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Friday, August 29, 2008
On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Steve Nelson, who fought in and ran the Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation (USWF) in the 1990's in Amarillo, Texas. This organization, which was one of the most successful local promotions of its time, held fights under what were called shootfighting rules, with only open hand strikes allowed, but with all submissions as well as kicks and knees permitted.
Steve was also a headliner in the company's most famous fight, when he took on Ralph Gracie, who had defeated him in under a minute in 1996 under no holds barred rules in Extreme Fighting 2 in the Mohawk community of Kahnawake near Montreal. The rematch took place August 22, 1998, at a USWF show in Amarillo.
This fight was my selection as the 1998 Fight of the Year in mixed discipline combat sports.
A video of most of this fight can be seen here.
In a lengthy interview, we spoke with Steve about the USWF and its history, his fights with Ralph Gracie, some of the fighters from the USWF who became notable in mixed martial arts, the movement to establish a wrestling team at West Texas A&M University, the accomplishments of the boy's and girl's wrestling teams at Palo Duro High School in Amarillo, where Steve is the head coach, and more.
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Labels: Amarillo, Eddie Goldman, Extreme Fighting, mixed martial arts, No Holds Barred, Ralph Gracie, shootfighting, shootwrestling, Steve Nelson, Texas, Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation, USWF, wrestling