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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, March 06, 2014

No Holds Barred: Coach Kevin Jackson on 2014 Big 12 and NCAA Wrestling Championships 




On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Kevin Jackson, the Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion freestyle wrestler, who is in his fifth season as head wrestling coach for the legendary Iowa State Cyclones.

The month of March will see the conclusion of the 2013-14 college wrestling season, with only conference and national championships remaining for Iowa State.

They will be competing at the 2014 Big 12 Wrestling Championships, which takes place Saturday, March 8, at the McCasland Field House in Norman, Oklahoma. The finals will be televised live in the U.S. on various Fox networks, including Fox College Sports, beginning at 8 PM ET/ 7 PM CT. As always, check your local listings.

The 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships also take place in Oklahoma, March 20-22 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. The finals will be televised live in the U.S. on ESPN, with extensive coverage of all sessions both on television and online on the ESPN networks.

We spoke with Coach Kevin Jackson by phone Sunday to preview these tournaments and to discuss what to expect from the Iowa State Cyclones.

"This is the most exciting time of the year for everyone. The Big 12 Championships, the NCAA Championships -- everything else is practice," he said.

Much attention is being given to Iowa State's redshirt junior Kyven Gadson, who will be the number one seed at 197 pounds for this year's Big 12 Championships, and is also currently ranked number one in the country at that weight.

Coach Jackson said that Kyven Gadson's performance this season has gotten the Iowa State wrestling community and many people on the campus "very, very excited, based on this year, based on where he is ranked right now, the opportunity to be seeded number one in the NCAA tournament, and the opportunity to be a two-time Big 12 champion."

We also discussed how this season in college wrestling has seen numerous upsets and these tournaments are very hotly-contested; what wrestling must do to add more fans; the role of real professional wrestling and catch wrestling; and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link does not 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.

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, March 05, 2014

No Holds Barred: Jessica Aguilar, Still Number One 




Photo credits: WSOF/Lucas Noonan

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with the world's top-ranked MMA fighter in the women's 115-pound division, and the WSOF women's strawweight champion, American Top Team fighter Jessica Aguilar.

Her debut fight with the World Series of Fighting was on January 18 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. There she captured WSOF's inaugural women's strawweight title by defeating Alida Gray by submission with an arm triangle choke at 2:45 of the first round.

We spoke with Jessica Aguilar by phone Sunday.

Having fought in MMA professionally now for eight years, she said that she expects to be fighting for about five more years.

"My goal and my plan is to go out as a champion," she said. "That's what I'm going to do."

Noted for her jiu-jitsu and grappling, she also would like to resume competition on the mat.

"After that, or in-between that, I still want to compete in jiu-jitsu, absolutely," she said. "I went back to training and I'm doing more of that. So I would love to start competing in the grappling arena as well."

Besides fighting and training, she is very involved with many community organizations in south Florida, and plans to do even more than she has already. She is a motivational speaker for the anti-bullying organization Sweethearts and Heroes. She is involved with the Miami Children's Hospital. And she works with the Pride Center in Wilton Manors, Florida, which serves the LGBTQ communities and friends and neighbors in south Florida.

We also discussed when she expects that her next fight will take place, her good experiences working with WSOF, why working with WSOF was the right decision for her, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link does not 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.

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, March 04, 2014

No Holds Barred: Mike Chapman and Raul Ramirez on Billy Robinson 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with wrestling historian and author Mike Chapman and Raul Ramirez of the Catch Wrestling Alliance about the announcement Monday that catch wrestling legend Billy Robinson has passed away at age 75. We spoke with them by phone Monday afternoon.

Even though in recent years he had to use a cane to walk and could not get on the mat himself, Billy Robinson continued to train people in catch wrestling.

"He knew the moves so well that he could pretty much talk you through it," said Raul Ramirez, who had been trained by him. "Even if it was a new move you had never seen before, just the description itself was enough for you to understand. And then he would just drill it until you did it right."

Trained at the legendary Riley's Gym in Wigan, England, by Billy Riley himself, Billy Robinson knew freestyle wrestling, catch wrestling, and the worked pro wrestling. Even in the latter, he was known for exhibiting his many holds and moves.

Mike Chapman recalled the time when Billy Robinson's name came up for consideration for induction into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame, of which he was founder. The panel making the selections included many who were proficient in real styles of wrestling, including at the time of Billy's nomination, Lou Thesz, Danny Hodge, Verne Gagne, Brad Rheingans, and Jim "Baron von" Raschke.

When Billy Robinson's name came up, Mike said, several people exclaimed, "He needs to go in immediately. That's all I have to say." And he went in unanimously, in the class of 2003.

We discussed the present rebirth of catch wrestling and the Catch Wrestling Alliance International Invitational: The Rebirth. This event will be held Saturday, June 7, in Collins Court in the John Wooden Center on the campus of UCLA, at 221 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, California 90095-1612.

On No Holds Barred, Mike Chapman announced that he will be attending this event, including having many books and wrestling items on display. In addition, Mike will be at the annual WIN Memorabilia Show at the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, March 20-22, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

We also discussed what is needed to be done to rebuild catch wrestling and to continue the legacy of Billy Robinson, and much, much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link does not 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.

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, March 03, 2014

No Holds Barred: Robert Drenk of the Ultimate Armwrestling League 




On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Robert Drenk, the founder of the Ultimate Armwrestling League (UAL).

"The Ultimate Armwrestling League is the premier arm wrestling league in the United States of America," he said in this interview, which was recorded by phone Saturday. "What we are is an organization with contacts to over 1000 professional arm wrestlers in the United States of America and outside the United States of America."

He continued, "What we are is an organized sports league with athletes that come to compete in tournaments and eventually become signed contracted athletes and have an opportunity at really big prize money and title belts doing ultimate matchups, which are one-on-one events, the best of the best."

Arm wrestling has gotten a lot of publicity of late with the start of an unscripted series about the sport on the AMC network in the U.S., called "Game of Arms". The debut show on February 25 drew over one million viewers, which AMC called the highest number for a debut of any of their unscripted shows on their network. Although that show has received criticism for, like other so-called "reality" shows, distorting the reality of arm wrestling, it still has ignited a discussion about the sport and increased interest in it widely.

Although the UAL is not involved with this show, Robert Drenk noted its impact on the sport.

"I think this is a huge year for arm wrestling," he said. "I think if we can't make something happen in arm wrestling this year, then I don't think arm wrestling's ever going to happen. And I'm a firm believer that this is going to be the year for arm wrestling."

We also discussed the growth of professional arm wrestling, the structure of UAL events, their plans for their UAL 7 event in May at a location to be announced, their plans for the future, the training their athletes do, how he got involved with professional arm wrestling, 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.

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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