Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast and the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

No Holds Barred: Fabricio Werdum, Evgeni Kogan 

(Photo of Fabricio Werdum, Eddie Goldman, and Marcelo Garcia, New York, Nov. 12, 2010, by Ricardo Liborio)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with mixed martial arts fighter and champion grappler Fabricio Werdum, and Evgeni Kogan, the director of operations of M-1 Global. Both these interviews were conducted Saturday, November 13, at the MMA World Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in New York.

We spoke with Fabricio Werdum about his historic victory over Fedor Emelianenko on a Strikeforce-M-1 Global card in June, the first uncontested loss by Fedor in his ten-year mixed martial arts career. We discussed the technique he used to win that fight, using a triangle choke to submit Fedor in just 1:09 of the first round. He explained that he plans to fight three times in 2011 in Strikeforce, starting in March against either Fedor or Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, and also compete at the 2011 ADCC World Submission Fighting Championships, in which he is a two-time defending champion in the +99 kg weight class.

The future of Fedor, who has one fight left on his contract with Strikeforce, was also a main focus of our discussion with Evgeni Kogan. While in New York, he met with Showtime, which televises Strikeforce cards in the U.S., about signing a new deal extending his contract. On this subject, Evgeni Kogan stated, "I think we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel" in those negotiations, although no new deal has yet been completed. We thus discussed the future of Fedor and co-promoting with Strikeforce, as well as the plans of M-1 Global to expand their own series of shows and tournaments in the U.S. and Europe.

We also begin by calling for a heavyweight tournament by Strikeforce in 2011, since they currently have the best four heavyweight fighters in mixed martial arts: Fabricio Werdum, Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, and Josh Barnett.

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