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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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Saturday, July 25, 2015

No Holds Barred: Antonio Graceffo on Grappling, BJJ, Catch Wrestling, and MMA in Asia 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with the writer, web show host, MMA fighter, and wrestler, Antonio Graceffo.

Now in the final year of his studies at the Shanghai University of Sport in Shanghai, China, where he will complete his Ph.D. next year, he also is a teacher and a member of the traditional wrestling (Shuai Jiao) team there.

Born in Brooklyn, known as the "Brooklyn Monk", and raised in Tennessee, we spoke with him Friday in New York while he was in town.

Among the many things on this trip he has done are training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Matt Serra's gym in Long Island, training in judo in Long Island, and training in submission wrestling with Sambo Steve Koepfer at New York Combat Sambo. He commented that, based on what he has seen, both in the U.S. and in Asia, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters are much better at newaza or ground fighting than judo athletes.

In Asia, he said, most traditional forms of wrestling emphasize throws from the standing position and have little or no ground fighting.

"All these wrestling forms are dying," he said.

However, "There's been a resurgence in interest even in the traditional forms because of MMA." With more athletes in the lighter weight classes than in the West, many of them have been training in local wrestling clubs to improve their ground skills so they could achieve success in MMA.

We also discussed how most of the grappling tournaments in Asia are dominated by people from BJJ, how catch wrestling is not well developed there, how there are some tournaments which are called catch wrestling but do not have pins, his plans to continue teaching and of course training after he gets his Ph.D., the catch wrestling and self-defense training he saw in Singapore at the Kapap Academy, and much more.

Also, as a follow-up to our previous show, we received the following addition to the comments made in our interview with Larry Hazzard, Sr., the commissioner of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board:

"For clarification, I am completely in favor of the Muhammad Ali Act, but I do not believe that Al Haymon has violated the act. I also respect other promoters' rights to pursue their redress, but I believe that the boxers are benefitting from the PBC and I think that Al Haymon took a very smart approach to reviving the sport. Also, the ABC leadership never discussed this issue with its commission membership before issuing the letter to the U.S. Attorney General."

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web, at http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/no-holds-barred-with-eddie-goldman.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player for iOS is available for free on the App Store.

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, July 22, 2015

No Holds Barred: Larry Hazzard, Sr. on Why PBC is Good for Boxing 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with the long-time commissioner of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, Larry Hazzard, Sr.

Boxing has been reviving this year, with all-time records being smashed by the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight and overall renewed interest in the sport. In addition to an increase in ratings on the mainly premium TV networks which have telecast boxing in the U.S. for many years, the almost weekly shows in the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series on broadcast and non-premium networks have sparked more awareness of the many boxers featured on these shows.

To discuss these developments, we spoke with Larry Hazzard, Sr. by phone Wednesday. And he is very positive about the PBC, giving it a B+ for its efforts so far.

"These guys are being paid handsome purses," he said, referring to the fighters.

"And it's just a good thing all around. For the fighter, it's a good thing all around for the fans, and it's the greatest thing that has happened to the sport of boxing I would say in the last decade or so."

We discussed how PBC has mainly featured legitimate competition and many fights resulting in upsets, how the use of free TV has helped bring in new sponsors, how fighters are making more money on PBC shows than they ever have, how the focus of the PBC is on the fighters, and more.

As for the critics of the PBC who are bringing legal action against it, and the statement supposedly from the president of the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) calling for U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate the PBC, he minced no words.

"They're full of shit," he said of those in the ABC who oppose PBC. "The ABC doesn't represent New Jersey," he added.

Accusations of violations of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act are baseless, he said, which was a law designed to "stop Don King" a generation ago. The charge that PBC, which is not a promotional entity, uses "sham promoters" is also baseless, as long-time and noted promoters like DiBella Entertainment, Warriors Boxing, TGB Promotions, and even Don King Productions have promoted or co-promoted many PBC shows.

The opposition from rival promoters is because, he said, PBC, with its innovative business plan and use of multiple promoters, has "outsmarted so many of these other promoters." He said he calls PBC "smart business people." And as far as the ABC, he said, "It's all a bunch of b.s., and they know it."

We also discussed what tweaks are needed for the PBC's television presentation and marketing, the possibility of a fight between Floyd Mayweather and Andre Berto, the move to revive boxing in Atlantic City, and much, much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web, at http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/no-holds-barred-with-eddie-goldman.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player for iOS is available for free on the App Store.

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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Monday, July 20, 2015

No Holds Barred: The Vulnerabilities of Julio César Chávez Jr., Carl Frampton, Scott Quigg, and Boxing 


(Chavez-Reyes photo by Esther Lin/Showtime. Frampton-Gonzalez photos by Esther Lin/CBS. Photo of Scott Quigg by Lawrence Lustig.)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the fights this past Saturday, July 18, involving Julio César Chávez Jr., Carl Frampton, and Scott Quigg.

In El Paso, Texas, Chávez Jr. (49-2-1, 32 KOs), the son of the Mexican boxing legend Julio César Chávez, won a lackluster decision over the smaller Marcos Reyes (33-3, 24 KOs). Earlier that day also in El Paso, the unbeaten Frampton (21-0, 14 KOs), the IBF 122-pound champion, survived two first-round knockdowns to win a unanimous decision over challenger Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. (25-2-2, 15 KOs). The Chavez Jr.-Reyes fight headlined a Showtime telecast in the U.S., while Frampton-Gonzalez headlined a Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) telecast on CBS in the U.S., and was also shown on ITV in the U.K. and UTV in Ireland.

At the same time as the Frampton-Gonzalez card took place, a major card in Manchester, England, and on Sky Sports in the U.K., featured a fight between the unbeaten WBA 122-pound champion Scott Quigg (31-0-2, 23 KOs) and challenger Kiko Martinez (32-6, 24 KOs). After Martinez seemed to pressure Quigg and win the first round, Quigg came back in the second to drop Martinez twice, resulting in the referee stopping the fight and a TKO win for Quigg.

With talk turning to a Frampton-Quigg super fight or for each fighter to face other opponents, we discuss both the victories and the vulnerabilities of both fighters, as well as those of Chávez Jr.. We also discuss how people in boxing react to vulnerabilities, which obviously everyone has, as well as the vulnerabilities of the sport itself, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web, at http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/no-holds-barred-with-eddie-goldman.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player for iOS is available for free on the App Store.

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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