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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Monday, June 21, 2010

No Holds Barred: On Fedor, Staph, Bellator, Strikeforce, and Arizona 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman addresses a number of issues in the mixed martial arts, including the recent comments of Fedor Emelianenko on a media conference call, MMA fighter Matt Hamill being allowed to fight despite having a very visible staph infection, the tournament finals in the Bellator Fighting Championships, the possibility of a joint Bellator-Strikeforce card, and the controversial plans for Strikeforce to run a show in Arizona, despite an international boycott of that state.

We open with an analysis of the situation involving UFC fighter Matt Hamill, who was cleared to compete on June 19 in a fight in Las Vegas, Nevada, despite having a staph infection on his back. We read a comment on this from Dr. Margaret Goodman, our medical correspondent and the former head of the Nevada State Athletic Commission Medical Advisory Board, which says: "I have seen the NSAC and UFC shut down their Ultimate Fighter gym and their personal gym when there was evidence of a staph infection. With that said, I know that if I had still been with the NSAC, I would have had the fighter cleared by a dermatologist and for him to submit a report from his treating physician to the commission. I believe this is the only true way to determine the stage of the lesion and whether or not it was contagious. And, I think it would be helpful to have the fighter and/or the fighter's doctor explain how the abnormality was treated prior to the fight." We also discuss the controversial history of the commission doctor who allowed Hamill to fight, Dr. Vicki Mazzorana.

Next we play an excerpt from the media conference call of June 18 featuring Fedor Emelianenko and Fabricio Werdum, who meet in a heavyweight fight this coming Saturday, June 26, on a joint Strikeforce-M-1 Global card in San Jose, California, which will be shown live in the U.S. on Showtime. Our focus was on fighting technique.

The second season for the Bellator Fighting Championships is coming to a close, and we discuss the dominating victory in the 170-pound tournament finals by two-time NCAA Div. I wrestling champion and 2008 U.S. freestyle wrestling Olympian Ben Askren over a very tough Dan Hornbuckle. This coming Thursday, June 24, the last two tournament finals in this season take place, as 2006 world Greco-Roman wrestling champion Joe Warren takes on Patricio "Pitbull" Freire in the featherweight finals, and Bryan Baker fights Alexander Shlemenko in the middleweight finals.

There has been talk of Strikeforce and Bellator working together later in the year, possibly on a champion vs. champion fight involving Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez facing Bellator lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez. We not only applaud this, but also call for a World MMA Classic, similar to the World Boxing Classic currently under way in the super middleweight division on Showtime.

But we also point out that Strikeforce appears to be considering running an event in Arizona in the coming months. There is an international boycott of Arizona because of the anti-immigrant law SB 1070, which is scheduled to go into effect July 29. Numerous organizations have already pulled events out of Arizona and have condemned this law, so we argue that Strikeforce should not break this international boycott.

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