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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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    Sunday, December 06, 2015

    No Holds Barred: Thomas Velasquez and Ray Karakas on King of Catch Wrestling at 2015 MMA World Expo 


    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with two-time East Coast King of Catch Wrestling Thomas Velasquez, and his coach, Ray Karakas.

    As the reigning and two-time East Coast King of Catch Wrestling, Thomas Velasquez will be facing the West Coast King of Catch Wrestling, Travis Newaza, for the 2015 North American Heavyweight King of Catch championship.

    This match will headline a catch wrestling card put on by the North American Catch Wrestling Association at the 2015 MMA World Expo.

    The catch wrestling takes place Saturday, December 12, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

    We spoke with Thomas Velasquez and Ray Karakas by phone Sunday.

    Speaking of his extensive and varied background, Thomas Velasquez said, "I've been training for so long. I've enjoyed catch wrestling. It's a very beautiful sport. Vicious, and it really works every aspect of the grappling game, which is the most important in my eyes. So it's good. I have a little bit of everything."

    He mentioned that besides catch wrestling, he is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, a judo brown belt, and has trained in sambo.

    "So I have some stuff."

    Interestingly, in the past he also had participated in the worked pro wrestling, and his arsenal also includes some submissions, especially crossfaces and armlocks, adapted from that to real competition. Since the worked pro wrestling largely emerged out of real catch wrestling, this should not be surprising.

    We also discussed with both Thomas Velasquez and Ray Karakas how Thomas is a "hybrid wrestler"; how Travis Newaza's style is "made for us"; their training at the Endgame Combat Sports Academy in Teterboro, New Jersey, with people like grappler Nick Caggia, who was the catch wrestling absolute champion at the 2014 MMA World Expo; why catch wrestling deserves as much respect as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and any other sport; and much more.

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    No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

    MMA World Expo. The mixed martial arts community comes to New York City December 12 and 13, 2015, for the sixth annual MMA World Expo, featuring submission-only grappling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, MMA fighters, seminars with world-class trainers, vendors, panel discussions, catch wrestling competition, and much more. The MMA World Expo takes place Saturday, December 12, and Sunday, December 13, 2015, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

    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.

    Gracie Tournaments, featuring regional, national, and world competitions in submission-only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For more information, go to GracieWorlds.com.

    The National Registry for Wrestling, whose mission is to increase wrestling's fanbase, to build a registry of all wrestling fans, to serve as a connecting point for all wrestling fans, and to provide TV and Internet listings for wrestling. For more information, go to NR4W.com.

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