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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, April 03, 2013

No Holds Barred: Chatri Sityodtong on Evolve University and ONE FC: Kings and Champions 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Evolve MMA founder Chatri Sityodtong.

It's a very busy time for Evolve MMA and Chatri. They not only have five fighters on the ONE FC: Kings and Champions card this Friday, April 5, in Singapore, but also have just started Evolve University, the world's largest online university for the martial arts and combat sports.

"The thing that makes Evolve University different from anything else out there is not only the scale of things that we've done, but every single one of our courses is taught by world champions," said Chatri in this interview, which was recorded over Skype Wednesday (Tuesday night New York time).

"From our research, we believe that we are the world's largest online university for martial arts taught by world champions exclusively," with courses in muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, MMA, submission grappling, and wrestling.

So far, the response has been phenomenal. In the first five days of its existence, the number of people who have signed up for Evolve University around the world is in the "thousands," he said.

While Evolve University aims at providing world-class instruction in these various disciplines, the emphasis is also on promoting the positive values of the martial arts.

"I want to be able to change millions of people's lives," he said. "Look at the senseless violence that we're in today. Every day you see every city, there are innocent victims being victimized for no reason. I really believe the world will be a safer place if everyone knew the basic principles of self-defense and learned martial arts and gained self-confidence and mental strength, and discipline, focus, and energy. And martial arts really does give you a warrior spirit. It gives you that desire to fight and conquer adversity that we all have in our lives."

The five Evolve MMA fighters who will be competing at Friday's ONE FC: Kings and Champions are Shinya Aoki, Eddie Ng, Leandro Issa, Alex Silva, and Jake Butler.

ONE FC: Kings and Champions will be held 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.

In the main event, submission specialist Shinya Aoki will challenge for the ONE FC lightweight belt against champion and fellow Japanese fighter Kotetsu Boku. Evolve MMA's Eddie Ng of Hong Kong will take on the colorful Arnaud Lepont of France. Evolve MMA fighter and BJJ specialist Leandro Issa will try to rebound from a loss in his last fight when he faces Dagestan fighter Yusup Saadulaev. Another BJJ world champion and Evolve MMA fighter Alex Silva will fight Wushu world champion Rene Catalan. And American wrestler and now Evolve MMA fighter Jake Butler will fight the more experienced Swain Cangco of Saipan.

Also on the ONE FC: Kings and Champions card, in what is likely a classic striker vs. grappler matchup, the explosive Melvin Manhoef fights Brock Larson. The ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix continues with the semifinal round, as Jens Pulver fights Masakatsu Ueda and Kevin Belingon fights Thanh Vu. Also, Pakistani MMA pioneer Bashir Ahmad takes on Shannon Wiratchai of Thailand, and Chen Yun Ting of Malaysia fights muay Thai star Ronald Low of Singapore.

We also discussed this card with Chatri, as well as why martial arts are part of a lifelong process and journey, the growth of MMA in Asia, why Asia will become the epicenter of MMA, the current global duopoly in MMA, 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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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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Monday, April 01, 2013

No Holds Barred: Jake Butler, From Princeton and New York to ONE FC and Evolve MMA in Singapore 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with ONE FC and Evolve Fight Team MMA fighter Jake Butler.

Now based in Singapore, American fighter Jake Butler made his MMA debut on February 2, 2013, at ONE FC: Return of Warriors, at the Stadium Putra in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, getting a first-round TKO victory over Indonesian wrestler Antoni Romulo.

He next fights this Friday, April 5, on the ONE FC: Kings and Champions card when he takes on the more experienced Swain Cangco of Saipan in a light heavyweight bout.

ONE FC: Kings and Champions will be held 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 Jake Butler by Skype on Wednesday (Tuesday New York time) about this fight and his unusual decision to leave a job in finance and become a fighter. You see, Jake Butler has a degree in economics from the prestigious Ivy League college Princeton and had been working in New York before making some life-changing decisions. But he also was prepared to make such a change, having wrestled at 197 pounds for Princeton, a Division I NCAA school, where he was a captain and considered the best wrestler on the team.

"I wasn't really happy in my career in New York and working in the finance industry there," he said in this interview. "I'd always had an interest in competing in MMA all through college. When I graduated, I guess there is a certain amount of pressure to sort of use that Princeton degree to go right to work and focus on a career."

But perhaps understating his dilemma by describing his plight as being stuck working in an office doing what was "not the most rewarding job", he then decided it was time to move on.

"I soon realized that it probably wasn't the best choice for me, and I still wanted to compete."

But where to go?

He continued, "It's a lot more difficult in the U.S. to get started in MMA and also work. I just didn't have the right opportunity there."

He also was well aware that he would need much more than college wrestling to succeed in MMA.

"When I came across Evolve MMA, I had heard that they were looking for people with wrestling experience, with a strong wrestling background, and what they offered was world-class striking, probably some of the best striking coaches in the world. So it just seemed like a perfect fit for me and a perfect opportunity to pursue my interest in MMA."

Although his is still a preliminary fight, Jake Butler is now where he wants to be and doing what he wants to do.

We also discussed what to expect in his fight with Swain Cangco, his transition from wrestling to MMA, his training in striking and submissions, how takedowns must be set up differently in MMA than in wrestling, his experience at Evolve MMA, 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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Sunday, March 31, 2013

No Holds Barred: Mark Setrakian on Robot Combat League 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with robotics expert Mark Setrakian, who designed and created the robots on the Robot Combat League.

Five of the nine episodes of the Robot Combat League have already aired on Syfy in the U.S. and on Space in Canada. The shows are now featuring the quarterfinal round of the 12-robot tournament.

On the fifth episode, Team Scorpio, with Diana Yang and Chris Hardouin at the controls, sliced in half yet another robot to gain a knockout victory over Team A.X.E., with MMA fighter Andrew Montanez and Ross Mead at the helm.

We spoke by phone Friday with Mark Setrakian about the past, present, and future of robot fighting.

"This show, this season, is my attempt to kick off a whole new genre of fighting: motorized fighting," he said in this interview. Unlike other combat sports, this is "a motor sport of fighting," he said, with "weapons that you cannot use in human fighting."

He stressed, "What we're entering into is a level of combat that you cannot do with human beings but you can do it with robots, because at the end of the day, nobody's hurt. The robots are wrecked, but the human fighters, apart from their egos, are fine."

We discussed what happened on episode five with Scorpio's victory, why he "wouldn't change a thing" about how the robots were designed, the future of Robot Combat League, why robot fighting is the future of combat sports, why he believes that there will be more seasons of this show, the need to keep human athletes controlling the robots, the buildup to the semifinals and finals of this tournament, 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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