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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, April 30, 2015

No Holds Barred: Keisha Morrisey on Expecting the Unexpected in Mayweather-Pacquiao 



(Photo of Floyd Mayweather Sr., Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, and Freddie Roach by Esther Lin/Showtime)

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

She will be traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada, for the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao mega-fight this Saturday, May 2.

We spoke with her by phone Wednesday.

While the unbeaten Mayweather, at 47-0, goes into this fight the favorite, it is far from a given that he will win this long-awaited battle.

"I'm expecting the unexpected," she said. "Actually I'm a bit nervous. I have butterflies in my stomach, because I think that you have two great fighters here. Manny Pacquiao was really great in the beginning of his career when he first started in boxing. And then he took the loss to [Juan Manuel] Marquez, which was really unexpected to everyone. Sometimes things happen in boxing, so you just never know."

She added, "Floyd is training really hard. Manny has always been a one-sided fighter. So I think that again, anything could happen, but I'm really expecting the unexpected."

We discussed possible scenarios for this fight, including the rendering of a controversial verdict which would set the stage for a lucrative rematch.

While she did not offer a prediction about who will win this fight, she did say, "Something is just not going to be right."

We also discussed her long history of correctly predicting fights through the years including many upsets, the importance of proper training for fighters, the role of trainers Floyd Mayweather Sr. and Freddie Roach in this fight, and much, 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.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

No Holds Barred: Declan Hill on IOC vs. SportAccord and Match-Fixing 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with investigative journalist, academic, and expert on match-fixing in international football, Declan Hill.

In April 2015, he was appointed Senior Fellow in anti-corruption in sports at the University of Brighton in Sussex, England.

We spoke with Declan Hill by phone Tuesday.

The escalating number of crises and scandals in world sport have led many to call for fundamental change in its structure and governance. Another result has been the emergence of an open battle between the lords of world sport, something which is usually reserved for behind-closed-doors intrigue.

Most notably, last week Marius Vizer, the president of both SportAccord (the international federation of both Olympic and non-Olympic federations) and the International Judo Federation, spoke at the SportAccord convention and issued a public flogging of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its president, Thomas Bach.

Vizer accused the IOC of, among other things, blocking SportAccord from organizing its own multi-sport events, not addressing the interests of the international federations, and preparing to launch an Olympic TV channel without a proper business plan. He bemoaned the poor financial state of many athletes around the world while the IOC rakes in millions and millions of dollars, noting that "athletes are lacking the necessary basic elements -- food, medication, equipment, preparation facilities and possibility to participate to competitions." And he said, "the IOC system is expired, outdated, wrong, unfair and not at all transparent. The Olympic Games belong to all of us and we need real reforms."

This was met not only with a rebuke from Bach, but also the issuing of a statement of "strong support" for the IOC by most of the summer Olympic sport federations -- which largely depend on their funding from the IOC -- and the severing or suspension of their ties with SportAccord. The one exception: the International Judo Federation.

While round one of this public fight may have gone to Bach and the IOC, it is clear that both sides got a bit bloodied by it and it is far from over.

Declan Hill explained the essence of Vizer's speech as saying to the IOC, "Basically, you're not sharing the pie. We want the pie. You're not sharing it. And you're putting a blockage on other multi-sports tournaments."

We discussed this battle and what it means for world sport, including the combat sports.

Declan Hill has also done extensive investigatory work into the mechanisms of match-fixing and its relation to illegal gambling rings.

"This one issue will kill off sport," he said. "I have been in Asia. I've worked, I've traveled in the sports world of Asia, and it is an elephant's graveyard of sports that have been killed off by this questionable integrity."

He stressed: "People simply will not watch a sport that they think is fixed. It surpasses doping. It surpasses any other ethical issue. People want to watch a sport. They don't want to watch theater. And really, the response of sports officials to this current generation, this current threat to the sporting world, has been lackluster at best."

The question of whether or not the verdict in the May 2 mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will be fair or fixed has been a topic of worldwide commentary and speculation. We discussed that and possible scenarios in this highly anticipated fight.

We also discussed his experiences training in boxing in Cuba; the allegations of attempted match-fixing in international wrestling; why there has been "very, very, very little" progress in the fight to reform world sport; why fans should let sponsors of corrupt sports organizations know that they will not purchase anything from them; 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.

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

No Holds Barred: Rose Gracie on Gracie Regionals Chicago 2015 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Rose Gracie.

The next event she will be involved in running is the Gracie Regionals Chicago 2015.

It will take place Saturday, May 2, and Sunday, May 3, in conjunction with The FitExpo Chicago, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 North River Road, Rosemont, Illinois 60018.

This will be a submission-only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition, with both gi and no-gi tournaments.

Saturday, May 2, will have the gi tournaments for both kids and then teens and adults. Sunday, May 3, will have the no-gi tournaments, also for both kids and then teens and adults.

We spoke with Rose Gracie by phone Thursday.

Noting that there are more and more submission-only grappling tournaments being held since she started running events under these rules three years ago, she said, "When I started this whole thing, my goal was for people to be able to follow these rules and do these events everywhere. So I'm very happy to see and it gives me really great joy and fulfillment to know that they're doing this."

She added, "It's going on its own. The machine is running. The car is turned on and it's going. So I don't think there's any stopping to it and it's getting bigger."

The submission-only format is catching on so much that "people really love these rules" and more such events are planned for this year, including in San Jose and Anaheim, California, as well as elsewhere, she said.

We also discussed how working with the FitExpo "adds value" to both events; eventual plans to establish a non-profit federation for submission-only grappling that will "give back to the athletes"; the importance of getting more kids involved in these events; the need to improve the school system; plans for women's superfights; and much, 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.

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