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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 20, 2014

No Holds Barred: Mark Schultz on 'Foxcatcher' 




(Photo of Dave and Mark Schultz, courtesy of Mark Schultz.)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with the 1984 Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion in freestyle wrestling for the U.S., a three-time NCAA Div. I wrestling champion at Oklahoma, and 1-0 MMA fighter, wrestling legend Mark Schultz.

The book of his life story, Foxcatcher: The True Story of My Brother's Murder, John du Pont's Madness, and the Quest for Olympic Gold, written with sportswriter David Thomas, has just been released.

The film Foxcatcher, which is a dramatization based on that book and focuses on the events surrounding the 1996 murder of his brother, fellow Olympic, world, and national champion wrestler Dave Schultz, by the crazed multi-millionaire John du Pont, was released in New York and Los Angeles November 14, and will be released in many more cities around the world in the coming weeks and months.

We spoke with Mark Schultz by Skype Wednesday.

The movie has already been widely mentioned in the film media as a major candidate for numerous Academy Award nominations. In particular, the performances of actors Steve Carell (du Pont), Channing Tatum (Mark Schultz), and Mark Ruffalo (Dave Schultz) have all been singled out as extraordinary, as well as the directing of Bennett Miller. The film is already being recognized as a major work of art, and easily the most important film ever made involving wrestling.

Speaking about the film, he said, "It's like epic. There are so many themes and undertones and metaphors."

He noted, "It's like a Greek tragedy about what happens when everything can be had at a price. And it teaches people, too -- it's about what happens when these worlds collide."

Stressing that the film's story has lessons which go far beyond the particulars of this one tragic tale, he said, "It's a movie for people who like to think."

But the film will also have an effect on the sport of wrestling, since the murder of Dave Schultz took place on du Pont's Foxcatcher estate while Dave was employed there as a wrestling coach.

The film, Mark said, "is going to make wrestling a part of pop culture."

But besides showing the countless benefits of wrestling, such as building character, molding one's body and mind through hard training, etc., the film, along with Mark's book, also demonstrates the weaknesses in the governance of the sport of wrestling. The result has been that wrestling legends like Mark and Dave Schultz, in Mark's own words in his book, "were having to stoop to rely on a lowlife like John du Pont to survive."

He also said that the most important thing to him in this whole project of this book and film is "immortalizing my brother." Few will argue that he has not succeeded in doing precisely that.

We also discussed more on what wrestling needs to do in order to become self-sustaining, the appeal of submission wrestling and catch wrestling, his training in jiu-jitsu and his one pro fight in UFC in 1996, his experience seeing his project bloom from a draft of his book into a major motion picture and autobiography, his connecting with the actors in the film and in particular with Channing Tatum, his current activities of doing public speaking and conducting seminars, and much more.

The No Holds Barred recommendation: For Mark's whole story, get the book. It is a must-read, whether or not you know much about wrestling. For a dramatization which will also go down in history, watch the film. It is a must-see.

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.

Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.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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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

No Holds Barred: Chris Thomas on the Bellator Boom, Renzo-Sakuraba, and Foxcatcher 



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

Chris covered the historic Bellator 131 card on November 15 at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. Besides taking place in a packed arena, the main event between Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar drew 1.8 million viewers in the U.S., peaking at two million, on Spike TV, making it the most-watched and highest-rated MMA fight on cable in 2014, and the sixth-highest rated cable show of all types that night in ages 18-49 in the U.S.

In that fight, the ever-popular Tito Ortiz won by split decision over Stephan Bonnar. Will Brooks, coming in as the interim lightweight champion, scored a fourth-round TKO over a former champion, Michael Chandler, to capture the Bellator lightweight belt. "King" Mo Lawal dominated Joe Vedepo and won by third-round TKO. And in what was, as expected, a slugfest, Joe Schilling survived a first-round knockdown and onslaught from Melvin Manhoef to win by knockout in the second round.

We spoke with Chris Thomas by phone Tuesday.

"It was really interesting seeing this be the first real, in my opinion, Scott Coker show," he said, referring to new Bellator president and former Strikeforce head Scott Coker. "And he put his stamp on it like he is going to make a statement. And you could tell that he is ready to take the next step."

He continued, "Everything was on par. I mean everything. The production, the look, the feel, the fans were there, it was a sold-out show. It was pretty amazing. It was pretty exciting. I felt like MMA is about to take another step in the right direction."

We also discussed the fights themselves, the emergence of Will Brooks as a bona fide star and top-level MMA fighter, Bellator's plans for 2015, and more.

In addition, this coming Saturday, November 22, two legends hit the mat, as Renzo Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba have a grappling match at Metamoris 5 in Long Beach, California. We discussed how this match, unlike their Pride 10 MMA fight in 2000, is being positioned as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu vs. catch wrestling, and what that says about the growth of the prestige of catch wrestling. We also discussed some of the strengths and weaknesses of the Metamoris organization.

This past week saw the release of the highly-acclaimed "Foxcatcher" movie as well as the book of the same name, which inspired the film, by Olympic, world, and national champion wrestler Mark Schultz. We discussed some of the lessons of this tragic tale of the 1996 murder of Mark's brother, fellow Olympic, world, and national champion wrestler Dave Schultz, by the crazed multi-millionaire John du Pont, for the sport of wrestling.

Plus, we discussed some of Chris's business ventures, and a lot 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.

Payleg.com, which gives you the tools to develop a full-time income by building a home-based business. Teaching success in the home-based business industry since 1988, Payleg.com is available in 190 countries. For more information, go to Payleg.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 16, 2014

No Holds Barred: Frank Shamrock, Movie Star 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with MMA legend Frank Shamrock.

Now retired as a fighter, he is focusing on many entertainment projects, including acting. He is currently starring in a new horror short film called "Everlast". Mainly shot at YouTube Space LA, it is showing on BlackboxTV, one of YouTube's most popular horror channels, and for free, at https://youtu.be/6hAUjD3MZj0.

We spoke with Frank Shamrock by phone Friday about this film and what else he is doing.

In this film, Frank plays MMA fighter Nikolai Faust.

"I'm actually dead. I've crossed over to another world," he said of his character. "I've actually done a deal with the Devil about a decade ago to become the greatest fighter in the world. And that sort of traps me in this little parallel universe where I have to sort of live in that inter-hell and have to fight every comer that comes along, until someone takes my place, I guess. And that's what happens in the movie."

The film climaxes when Faust must take on the undefeated Angel Shepard, played by Kevin McNamara.

We discussed this film, and to what degree its underworldly theme is an allegory about the real world of MMA. We also discussed how today's movie fighting is utilizing realistic MMA techniques, how the future of martial arts and combat sports may change with a new generation becoming much more aware of the dangers of head trauma than earlier generations, what role scripted film fighting can play in satisfying the desire of many to watch fights, how this more educated next generation of fighters will change martial arts for the better, how he would "love to see" catch wrestling grow, 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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