMA World Expo takes place Saturday, February 16, and Sunday, February 17, 2013, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

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