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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, November 13, 2014

No Holds Barred: Chris Thomas on Bellator 131, Wanderlei Silva, and Robot Fighting 




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

He will be covering this Saturday's Bellator 131 card at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California, headlined by the Tito Ortiz-Stephan Bonnar, Will Brooks-Michael Chandler, "King" Mo Lawal-Joe Vedepo, and Melvin Manhoef-Joe Schilling fights.

We spoke with Chris Thomas by phone Wednesday.

Besides discussing the fights on the Bellator 131 card, we also noted how MMA legend Wanderlei Silva had originally been scheduled to appear at a pre-party kickoff event for that card the night before the fights, but was pulled from that, reportedly because of contractual obligations.

"For anybody to begrudge someone like Wanderlei Silva, who's given so much of himself to this sport for so many years, and to not allow him to make a living, is ridiculous in where the sport is today in 2014," he said. "That's horrible."

We also had a wide-ranging discussion on numerous topics, including the potential for robot fighting to become the future of combat sports, even in the wake of the poor ratings for the Robot Combat League TV show last year; the WSOF 15 card with three title fights, also on November 15; the proposal to have same-day weigh-ins in MMA and boxing, as is done in wrestling; in boxing, last Saturday's Bernard Hopkins-Sergey Kovalev light heavyweight title fight, and this coming Saturday's Wladimir Klitschko-Kubrat Pulev heavyweight title fight; the success of the Baltimore Orioles and failures of the New York Yankees in baseball, along with the reasons for the sharp increase in injuries in that sport; the issue of doping in sports; 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:

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

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 DefenseSoap.com.

Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

No Holds Barred: Will Brooks On His Nov. 15 Bellator Title Fight 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with American Top Team fighter and Bellator MMA interim lightweight champion Will Brooks.

His next fight will be featured on the Bellator 131 card on Saturday, November 15, from the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. There he will fight for the vacant Bellator lightweight title against former champion Michael Chandler. These two first met on May 17 of this year, with Will Brooks winning a five-round split decision in a close and thrilling fight to capture the interim belt.

Bellator 131 will air in the U.S. live and for free this Saturday night on Spike TV, and on Sunday, November 16, in the U.K. on Viacom's 5*.

We spoke with Will Brooks by phone Monday.

"I think everybody can expect a high level of skillsets," he said of this rematch. "In the last fight, I think I did a good job, showed everybody that I was evolving as a fighter. There were a couple of things I didn't do as well as I wanted to do, especially because there were a lot of skills I was just learning, just working on. But this fight I think people can expect a cleaner, sharper performance on my part coming out of the gate."

He said he would be "getting back to the basics and coming right out the first round, the first bell, and putting on a display of striking that people haven't seen."

We discussed the rapid trajectory of his MMA career, including his upset TKO victory over Japanese submission master and former Sengoku lightweight champion Satoru Kitaoka on the Dream 18 New Year's Eve card in Saitama, Japan, on December 31, 2012; his first-round knockout loss to Saad Awad in the Bellator season 8 lightweight tournament semifinals on February 28, 2013; his bouncing right back to win the season 9 lightweight tournament, including avenging the loss to Awad by winning a clear-cut unanimous decision over him in those semifinals; his unexpected opportunity, on very short notice, to face Michael Chandler on the Bellator pay-per-view on May 17, 2014, after then-champion Eddie Alvarez withdrew because of an injury; and the advantage of now having a full training camp to prepare for the rematch.

In addition, we discussed how his training at American Top Team has developed him as a fighter; how he is now based in the Coconut Creek, Florida, area so he can train regularly with the many people at American Top Team; the changes in Bellator since Scott Coker took over as president this past summer; and 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:

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

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 DefenseSoap.com.

Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

No Holds Barred: Mark Setrakian on the Future of Robot Fighting 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with robotics expert Mark Setrakian.

Besides being the designer and creator of the robots on the Robot Combat League, which aired in 2013 on Syfy in the U.S. and on Space in Canada, he has been involved in robotics and animatronics since his youth. He started his professional career at the age of 19 at George Lucas's Industrial Light & Magic. Besides developing animatronics for numerous major films, he has been involved in several robot fighting ventures including Robot Wars, BattleBots, and RoboGames, which is still holding events.

We spoke with Mark Setrakian right after he made a presentation on Saturday, November 8, entitled "Making TV and Movie Magic with Robots" at the Engadget Expand New York 2014 event at the Javits Center in New York.

At present, the Robot Combat League TV show is in limbo. It received disappointing ratings last year on Syfy, and was not renewed, or, for that matter, officially cancelled. Numerous problems in the positioning of that show led to a decline in its ratings as the season progressed.

"We went in with the intention of creating a sports show," he said. The Syfy network, however, is more "skewed" to running what are called (usually inaccurately) "reality shows".

"It became more like a reality competition and less like a sporting event," he continued. "And as a result, I think the tone of the show came off inauthentic enough that people who were tuning in who really wanted to see the sport aspect of it were really disappointed."

We discussed the status of that show, which he also noted did not draw a big enough audience to survive, and was not promoted well. However, there has been a change in leadership at Syfy, so there is a glimmer of hope that it can be revived.

Whatever the fate of that particular show, he is committed to robot fighting.

"I can tell you on my own, that I have been thinking about it non-stop since the show was on," he said. "I am still very much intending to go forward with some form of humanoid robot fighting. I really believe in that format."

Right now he is in the process of developing new robot prototypes. We discussed how close we are technologically to the creation of the kind of self-contained humanoid robots seen in the popular fictional movie "Real Steel", which was set in the future.

We also discussed events like RoboGames which do not use humanoid robots, whether one day robot fighting can at least partially replace combat sports which have people fighting, why it is "inevitable" that there will be successful humanoid robot fighting shows and events, 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:

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

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 DefenseSoap.com.

Takedown Wrestling Media, America's wrestling TV and radio shows, which are hosted by founder Scott Casber, and have been airing on radio and Internet for over 17 years. Takedown Media produces a weekly TV program seen in 54 million homes in the U.S. on DirecTV, Dish Network, and cable affiliates around the country, called Takedown TV. Takedown Media also produces the weekly USA Wrestling TV show for the governing body of the sport, USA Wrestling. For more information, go to TakedownRadio.com.

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Sunday, November 09, 2014

"'Foxcatcher', A Review of the Book and Film", on DefenseSoap.com 



My latest blog for the Defense Soap site, "Foxcatcher, A Review of the Book and Film", is up at http://blog.defensesoap.com/news/foxcatcher-a-review-of-the-book-and-film.

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