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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, January 18, 2014

No Holds Barred: Ben Askren on Agon 3, ONE FC, Wrestling, and MMA 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with the Agon Wrestling Championships' matchmaker and wrestler, undefeated ONE FC fighter, U.S. Olympian, and two-time NCAA Div. I national wrestling champion Ben Askren.

His next competition will be in the main event of Agon 3 on Sunday, January 26, when he will be wrestling Mike Poeta, who is an assistant coach at the University of Illinois, a three-time NCAA All-American, and a two-time NCAA finalist for Illinois. Agon 3 will take place at the Williams Center in Whitewater, Wisconsin, and will be webcast live on the Agon web site. The Agon Wrestling Championships is one of several organizations bringing back real professional wrestling, and uses a mix of American folkstyle and freestyle wrestling rules.

In addition, he has recently signed to fight in Asia's largest MMA promotion, ONE FC, and expects to debut there this spring.

We spoke with Ben Askren by phone Friday.

Speaking of his many roles, including Agon matchmaker, he said, "I always just look for opportunities like this that I think fit me well and that I'm passionate about, and this is something that fits both those categories. I would love, just like most wrestling fans would, to see an authentic professional wrestling succeed and thrive in America."

He added, "It's definitely something new in my career, and something that I'm really passionate and looking forward to helping."

We discussed some of what has to occur for this new incarnation of real professional wrestling to succeed. While he is happy with what has been done so far, he said that there still is "a long way to go," mentioning the need for improvements in production of events, building a steady audience, and working with the media. While specific plans for Agon are still being worked out, he would like eventually to see a belt system for champions established like other combat sports have.

Ironically, he noted that Agon seems to have received a more positive response from the MMA media than the wrestling media, which he said is often "resistant to change."

As for ONE FC, he said, "I think it's going to be a good fit." He has already trained at Evolve MMA in Singapore, which he said had "great facilities" which are better than American gyms, and plans to train there again before his first ONE FC fight.

In addition, he has followed the history of catch wrestling, the style utilized a century ago by wrestlers like Frank Gotch and Farmer Burns, where you could only win by pin or submission. This was the last time that real professional wrestling was a major sport, and he knows that there are lessons to be learned today from catch wrestling, both in terms of essential techniques and promotion. He said he hopes to follow some of the main matches in catch, as catch wrestling is also being rebuilt as a legitimate sport.

We also discussed more about his busy life and dual careers in wrestling and MMA, where he sees it headed, 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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.com.

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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Thursday, January 16, 2014

No Holds Barred: Agon 3 Conference Call with Ben Askren, Max Askren, Mike DiSabato 


(Photo of Ben Askren vs. Quentin Wright from Agon 1 courtesy of Agon Wrestling Championships.)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman presents the audio of the January 16 media conference call hosted by the Agon Wrestling Championships.

Participating on this call were Agon matchmaker and wrestler, undefeated ONE FC fighter, U.S. Olympian, and two-time NCAA Div. I national champion Ben Askren; NCAA Div. I national champion and Agon wrestler Max Askren; and Agon co-founder Mike DiSabato.

Agon 3 will be held Sunday, January 26, at the Williams Center in Whitewater, Wisconsin. It will be webcast live on the Agon web site.

Ben Askren will headline Agon 3 with a bout against Mike Poeta, who is an assistant coach at the University of Illinois, a three-time NCAA All-American, and a two-time NCAA finalist for Illinois. Max Askren will face Michigan native Ben Bennett. NCAA champion Craig Becker is slated to face John Mesenbrink. And college coaches Luke Smith and Chris Heilman will complete the card.

Agon 3 is being billed as the "Festival of Funk" because of the unorthodox and popular wrestling style utilized by the Askren brothers.

The Agon Wrestling Championships is one of several organizations bringing back real professional wrestling, and uses a mix of American folkstyle and freestyle wrestling rules.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.com.

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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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

No Holds Barred: Bob Meyrowitz Interview from 2006 on MMA History 


Bob Meyrowitz. Photo by Eddie Goldman, Feb. 1, 2008.

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman reposts an interview with Bob Meyrowitz which was originally posted on July 19, 2006. This is the original description of this show:

On this week's edition of NO HOLDS BARRED, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Bob Meyrowitz, former CEO of eYada.com and Semaphore Entertainment Group (SEG), which started and produced the original Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) shows from 1993 to 2000.

Bob offers his take on what he thinks of the current UFC product and the level of talent in it under its present owner, Zuffa. He also refutes the many factually incorrect articles that have appeared mainly in newspapers claiming that when SEG put on UFC shows, there were no rules, that the company ran from sanctioning by state athletic commissions, and that the level of athlete in the early UFC's was low. He recounts how UFC was sanctioned by the New York State Athletic Commission in late 1996, but how the commission double-crossed UFC at the last moment. He discusses UFC's attempt in 1999 to get sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and who on that commission opposed its sanctioning. Plus, he tells us who among the mainstream media and numerous boxing writers now commenting on UFC and its history have actually bothered to contact him to find out his views and what occurred.

Plus, Bob talks about his plans to run a new mixed martial arts event in the very near future, plans which have not been completely finalized yet but are expected to be so in a very short time. And he tells us what his attitude is towards the mixed martial arts and fight media, as well as other promoters, an issue which has again come to the fore.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.com.

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, January 12, 2014

No Holds Barred: Kizer and A-Rod Out, Jessica Aguilar-Alida Gray at WSOF 8 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman opens with a commentary on the resignation of Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer, how this relates to the suspension of baseball drug cheat Alex Rodriguez, how most sports and those regulated by North American athletic commissions are moving in opposite directions on the issue of doping, and the continuing dangers of concussions and brain injuries in combat sports.

On Saturday, January 18, American Top Team fighter Jessica Aguilar, who is the world's top-ranked MMA fighter in the women's 115-pound division, will make her debut in the World Series of Fighting promotion. Her opponent will be Alida Gray, 4-0 in MMA, in a bout for World Series of Fighting's inaugural women's strawweight title. This fight will be on the WSOF 8 card at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, and will be telecast live in the U.S. on NBC Sports Network.

We had a chance to ask questions of both Jessica Aguilar and Alida Gray on this past week's WSOF 8 media conference call, and play the audio from that discussion.

In addition, also discussed are the continuing failures of the sport of wrestling to market and promote the sport, especially through television, and the emulation of many in combat sports of the worst elements in them, rather than striving for positioning them as real sports.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.com.

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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