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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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Thursday, May 09, 2013

No Holds Barred: Bjorn Rebney on Bellator MMA Summer Series 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Bellator MMA Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney.

Bellator's eighth season, which concluded in April, and which was its first on Spike TV, was its most successful and had the most viewers in the organization's history. While another full regular season will commence in the fall, Bellator will be starting a Summer Series of monthly shows on Wednesday, June 19.

Taking place at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma, and again televised live in the U.S. on Spike TV, the main event will have the unbeaten Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler defending his belt against Bellator season seven lightweight tournament winner Dave Jansen.

The June 19 event will also see the introduction of four-fighter, two-round tournaments in Bellator. Previously, all tournaments had eight competitors and three rounds.

In the first round of this tournament, which is in the light heavyweight division, "King" Mo Lawal will face Seth Petruzelli and Renato "Babalu" Sobral will fight Jacob Noe.

The four-man tournament format "just gives us the opportunity to keep guys rolling through the tournaments and get those champions title defense after title defense," said Bjorn Rebney in this interview, which was recorded by phone Thursday. "It's going to keep the ball moving. Occasionally you're going to see four-mans thrown in. You're going to see a four-man, and then you might see another four-man in the fall."

In addition, Bellator's "Fight Master" pre-recorded series also debuts on Wednesday, June 19, on Spike TV, featuring 32 welterweight fighters competing for a spot in a Bellator MMA tournament, with MMA legends Randy Couture, Greg Jackson, Frank Shamrock, and Joe Warren as coaches.

We also discussed with Bjorn Rebney how he is still running Bellator on a day-to-day basis with endless "20-hour days" even as Viacom is now majority owner of Bellator, why he will always maintain a tournament format for determining title challengers rather than using subjective matchmaking, the plans to have more women's fights in Bellator, plans to have every champion defend their belts at least three times a year, the overall status of relations with Bellator fighters, the Eddie Alvarez legal situation, 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, May 06, 2013

No Holds Barred: Nathan Hatton on His Book 'Rugged Game' and the History of Catch Wrestling 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Nathan Hatton.

He is the author of the new book about catch wrestling history entitled Rugged Game: Community, Culture and Wrestling at the Lakehead to 1933.

Dr. Hatton, who describes himself as a recreational wrestler, will be teaching history at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, starting this fall.

This book details the rich history of both amateur and professional wrestling from the late 1800s to 1933 in the Lakehead, Ontario, region, whose main city is now today known as Thunder Bay.

Although it is published by the Lakehead University Centre for Northern Studies, and has numerous, helpful footnotes and ample documentation, this book was written for the general public and is highly readable. Dr. Hatton said his aim was to "bridge the gap" between popular writing and academic research, and he certainly has succeeded with this book.

Unlike today, in those days much of professional wrestling was a real sport, although to what degree is still debated. There also was considerable cooperation and connection between many of the people involved in amateur and professional wrestling.

"There was a real heyday for wrestling on this continent between the early 1880s and into the early to mid-1920s, where you had the development of catch-as-catch-wrestling," said Dr. Hatton in this interview, which was recorded over Skype on Sunday. "Catch-as-catch-can is really the precursor to modern freestyle/folkstyle wrestling." In catch wrestling, you can win by pin or submission.

With stars like world heavyweight champion Frank Gotch and many internationally-known as well as local wrestlers, professional wrestling was a major sport.

"There was a period, when much like boxing, the best wrestlers unquestionably on the planet were professional wrestlers," he explained.

There were also numerous grassroots wrestling clubs and organizations, including many based in the working class and working class organizations, such as the Finnish Labour Temple and even the Communist Party of Canada and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

The book details the relation of the growth of wrestling in this region to the growth of the economy, industry, and trade, as well as the accompanying national and ethnic tensions and disputes.

We discussed the growth and decline of catch wrestling in this region, how much of it we can be certain was real and how much was staged, the lessons this period teaches for reviving catch wrestling today, and much, much more.

Rugged Game: Community, Culture and Wrestling at the Lakehead to 1933 by Nathan Hatton is a must-read book for wrestling historians and aficionados, combat sports fans, labor historians and activists, and anybody who appreciates good sports history. Buy it, read it, learn, enjoy, and pass on its lessons.

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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Sunday, May 05, 2013

No Holds Barred: Why They Do Not Have To Fix Boxing Matches Anymore 

(Photo by Tom Casino/Showtime)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the major fights in boxing held Saturday, May 4, and why, despite some brilliant performances, they were all showcase fights, and the fighters who were supposed to win all won, one way or another.

In those fights, welterweight and pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. won a unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, while heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko scored a sixth-round knockout over Francesco Pianeta in Mannheim, Germany. Also in Las Vegas, Abner Mares won by a somewhat controversial ninth-round TKO over Daniel Ponce De Leon, Leo Santa Cruz stopped veteran Alexander Munoz with a TKO in the fifth round, and J'Leon Love survived a knockdown to win a controversial split decision over Gabriel Rosado.

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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