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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, May 24, 2013

No Holds Barred: Kid Peligro on the 2013 Mundials and the Rise of Buchecha 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with our colleague and correspondent Kid Peligro.

Our main topic was the 2013 IBJJF World Jiu Jitsu Championship, also known as the Mundials, which takes place May 29 through June 2 at The Pyramid at California State University in Long Beach, California. There will be a pay-per-view webcast of the Mundials on IBJJF TV.

Much of the discussion leading up to this year's Mundials focuses on the sensation who emerged with double gold last year, the heavyweight Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida of CheckMat. Now just 23 years old, among other victories, Buchecha repeated his double gold performance in March at the world's largest jiu-jitsu tournament, the 2013 Pans, winning both his weight class and the absolute division.

"He, kind of, came out of nowhere," said Kid Peligro in this interview. "It is part of his mystique, is he came out of nowhere last Worlds."

Kid noted Buchecha's defeat of two-time world absolute champion Rodolfo Viera in the elimination rounds of the 2012 Mundials.

 "He's a very different heavyweight because he's very fast and he's very aggressive. He moves a lot."

He also called Buchecha's victory over Leo Nogueira in the finals of the 2012 absolute division "one of the most exciting I've ever seen." After falling behind on points, Buchecha came back to win the match in the last minute.

We discussed which competitors may stand in the way of Buchecha repeating his remarkable accomplishments at this year's Mundials. We also discussed Buchecha's background, why it is unlikely he will be going to MMA any time soon, the future of grappling and the many organizations in the sport, the upcoming 2013 ADCC Submission Fighting World Championship, 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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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

No Holds Barred: Luke Cummo on League of Assassins, and Safety in MMA 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with the Long Island, New York-based martial artist and former MMA fighter Luke Cummo.

We spoke with Luke Cummo by Skype Tuesday.

It would not do justice to the unique and highly passionate style and commentary used in the remarks of the always colorful and outspoken Luke Cummo merely to quote them. They have to be heard, read, and seen to be understood properly. He has already been posting online critiques of the violence and the dangers inherent in the sport which earned him much recognition: MMA. One of these is a video called "Against the Cage".

He not only has vowed not to fight in MMA again, but is now starting a new, less violent martial arts event called, almost ironically, the League of Assassins. Their first show, open to all, will be held this Saturday afternoon, May 25, at Pride Fitness and MMA, which is located at 906 West Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, New York, USA 11787.

We spoke with Luke Cummo about his views on MMA, health and nutrition, the system where promoters profit from the fighters battling each other, fighter safety and injuries in MMA, the effect on children, the League of Assassins and its rules, and much, 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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Monday, May 20, 2013

No Holds Barred: A License To Cheat 

(Photo from Blackzilians)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses some of the recent examples of horrible governance and corruption in the combat sports, including UFC fighter Vitor Belfort being allowed to fight while undergoing testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

This essentially is granting Belfort and other fighters using TRT a license and agreement to cheat. Such cheating makes the outcomes of these fights as meaningless as baseball's home run records, and fans are encouraged to spend their money elsewhere. We also read a statement by Dr. Margaret Goodman of VADA, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, on this subject.

Also addressed is the rampant homophobia and transphobia in MMA, coming especially at a time when there has been a wave of anti-LGBT violence and at least one murder in New York, as well the return to action this Friday of transsexual female fighter Fallon Fox at CFA 11. Human rights for LGBT people, including transsexual people and athletes, are something which must be supported.

While grappling has been growing around the world, the new leadership of FILA, the international wrestling federation, has decided to abandon grappling altogether, along with amateur MMA. This absurd decision has opened the door to the possibility of a new grappling federation being formed, as well as an opportunity for catch wrestling to grow among these jilted grapplers. How such bad governance by this new leadership of FILA creates a lose-lose situation for all of wrestling is also discussed.

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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Videos of the three historic catch wrestling matches from the Feb. 2013 MMA World Expo 

Phil Doig vs. Mario Perricone - catch wrestling, Feb. 17, 2013, MMA World Expo 


Teddy Pericleous vs. Jack Cordero - catch wrestling, Feb. 17, 2013, MMA World Expo


Jorge Martinez vs. Mike Robinson, and John Potenza and Joel Bane on Return of Catch Wrestling at MMA World Expo, NYC

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

No Holds Barred: Nick Denis on Retiring from MMA, Brain Injuries, and the Future of Combat Sports 

Nick Denis

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman (D, WFP - Manhattan)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with the now-retired MMA fighter Nick Denis.

In November 2012, the 29-year-old Denis, from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and with a pro MMA record of 11-3, surprised many by announcing his retirement from the sport.

"I guess the main issue was my worry over potential brain injury," he said in this interview, which was recorded over Skype on Friday.

He explained that the main danger of brain injury in MMA comes from "blows to the head from training, not necessarily from fighting. Because when you're competing in the ring, it's only 15 minutes, and there's only so many times you can get hit. What it is, it's all the training, the months and months and weeks of training and hard sparring, and all these things that add up. It was really the training."

Already feeling some early effects of the blows he had taken, he said. "I basically just pictured myself, whether I was 60 or 70 or whatever, with some sort of form of dementia or neurological problems." His conclusion: "I don't want to not be able to recognize my friends and my family. It's not really that important to me. It's not worth risking my health and my mental health over, so I decided it was time to retire."

Since then, he has not even watched much MMA on television, saying, "I just kind of grew out of it." But that did not end his involvement with the sport.

Recently he was contacted by New York State Senator Brad Hoylman about the issue of brain injuries in MMA. Hoylman had read about his retirement, and was in the process of introducing legislation in New York to create a fund for MMA fighters to handle the long-term health effects of fighting.

Together, they wrote an opinion piece dated May 12, 2013, for the New York Daily News, entitled Protect cage fighters before it’s too late.

In that piece, they wrote, "Before we take additional steps to roll out the red carpet for this sport, we must ensure that MMA fighters have the resources to deal with the health effects as a result of their time in the ring. That's why we support legislation recently introduced in the state Senate mandating that the UFC and other promoters contribute to a state-coordinated fund -- similar to funds already created for horse jockeys and New York City cab drivers -- to cover long-term job-related injuries sustained by fighters. If cage fighting is ever going to be legal here, the least we should require is that the businesses that profit from the sport take financial responsibility for its health consequences."

Hoylman, a Democrat from Manhattan who interestingly enough has also voted to oppose the re-legalization of MMA in New York, has introduced S5055-2013. This bill "Establishes protocols for combative sports; authorizes mixed martial arts events in this state; establishes the New York Mixed Martial Arts Injury Compensation Fund, Inc.; establishes procedures for applications for licenses; establishes penalties for violations; imposes taxes on gross receipts of such events."

Our discussion with Nick Denis focused on these issues and the lessons from his fighting career for the future of the combat sports. We discussed how his devastating first-round knockout loss in 2009 in Sengoku to Marlon Sandro, his first-ever pro defeat after seven victories, started to change the direction of his career. While doing graduate study in biochemistry at the University of Ottawa, he discovered that not only concussions had long-term neurological effects on fighters, but repeated sub-concussive blows as well.

We also discussed whether it can any longer be said that MMA is safer than boxing, his own knockout slam victory over Nick Mamalis in 2011 in Wreck MMA, the need for people to be more educated on the issue of brain injuries and these sports, whether parents should allow their children to participate in them, the role of the traditional martial arts in teaching discipline, his own background in karate, and more.

"Anything that helps people start discussing the brain injury and the concussions and sub-concussive trauma and stuff like that aspect of MMA, or really any sport, I guess I really am appreciative for," he concluded. "As long as people are talking about it, then at least it's in people's consciousness and it's in people's psyche. And then whatever they chose to do with that information, it's up to them."

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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