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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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Friday, January 18, 2013

No Holds Barred: Bellator Conference Call with Ben Askren, King Mo, Karl Amoussou, Bjorn Rebney, Kevin Kay 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman presents the complete audio of the January 18 Bellator MMA media conference call featuring fighters Ben Askren, "King" Mo Lawal, and Karl Amoussou, along with Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney and Spike TV president Kevin Kay.

This conference call focused on the next Bellator MMA card slated for Thursday, January 24, at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, OK. It will be televised live in the U.S. on Spike TV.

On that card, Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren will defend his title against welterweight tournament winner Karl Amoussou. Also on that card will be the Bellator debut of "King" Mo Lawal in an opening round fight against Przemyslaw Mysiala in the Bellator light heavyweight tournament.

While the unbeaten Ben Askren may be the favorite in his title fight, challenger Karl Amoussou is quite confident he will capture the belt.

"Obviously Ben is a very good wrestler. That's not a surprise to anybody. But I think I'm the most-well rounded fighter," said Karl Amoussou on this conference call. He also noted his unpredictability as giving him the advantage in this fight.

Spike TV president Kevin Kay joined the discussion towards the end of the call, providing the ratings information for Bellator's Spike TV debut on Thursday, January 17. For the past two seasons, live Bellator shows in the U.S. were seen on the lower-rated MTV2.

"It is the most-watched Bellator event in the history of Bellator," said Kevin Kay on this conference call. "We started the night in the first 15 minutes with 1.2 million viewers. The Curran-Pitbull fight, 1.1 million watched the Curran-Pitbull fight in that first half-hour. Overall, we were up 394 percent increase over last season's show premiere. And 938,000 viewers watched the entire broadcast." He added that 950,000 viewers watched the Michael Chandler-Rick Hawn fight, won by Bellator lightweight champion Chandler with a second-round submission, a fight considered by many to be the highlight of the telecast.

There also was much more discussion with all the fighters and Bjorn Rebney and Kevin Kay about the January 17 and 24 Bellator cards, their tournaments, and much more.

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