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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, March 29, 2013

No Holds Barred: Jens Pulver 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with veteran MMA fighter Jens Pulver.

With a professional fighting career that started in 1999 at the Bas Rutten Invitational with then-UFC matchmaker John Perretti looking on, Jens Pulver is still in the hunt for another championship. Now 38, the former (and first) UFC lightweight champion will be taking on former Shooto featherweight champion Masakatsu Ueda in the semifinals of the ONE FC bantamweight Grand Prix.

This fight takes place on the ONE FC: Kings and Champions card Friday, April 5, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. The show will be televised live in Asia on Star Sports, which is available in 28 countries to an estimated 500 million viewers. It will also be webcast live around the world as a pay-per-view on http://www.onefc.livesport.tv.

We spoke with Jens Pulver by phone last Thursday about this upcoming fight and the lessons of his historic career.

ONE FC, he said in this interview, is "exploding. They're getting bigger and bigger and bigger. They're blowing up. For Asian MMA, this is huge."

As for his fight he added,"To be in the semifinals against a former Shooto world champion in Ueda, this is going to be a tough fight. It's going to be a fun fight. It's going to be crazy."

We discussed the revival of his career after a series of losses. "I got lost," he said, dealing with the problems of anxiety and depression. The lessons learned from mental side of the fight business are so important to him that he has become involved with an organization called Nvr Fly Solo. They include in their Mission Statement the aim to "Encourage anyone and everyone to stand up and start talking about anxiety and depression."

We also discussed his two fights thus far in ONE FC. In August 2012, after winning the first round against the then-unbeaten Eric Kelly, and in Kelly's home of the Philippines, he tired in the second round and was stopped in the second round. He attributed that largely to jet lag, something for which he is learning to adjust as he continues to fight in Asia while living in the U.S.

His next fight, against Zhao Ya Fei of China in October 2012 in Singapore, saw Jens winning in the second round when he was struck by an unintentional but powerful shot to the groin. He was unable to continue, and was then awarded a technical decision victory. This was in the bantamweight Grand Prix quarterfinals, thus advancing him to the semifinals.

In addition, we discussed how only in recent years he is maturing as a person, how he likes to travel, how he considers Ueda a counter-puncher and how he might fight him, his background as a Division I wrestler and professional boxer, his plans for coaching and public speaking, his new gym in Nebraska which opens in May, 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.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

No Holds Barred: Jessica Aguilar Returns 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with American Top Team MMA fighter Jessica Aguilar.

Widely regarded as the number one fighter in the world in the women's 115-pound division, Jessica Aguilar will be returning to action this Thursday, March 28, after a ten-month layoff. She will be facing Patricia Vidonic on a Bellator MMA card at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida. Right now this fight will just be streamed live on the Bellator web site, and may be shown on tape-delay on Spike TV.

This fight will be a rematch between Jessica Aguilar and Patricia Vidonic. They first fought on the Fight Time Promotions 8 card on February 17, 2012, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with Jessica Aguilar winning by unanimous decision. After that fight, Jessica Aguilar next faced Japanese star Megumi Fujii on the Bellator 69 card on May 18, 2012, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, with Jessica Aguilar again winning by unanimous decision.

We spoke with Jessica Aguilar by phone Sunday about her upcoming fight and her career as a fighter.

Speaking of the state of women's MMA, she said, "This is the best it's ever been." She noted, "It's taken off so much since I started. I remember that there only used to be one female fight on a card. Now there's a whole card of females."

We discussed her long layoff, what to expect in this fight with Patricia Vidonic, her desire to compete this year in the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in late May (she is a purple belt), where she would like to fight, and her work in the anti-bullying organization Sweethearts and Heroes. She also requested that we mention her shoutouts to: Sweethearts and Heroes, Garden of Life, Jawzz, Everlast, Donkeeboy, Boca Tanning Club, Mma2TheMax, Pro Fight, Onnit, Big Boys Moving, Jugular Energy Drink, Perfecting Athletes, American Top Team, and Paradigm Sports Management.

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.

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, March 24, 2013

No Holds Barred: David Rowe on the Lamentable State of Sports Journalism 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with David Rowe, a professor of cultural research at the University of Western Sydney in Australia.

In February, he wrote an article, first for The Conversation and then republished by Play the Game, which has gained much attention around the world: "On scandal after scandal, sports journalists drop the ball".

In this article, he noted that while sport is rocked by numerous scandals, those who are supposed to be covering them, the sports journalists, "are looking more than a little dishevelled", and that most good investigative sports journalism "happens outside the mainstream institutional media". This should certainly be understood by those who are familiar with what tries to pass as "journalism" in the combat sports.

We spoke with David Rowe by Skype Wednesday (Tuesday New York time) about the many issues facing sports journalists and journalism.

He discussed in this interview what he called "a very basic question".

"What is a sports journalist? What is sports journalists for? What do they do? Now, I have a kind of old-fashioned idea of journalism as being about the Fourth Estate, that is, a watchdog on behalf of the citizenry, speaks truth to power, etc. That's what we expect of people who call themselves journalists. Now I guess if they want to call themselves something else, then that's OK, as long as they don't, I suppose, pretend to be journalists."

We discussed how sports journalists have dealt with such issues as the Lance Armstrong doping scandal and match-fixing. He said about their coverage, "Generally I'd have to say, that it's been pretty lamentable, but on the whole, with some distinguished exceptions", with many of these journalists acting like fans and getting too close to the sports organizations than they should.

We also discussed the many types of difficulties facing freelance sports journalists who do aspire to act as watchdogs on behalf of the public, how the main target of bad sports journalism has to be the big media companies which too often act as unofficial public relations agencies, the training of sports journalists, what fans can do to pressure the media, some positive signs with the emergence of a new generation of sports journalists, 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.

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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