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, November 08, 2012

No Holds Barred: The Continuing Battle of Sport vs. Spectacle 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman comments on some of the continuing battles for the combat sports to be organized as legitimate sports.

We note the re-election of California Assembly Member Luis Alejo, who had introduced AB 2100, also known as the Professional Bill of Rights for MMA Athletes, earlier this year in the California State Assembly. While this bill did not pass this year, expect another round in this battle to extend the provisions of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act to professional MMA fighters.

We also read parts of a letter from Paul Johnson, head of the Boxers Organizing Committee, to U.S. President Barack Obama calling on him to support efforts to unionize boxers, and outlining the call for an "an industry summit meeting" in boxing to lay the foundations for structural reform in boxing.

The battle to organize mixed martial arts as a sport and not a spectacle has been raging for a long time now, and is related to the current discussion about the origins of the sport and the term "mixed martial arts" itself. We read a message sent by author Dr. Peter Maguire about some of his experiences training with John Perretti. In this message, Dr. Maguire wrote, "Like contemporary history under the Soviet Union, Perretti has simply been airbrushed out of the present history of MMA."

Another step in organizing MMA as a real sport is being taken with the growth of amateur MMA and the FILA World Championships in grappling, Pankration, and amateur MMA. This event takes place November 15-18 at the Hala Widowiskowo-Sportowa, ul. ks. Stanislawa Poletka 34, 32-043 Skala, Poland, near Kraków.

We will be covering this event from matside. This trip to Poland, and also to visit the FILA headquarters in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland, will mean that it is highly unlikely that an edition of No Holds Barred will be produced and posted until after the trip is over. So sit tight because there should be some interesting commentary and interviews from this trip.

As many already know, because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy, one of the many events which has been postponed is the MMA World Expo. The new dates are February 16-17, 2013, at the same location, the Jacob Javits Center in New York. While some part of the Expo program may have to be changed due to the postponement, the FILA North American Invitational in amateur MMA will go on during these new dates. Also, the postponement actually makes it more likely that the Expo will feature some matches in catch wrestling, as well as a demonstration of that sport.

So these battles continue, on many fronts and in many countries, all for the betterment of the combat sports.

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ONE Fighting Championship. ONE FC is Asia's largest and most prestigious mixed martial arts event. ONE FC features the best Asian fighters and has initiated the ONE Asia Partnership Network, which includes most of the major MMA promotions and MMA gyms in Asia. For more information, go to their web site, at ONEFC.com.

MMA World Expo. The mixed martial arts community comes to New York City February 16 and 17, 2013, for the fourth annual MMA World Expo, featuring an amateur MMA tournament, grappling, MMA fighters, seminars with world-class trainers, vendors, panel discussions, and much more. The MMA World Expo takes place Saturday, February 16, and Sunday, February 17, 2013, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

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