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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, August 10, 2013

No Holds Barred: Teague Moore on Association of Career Wrestlers - Tour ACW 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Teague Moore, head wrestling coach at American University and a founder of the Association of Career Wrestlers - Tour ACW.

The Association of Career Wrestlers - Tour ACW is a new, independent organization which aims at creating a series of wrestling events featuring "past collegiate wrestlers not focusing on training for the senior level to be able to continue to compete in the sport of wrestling," according to their web site. Eventually they hope to establish a new, real professional wrestling circuit, using a combination of American folkstyle and freestyle rules.

A major difference of Tour ACW rules, however, is that there will be no time limits, with the winner being determined when one wrestler scores ten points, or, of course, scores a pin. This is to ensure that there is continuous action and as little stalling as possible.

Their first event will be a test event, and will be held Sunday, October 20, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency - Pittsburgh International Airport in the Grand Ballroom. The event will award a total of $12,500 in prize money.

We spoke with Teague Moore by phone Thursday about this innovative concept and the plans for ACW.

"This first test event in Pittsburgh is really to just get our feet wet and see if we're on the right path," he said. "As we get into 2014, our hope is to have an event in April, another in July, and another in October of next year."

This one aims to "work out the kinks," and will mainly attract "dedicated wrestling fans," but this will also hopefully just be the start. ACW wants to build "something that mainstream media can start to look at."

He continued, "Ultimately long-term, we want to start to reach out to the casual sports fan, maybe the MMA fan that hasn't seen the sport of wrestling or followed the sport of wrestling. We're thinking we might be able to create a better product for them to follow."

We also discussed some of the problems that led to the early demise of the Real Pro Wrestling organization, in which he wrestled, almost a decade ago. He elaborated on the ACW scoring system, the possibility of webcasts of their events and eventually having them televised, 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/.

The First Annual Liberty Bell Classic East Coast King of Catch Tournament, organized by the North American Catch Wrestling Association in conjunction with Scientific Wrestling. This catch wrestling tournament will take place Saturday, August 31, 2013, at the Klein JCC, 10100 Jamison Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19116. No points! No politics! Only submissions and pins win! For more information, go to http://nacwa.weebly.com.

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Friday, August 09, 2013

No Holds Barred: Luke Dowdney of Fight for Peace and Luta Sportswear 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Luke Dowdney, the founder of Fight for Peace and Luta Sportswear .

Originally from the UK where he was an amateur boxer, Luke Dowdney now lives in a favela in the Rio de Janeiro area in Brazil. In 2000, he founded Fight for Peace, a non-profit organization which supports young people in communities affected by gun crime, violence, and drugs. The organization set up academies in Rio, and later London, to provide youth with training in boxing and many styles of martial arts, as well as education.

Fight for Peace is now an independent NGO, and receives funding from many sources, including Luta Sportswear, also founded by him, which gives half of their profits to Fight for Peace.

The programs supported by Luta Sportswear are expanding to New York, and he was in town this week to start this process and promote the Luta brand. We spoke with him by phone Thursday afternoon.

Why boxing?

"Boxing is something that is so important to teach us about discipline, to teach us about what you put in is what you get out, that whole notion of never quitting," he said.

We also discussed the expansion of the program to include many disciplines in the martial arts including MMA, their working together with local organizations and gyms, their working with boxers including 2012 Olympic super heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, the recent mass protests in Brazil against the massive government spending for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympics while the needs of the people are not being met, 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/.

The First Annual Liberty Bell Classic East Coast King of Catch Tournament, organized by the North American Catch Wrestling Association in conjunction with Scientific Wrestling. This catch wrestling tournament will take place Saturday, August 31, 2013, at the Klein JCC, 10100 Jamison Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19116. No points! No politics! Only submissions and pins win! For more information, go to http://nacwa.weebly.com.

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Thursday, August 08, 2013

Brazilian Women's Group Opposes Massachusetts Commission Licensing Sonnen 


Below is a letter sent by the Brazilian Women's Group, a non-profit organization based in Brighton, Massachusetts, opposing the licensing of UFC fighter Chael Sonnen by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission. It is reposted in its entirety, minus only the footnotes.

July 26, 2013

Ms. LaTeisha Adams
Chairperson, Massachusetts State Athletic Commission
One Ashburton Place, Room 1301
Boston, Massachusetts 02108

Re: Recommendation to Deny a Fighter’s License to Chael Patrick Sonnen

Dear Ms. Adams:

We are writing to recommend that members of the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission deny the application for a professional fighter’s license to Chael Patrick Sonnen, who is scheduled to compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event on August 17th at the TD Garden in Boston.

The Brazilian Women's' Group (BWG) was started in 1995 by a group of Brazilian immigrant women of various backgrounds and occupations. The women hoped to "make a difference" in the wider Brazilian community, encouraging its members, particularly women, to stand up for their rights in the United States. The Brazilian Women’s Group’s Mission is to promote the empowerment of Brazilian women and the Brazilian community in the Boston area.

Since 2010 and continuing into the current year, Sonnen has repeatedly violated the standards for professional behavior for unarmed combatants in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as set forth under Sections 20.03 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR).[Note:i] These rules empower the Commission to revoke the license of any combatant who has behaved in a manner that is “deemed by the Commission to reflect discredit to unarmed combat,” or to suspend the license of a combatant arrested or convicted on a charge involving moral turpitude. [Note:ii]

Sonnen, who goes by the nickname “American Gangster,”[Note:iii] has demonstrated that he is unable to meet these minimum standards of professional behavior. Sonnen has made public statements that are insulting to Brazilians, African Americans, women and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, in violation of Section 20.03 of Title 523 of CMR:

The Commission would bring discredit to the activity of unarmed combat, and to thousands of people who train and compete in this activity, if it approved Sonnen’s application for a professional fighter’s license and allowed him to compete on national television at the August 17th event in Boston. The UFC event will coincide with the launch of the new “FOX Sports 1” network[Note:iv], which means that potentially millions of young viewers will be exposed to Sonnen and his insulting and incendiary language.

Sonnen has brought discredit to professional unarmed combat by making a series of remarks in public that are insulting to minority groups or, in other cases, that encourage violence or gross insults. The following are some examples of some irresponsible and offensive public statements by Sonnen:

o In 2010, through his public Twitter account, Sonnen reportedly told his Brazilian opponent’s manager to, “Pray to whatever demon effigy you prance and dance in front of with your piglet tribe of savages that I decide not to CRUCIFY you.”[Note:v] Also through his Twitter account, Sonnen reportedly wrote of his opponent, “You are going to be on your back more than a pornstar with a mortgage.” Sonnen denied that he made the statements and said that the Twitter account was fake.[Note:vi]

o At a pre-fight UFC press conference in 2010, Sonnen said of Portuguese, “It's a step harder picking up that language than it is understanding Pig Latin."[Note:vii]

o In a July 2011 interview, Sonnen said two UFC fighters from Brazil confused a bus for a horse on a visit to the United States. Sonnen said of Brazilian fighter Antônio Rogério Nogueira, known by the nickname “Little Nog,” and Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, known as “Big Nog,” that, “There was a bus that pulled up to a red light and Little Nog tried to feed it a carrot, while Big Nog was petting it. He thought it was a horse. This really happened. He tried to feed a bus a carrot, and now you’re telling me that country has computers?”[Note:viii] In the same interview, Sonnen referred to Wanderlei Silva, another fighter from Brazil, as “an immigrant.”[Note:ix]

o In July 2011, Sonnen threatened criminal activity against opponent Wanderlei Silva. He said, “Listen Wanderlei, I will do a home invasion on you. I will cut the power to your house and the next thing you hear will be me climbing up your stairs in a pair of night-vision goggles I bought in the back of Soldier of Fortune magazine. I’ll pick the lock to the master-room door, take a picture of you in bed with the Nogueira brothers working on your Jiu-Jitsu.”[Note:x]

o In November 2011, Sonnen used demeaning language to insult Arianny Celeste, a UFC “Octagon Girl.” Sonnen referred to Celeste, who entertains the crowd between rounds at UFC events by holding up cards with round numbers[Note:xi], as the “IQ card girl.” Sonnen said, “Arianny kind of walks around and holds up her latest test score. One time when there was a title fight, she got all the way up to five and we were very proud of her.”[Note:xii]

o In a 2011 interview, Sonnen referred to his opponent Anderson Silva as “a little fruity boy.”[Note:xiii]

o In August 2011, Sonnen made an anti-gay comment when describing unarmed combat. He said, "Even if I could get a submission, I’m not laying under a grown man with my legs spread on worldwide TV. There are some guys who subscribe to that theory, but I’m a Republican. We don’t do that."[Note:xiv]

o In January 2012, Sonnen appeared in an online video on YouTube giving advice to young people on fighting. He said, “If he slaps you punch him. If he punches you, kick him. If he kicks you, stab him. If he stabs you, shoot him. If he shoots you, you go kill his family.” Although Sonnen mentioned in the same speech, “I hope that we’re old enough that I can tell this without people taking it for something that it’s not” and “of course I’m not talking about hurting someone,” the young audience he was addressing might have been impressed or misled.[Note:xv]

o In April 2012, Sonnen said, “When I was a little kid, I'd go outside with my friends and we'd talk about the latest technology, in medicine, gaming and American ingenuity -- and [Brazilian fighter Anderson Silva] and the Brazilian kids are sitting outside playing in the mud.”[Note:xvi]

o In July 2012, Sonnen directed derogatory comments at the wife of his opponent, Anderson Silva, stating, “You tell Anderson Silva I'm coming over and I'm kicking down his back door and patting his little lady on the (butt), and I'm telling her to make me a steak, medium-rare, just how I like it.”[Note:xvii]

o In a video posted online in January, dubbed “Chael Sonnen - Truth Talk Academy,” Sonnen purports to be coaching people on how to degrade others through insults. Sonnen said, “You’ve heard me incite entire countries, and you will continue to watch me verbally massacre anybody who gets in my way.”[Note:xviii] Sonnen continues, “Here at the Chael Sonnen Truth Talk Academy, you’ll learn the most basic principle of verbal attack - the insult.”[Note:xix] Sonnen then ridicules a young person’s weight,[Note:xx] and then he encourages a woman to be more creative with a physical threat after she has already threatened to rip out a person’s intestines.[Note:xxi]

o Sonnen has twice referred to an African American opponent as “boy,” a term that is often perceived as racist and demeaning when it is used to refer to an adult black male. In April, Sonnen was quoted as yelling, “Come on, boy!” at opponent Jon Jones.[Note:xxii] On the television show “UFC Tonight,” Sonnen again used the derogatory term “boy” while threatening Jones on the show. Sonnen said, “I'm a fully-loaded cannon, boy, and I'm pointed right at you.”[Note:xxiii]

o This month, at a UFC fan event in Las Vegas, Sonnen threatened violence against a mixed-martial arts fan who criticized him. Sonnen, who was speaking from a microphone on a stage, yelled at the fan, “Man, I’m about to come down there and whip your ass in a second.”[Note:xxiv] Sonnen then yelled, “Speak English! I don’t speak ghetto.”[Note:xxv]

In April, Sonnen brought further discredit to unarmed combat, and to thousands of athletes who participate and train in the various disciplines of martial arts, when he publicly dismissed the validity of martial arts as a sport. Sonnen was quoted by FOX Sports as saying:

“Martial arts isn’t a sport. Martial arts is a bunch of crap. This is a fistfight. Martial arts is a legal term. The legislature in Nevada in 2001, when we were trying to get a bill passed, needed to call it something to regulate it. It isn’t martial arts. This is a fistfight in a steel cage on Saturday night.” [Note:xxvi]

Sonnen has used his reputation as a notorious trash talker to bolster his own popularity and to denigrate mixed-martial arts as an activity. A columnist for the Huffington Post wrote, “In the UFC, Chael Sonnen has become better known for vitriol and increasingly racist sounding messages on twitter than his fighting ability.”[Note:xxvii] A Sports Illustrated columnist said of Sonnen that, “He shows no respect for the sport and its fighters.”[Note:xxviii]

Given Sonnen’s history of racist comments in public, the Commission should be concerned that he could use the opportunity to appear before a nationally televised audience on August 17th in Boston to insult minority groups and bring further discredit to unarmed combat.

Under Section 20.03 of Title 523 of the CMR, the Commission is empowered to suspend or revoke the license of any unarmed combatant who has:

o “Conducted themselves at any time or place in a manner which is deemed by the Commission to reflect discredit to unarmed combat” [Note:xxix]

o “Failed to execute the duties of their position in a skillful, professional manner generally expected of an individual holding that position”[Note:xxx]

o Knowingly dealt or consorted with a person who has “engaged in any activity or practice that is detrimental to the best interests of unarmed combat” [Note:xxxi]

There is no question that Sonnen has violated these basic guidelines, and should be prevented from bringing further discredit to unarmed combat by appearing at a public event in Boston. No combatant with such a history of behavioral problems and incendiary language should be allowed to compete in Massachusetts, much less on a nationally televised stage.

Therefore, we strongly recommend that the Commission exercise its statutory authority and deny Sonnen a professional license to compete in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Sincerely, Heloisa Maria Galvão
BWG Co-Founder and Executive Director
verdeamarelo.org

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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

No Holds Barred: Raul Ramirez on Rampage Jackson-Tito Ortiz Bellator Press Conference and PPV 



(Photo of Rampage and Tito by Dr. Raul Ramirez)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with our correspondent Dr. Raul Ramirez of Catch Wrestling Los Angeles.

He was in attendance at Monday's Bellator MMA news conference at the Bellator offices in Newport Beach, California, to announce their debut pay-per-view on November 2 featuring a fight between MMA veterans Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Tito Ortiz, with more fights to be announced. We discussed what happened there, and issues related to this fight, the pay-per-view, and Bellator's approach to MMA.

Both fighters had a lot to say at this news conference, insisting that they are not through as fighters. They praised the "positive environment" at Bellator, contrasting it to their rocky relations, especially in recent years, with UFC management.

"Actually, I really believe that this is the beginning of a possible change in labor relations in MMA, because that's basically what Rampage and Tito talked about the majority of the time," Raul Ramirez said in our interview, which was recorded by phone Tuesday.

"Hopefully other fighters, if they're feeling taken advantage of, so they also come out and speak up, and follow Rampage and Tito's examples."

We also play an excerpt from the media conference call part of this press conference, with questions for Rampage, Tito, and Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney.

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/.

The First Annual Liberty Bell Classic East Coast King of Catch Tournament, organized by the North American Catch Wrestling Association in conjunction with Scientific Wrestling. This catch wrestling tournament will take place Saturday, August 31, 2013, at the Klein JCC, 10100 Jamison Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19116. No points! No politics! Only submissions and pins win! For more information, go to http://nacwa.weebly.com.

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Sunday, August 04, 2013

No Holds Barred: Jon Strickland on the Boom in Catch Wrestling, and a Death in MMA 




On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Jon Strickland of the Billy Wicks Foundation and head coach of American Carny Style Catch as Catch Can Wrestling.

Based in South Carolina and now retired as a wrestler, Jon has been involved with many aspects of wrestling his whole life. He started learning about catch wrestling in the early 1980s, later trained under catch wrestling legend Billy Wicks, and wrestled in college.

The non-profit Billy Wicks Foundation was set up to preserve the catch wrestling legacy of Billy Wicks and "to spread catch wrestling" worldwide, he said in this phone interview, which was recorded Thursday. It will be "working with underprivileged children here in the rural South and southern Appalachia, and trying to get these kids interested in wrestling, starting out at an amateur level."

Catch wrestling, he said, where you can win by pin or submission, is currently experiencing "almost a boom". There are more and more tournaments and people training in it than in recent memory, and more and more grapplers from many other styles, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, becoming interested in training and competing in it, he observed.

He also had been involved as a coach for MMA, but now focuses on catch wrestling and grappling. He had a fighter on an amateur MMA card in August 2012 in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, but that show was cancelled after a fighter named Tyrone Mims fell ill and was taken to a local hospital. About an hour later, Tyrone Mims passed away. His death was the second in MMA in the U.S. in 2012, and the second in South Carolina, which only legalized the sport in 2009. Although the coroner's report would say that the cause of death of the 30-year-old Mims was "undetermined", it was obviously directly related to his MMA fight.

Arguing that the current unified rules of MMA have actually "made it more dangerous by the way they've done it," he said that the current emphasis on striking in MMA makes it questionable to say that MMA is safer than boxing.

"I don't know what the stats are. I haven't looked at them. But personally, I do not want my son fighting in MMA. That's it. I would try anything I can do to discourage that," he said.

"It's not putting down these guys. I got a lot of respect for them. If guys want to do it, that's great for them. I just know I don't want my loved ones, my family, doing it."

We discussed the risks stemming from blows to the head and brain injuries in MMA, as well as why he prefers submissions to striking. "I prefer wrestling," he said.

He also noted that wrestler and trainer Farmer Burns, who trained world heavyweight wrestling champion Frank Gotch in the early 1900s and played a key role in the development of amateur wrestling in Iowa, has not received proper credit. Burns, he said, is the "Godfather of American Grappling", and should be recognized as such.

We also discussed how the growth of catch wrestling around the world requires that the budding catch wrestling organizations work together; why he would like to see more major submission wrestling shows like "The Contenders", which was held in 1997; why "MMA has peaked"; some of the history of catch wrestling, including the experiences of the old carnival shows or "carny wrestling"; the devolution of the sport of professional wrestling last century into staged shows; and much more in this lengthy interview.

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/.

The First Annual Liberty Bell Classic East Coast King of Catch Tournament, organized by the North American Catch Wrestling Association in conjunction with Scientific Wrestling. This catch wrestling tournament will take place Saturday, August 31, 2013, at the Klein JCC, 10100 Jamison Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19116. No points! No politics! Only submissions and pins win! For more information, go to http://nacwa.weebly.com.

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