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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, February 16, 2013

No Holds Barred: Chris Jericho and Mark Setrakian on Robot Combat League Conference Call 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman presents the unedited and complete audio from the February 14 media conference call for the Robot Combat League.

The Robot Combat League features 12 state-of-the-art robots engaged in a tournament where they fight each other. The robots are controlled by a human fighter known as a robo-jockey and an engineer known as a robo-tech. The first season of the Robot Combat League, which premieres Tuesday, February 26, on Syfy in the U.S., has already been filmed. There will be nine weekly episodes of the Robot Combat League for this debut season. Two of the 12 robo-jockeys, Andrew Montanez and Amanda Lucas, are professional MMA fighters.

The main speakers on this conference call were WWE performer Chris Jericho, who hosts the show, and robotics expert Mark Setrakian, who designed and created these robots.

The question, of course, which comes to mind for those in the combat sports, is whether or not some day, like in the fictional movie "Real Steel", robot fighting can become sophisticated and popular enough to replace human combat sports.

Asked about this on this conference call, Mark Setrakian replied, "As a culture, we don't lose sports. We add sports to our repertoire. So I think robot combat is a new sport that's going to be added to what humans do. I don't think boxing or wrestling or any of those things are going to go away."

The discussion on the conference call also focused on many details of this new show, and provided a lot of answers as to what to expect when it debuts February 26.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

ONE Fighting Championship. ONE FC is Asia's largest and most prestigious mixed martial arts event. ONE FC features the best Asian fighters and has initiated the ONE Asia Partnership Network, which includes most of the major MMA promotions and MMA gyms in Asia. For more information, go to their web site, at ONEFC.com.

"The Martist" with John Perretti. A "martist" is an artist as well as a martial artist. This is a blog for those who think about fighting, published by John Perretti, the lifelong martial artist and former UFC and Battlecade Extreme Fighting matchmaker. Check out John's writings at http://johnperretti.com.

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.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

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/.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

No Holds Barred: Mukai Maromo, The Afrikan Assassin 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Maximum Fighting Championship fighter Mukai "The Afrikan Assassin" Maromo.

Originally from Harare, Zimbabwe, and now based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Mukai Maromo will be fighting for the vacant MFC lightweight title this Friday, February 15. His opponent will be Graham Spencer, who defeated him by decision in 2010. Since then, Mukai Maromo, now 8-2, has won five straight fights, while Graham Spencer, 9-1, has also been undefeated.

This fight will be the co-main event of the MFC 36 card which will be held this Friday at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, and televised live on AXS TV.

We spoke with Mukai Maromo by phone Monday.

Mukai Maromo is known more as a striker, having won four of his eight victories by KO or TKO, while Graham Spencer is known more as a grappler, having won four of his nine victories by submission and none by KO or TKO. Although Graham Spencer has never been knocked out, Mukai Maromo is very confident that this will change in their rematch.

"I think it has the makings of a very exciting fight," he said in this interview. He believes that his opponent has never been knocked out because he is mainly a grappler who "has managed to drive his opponents down to the ground and beat them on the top. In that situation it's very hard to get knocked out when you're the one in the top position on the ground."

But he said that it is also because his opponent has not faced a top-level striker. "It's not like he's fought somebody who's landed a couple of hard shots off his chin and taken it and kept on trucking." And he stressed that he is a far improved fighter since their first fight in 2010.

In this rematch, he predicted, "I'm going to put a couple of hands on his chin. If he can take that, I'll put the knee on his chin. If he can take that, I'll put my shin on his chin. With one of those three things landing on it, it's guaranteed to be a knockout." And he added, "He's never been knocked out YET, but I'm definitely coming to do that right now."

We discussed his progress as a fighter since that loss to Graham Spencer. He only started fighting professionally in 2010, at age 27, and took some time to find his bearings. But he said he is now dedicated to becoming "the best" and has also been training at the respected Tristar Gym in Montreal. This is his "new home" and he said he has improved all aspects of his fighting technique since training there.

We also discussed how he became a mixed martial arts fighter, how he would like to help spread and develop MMA in his home country of Zimbabwe and in more of Africa than has it now, the great potential for MMA in Africa, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

ONE Fighting Championship. ONE FC is Asia's largest and most prestigious mixed martial arts event. ONE FC features the best Asian fighters and has initiated the ONE Asia Partnership Network, which includes most of the major MMA promotions and MMA gyms in Asia. For more information, go to their web site, at ONEFC.com.

"The Martist" with John Perretti. A "martist" is an artist as well as a martial artist. This is a blog for those who think about fighting, published by John Perretti, the lifelong martial artist and former UFC and Battlecade Extreme Fighting matchmaker. Check out John's writings at http://johnperretti.com.

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.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

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/.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

No Holds Barred: International Olympic Committee Drops Wrestling for 2020 Summer Olympic Games 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the decision by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to drop wrestling from the program of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

Many people in the wrestling community have long criticized the poor and sometimes nonexistent promotion and marketing of wrestling, as well as the poor communications skills of many of those in charge of it. Now, it appears, the chickens have come home to roost, as other Olympic sports and those vying to get on the Olympic program have passed it by.

While the IOC could still reinstate wrestling for 2020 at its Executive Board meeting in St Petersburg, Russia, in May, or at its full IOC Session September 7-10 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that is highly unlikely unless wrestling makes some dramatic changes in the few months before those meetings.

We also play the audio of the February 12 press briefing with the IOC Communications Director, Mark Adams, which officially announced that wrestling was being dropped by the IOC.

Here is the February 12 news release by the IOC announcing that wrestling was being dropped:

IOC Executive Board recommends 25 core sports for 2020 Games

The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today agreed on the 25 sports it will propose to the 125th IOC Session for approval as the core sports for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

The 25 sports are: athletics, rowing, badminton, basketball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, fencing, football, gymnastics, weightlifting, handball, hockey, judo, swimming, modern pentathlon, taekwondo, tennis, table tennis, shooting, archery, triathlon, sailing and volleyball.

The EB recommended that wrestling, governed by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA), not be included on the list of core sports. Wrestling will now join the seven shortlisted sports – baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu – vying for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic programme as an additional sport.

The eight sports are scheduled to make presentations to the Executive Board at its meeting in St Petersburg, Russia, in May. The EB will select which of the eight sports to recommend to the 125th IOC Session for inclusion as an additional sport on the 2020 programme.

In an effort to ensure the Olympic Games remain relevant to sports fans of all generations, the Olympic Programme Commission systematically reviews every sport following each edition of the Games.

Golf and rugby sevens were added in 2009 as additional sports to the 2016 Olympic programme.

The 125th IOC Session will take place from 7 to 10 September in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

ONE Fighting Championship. ONE FC is Asia's largest and most prestigious mixed martial arts event. ONE FC features the best Asian fighters and has initiated the ONE Asia Partnership Network, which includes most of the major MMA promotions and MMA gyms in Asia. For more information, go to their web site, at ONEFC.com.

"The Martist" with John Perretti. A "martist" is an artist as well as a martial artist. This is a blog for those who think about fighting, published by John Perretti, the lifelong martial artist and former UFC and Battlecade Extreme Fighting matchmaker. Check out John's writings at http://johnperretti.com.

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.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

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/.

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

No Holds Barred: Andrew Montanez of Robot Combat League and MMA Surge 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Andrew Montanez, the host of the online video show MMA Surge.

Andrew Montanez has a strong background in the combat sports. He wrestled at Mineola High School in Long Island, New York, and then at Nassau Community College, as well as wrestling freestyle at the Empire State Games. He is currently a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Although he is not currently an active fighter, he has fought numerous times in professional MMA, including Strikeforce where he was 1-1.

His latest foray into combat sports, however, was something quite different: Andrew served as a robo-jockey for an eight-foot tall robot named A.X.E. in the first season of the new Syfy network TV series called Robot Combat League.

The Robot Combat League features 12 state-of-the-art robots engaged in a tournament where they fight each other. The robots are controlled by a human fighter known as a robo-jockey and an engineer known as a robo-tech. The first season of the Robot Combat League, which premieres Tuesday, February 26, on Syfy in the U.S., has already been filmed.

We spoke with Andrew Montanez about the Robot Combat League and its relation to combat sports by phone Saturday.

"That's the main reason why I did the show. I saw the same vision. The sport's getting violent. We kind of need something else," he said in this interview. "I know a lot of girls that can't watch MMA because they can't watch people getting hit. But I brought a couple of them to the robot fights and they were like, 'This is awesome.' Because no one's actually getting hurt."

He continued, "The main reason I did this show was because I saw the potential and I wanted to be part of it," and to "try to see if we could start a new combat sport."

He did caution that there will be many factors determining the success or failure of the Robot Combat League, including the editing of the show, how the audience reacts to it, and how the fights actually look on television. "It's going to be a little bit of a process."

Still, he, along with many other people, are optimistic that the Robot Combat League can establish itself as a successful venture, be it as a replacement for combat sports involving humans or as a show existing alongside them.

We discussed what his tasks were as a robo-jockey, how he had an advantage over other robo-jockeys because he could utilize his combat sports skills to control his robot, why he believes that many fans of combat sports will enjoy the Robot Combat League, and more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

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

ONE Fighting Championship. ONE FC is Asia's largest and most prestigious mixed martial arts event. ONE FC features the best Asian fighters and has initiated the ONE Asia Partnership Network, which includes most of the major MMA promotions and MMA gyms in Asia. For more information, go to their web site, at ONEFC.com.

"The Martist" with John Perretti. A "martist" is an artist as well as a martial artist. This is a blog for those who think about fighting, published by John Perretti, the lifelong martial artist and former UFC and Battlecade Extreme Fighting matchmaker. Check out John's writings at http://johnperretti.com.

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.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

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/.

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