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, May 20, 2010

No Holds Barred: Israel Vazquez, Rafael Marquez, Ben Askren, Bubba Jenkins 

(Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman combines commentary on mixed martial arts, boxing, and wrestling, with interviews with boxers Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez, wrestler and mixed martial artist Ben Askren, and wrestler Bubba Jenkins.

We open with commentary on the issue of the lack of a union or association of fighters in both boxing and mixed martial arts, and why organization is so critical in establishing one. We move on to the related issue of the promotion of negative stereotypes in combat sports. We also discuss the relatively low numbers who watched the Strikeforce mixed martial arts card this past Saturday, May 15, on Showtime, headlined by the fight between Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem and Brett Rogers, and why that was. We again address the lack of state-of-the-art anti-doping procedures in mixed martial arts and boxing. And we comment once again on the flawed pay-per-view model.

In boxing, what was a legendary trilogy will now be extended to a fourth fight, as Israel Vazquez (44-4, 33 KOs) faces Rafael Marquez (38-5, 34 KOs) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Their previous fights were the most dramatic and greatest of 2007 and 2008, and this one, at featherweight, will also be shown live in the U.S. on Showtime. We spoke with both Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez on a recent media conference call to hear how they are preparing for what could be another memorable battle.

Last Thursday, May 13, the Beat the Streets organization, which has been developing numerous wrestling programs for youth in the New York area, especially in the public high schools and middle schools, held a fundraiser on the U.S.S. Intrepid in New York. Several wrestling matches in various styles were featured.

After them, we spoke with 2008 Olympic freestyle wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter Ben Askren, who defeated Moza Fay in two periods in a freestyle match at this event, about his actively competing in wrestling and mixed martial arts at the same time. Ben Askren will be fighting May 20 in Grand Prairie, Texas, for the Bellator Fighting Championships in the semifinals of their welterweight tournament. His opponent will be Ryan Thomas, whom he defeated in the quarterfinals by a controversial technical submission. Thomas was a substitute when an opening developed later in the quarters and won that fight, so this will be a rematch.

We also spoke with wrestler Bubba Jenkins, a 2007 junior world freestyle champion, a 2008 NCAA runner-up for Penn State, and a 2010 University Nationals freestyle champion. He was in the main event of the Beat the Streets card, facing the wrestler who defeated him in those 2008 finals, two-time NCAA champion Brent Metcalf, who finished his college career at the University of Iowa and is now focusing on freestyle wrestling. Metcalf was once again victorious, this time under freestyle rules. We discussed this match Bubba Jenkins, his transfer to Arizona State where he will wrestle his senior year, his plans in wrestling, and why he wants to become a mixed martial arts fighter in the future.

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