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, September 04, 2010

No Holds Barred: Jorge Santiago on his MMA Fight of the Year Candidate 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with American Top Team mixed martial arts fighter and Sengoku middleweight champion Jorge Santiago.

In a fight being hailed as epic, historic, and a certainty for the 2010 MMA fight of the year, Jorge Santiago successfully defended his title by stopping Kazuo Misaki in the fifth and last round of the main event of Sengoku 14 on Sunday, August 22, 2010, in Tokyo, Japan.

After being down on the scorecards, Jorge Santiago came back with a furious attack at the very end of the fourth round and all throughout the fifth round, forcing the corner of Misaki to throw in the towel with only about 30 seconds remaining in the fight. This fight was originally broadcast live in the U.S. on HDNet, and has also been posted on YouTube. This see-saw, non-stop battle was a rematch of their first fight from January 2009, which was also won by Jorge Santiago with a come-from-behind performance in the fifth round.

We spoke Friday afternoon about this great fight, and analyzed its many highlights and ups and downs. While he has long been a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, we discussed his development as a standup fighter and the notable improvements in his striking. We also discussed the differences between fighting in the U.S. and Japan, and how fighters are allowed to "do more" in terms of utilizing various grappling and striking techniques in Japan than in the U.S. He reviewed his growth as a fighter since fighting in UFC in 2006 and Strikeforce in 2007, and stated that he once again wants to fight in the U.S., where he has lived for many years, while still fighting in Japan. And we discussed when he wants to return to action, and much more.

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