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Sunday, March 31, 2013

No Holds Barred: Mark Setrakian on Robot Combat League 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with robotics expert Mark Setrakian, who designed and created the robots on the Robot Combat League.

Five of the nine episodes of the Robot Combat League have already aired on Syfy in the U.S. and on Space in Canada. The shows are now featuring the quarterfinal round of the 12-robot tournament.

On the fifth episode, Team Scorpio, with Diana Yang and Chris Hardouin at the controls, sliced in half yet another robot to gain a knockout victory over Team A.X.E., with MMA fighter Andrew Montanez and Ross Mead at the helm.

We spoke by phone Friday with Mark Setrakian about the past, present, and future of robot fighting.

"This show, this season, is my attempt to kick off a whole new genre of fighting: motorized fighting," he said in this interview. Unlike other combat sports, this is "a motor sport of fighting," he said, with "weapons that you cannot use in human fighting."

He stressed, "What we're entering into is a level of combat that you cannot do with human beings but you can do it with robots, because at the end of the day, nobody's hurt. The robots are wrecked, but the human fighters, apart from their egos, are fine."

We discussed what happened on episode five with Scorpio's victory, why he "wouldn't change a thing" about how the robots were designed, the future of Robot Combat League, why robot fighting is the future of combat sports, why he believes that there will be more seasons of this show, the need to keep human athletes controlling the robots, the buildup to the semifinals and finals of this tournament, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

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.

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American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

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Friday, March 29, 2013

No Holds Barred: Jens Pulver 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with veteran MMA fighter Jens Pulver.

With a professional fighting career that started in 1999 at the Bas Rutten Invitational with then-UFC matchmaker John Perretti looking on, Jens Pulver is still in the hunt for another championship. Now 38, the former (and first) UFC lightweight champion will be taking on former Shooto featherweight champion Masakatsu Ueda in the semifinals of the ONE FC bantamweight Grand Prix.

This fight takes place on the ONE FC: Kings and Champions card Friday, April 5, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. The show will be televised live in Asia on Star Sports, which is available in 28 countries to an estimated 500 million viewers. It will also be webcast live around the world as a pay-per-view on http://www.onefc.livesport.tv.

We spoke with Jens Pulver by phone last Thursday about this upcoming fight and the lessons of his historic career.

ONE FC, he said in this interview, is "exploding. They're getting bigger and bigger and bigger. They're blowing up. For Asian MMA, this is huge."

As for his fight he added,"To be in the semifinals against a former Shooto world champion in Ueda, this is going to be a tough fight. It's going to be a fun fight. It's going to be crazy."

We discussed the revival of his career after a series of losses. "I got lost," he said, dealing with the problems of anxiety and depression. The lessons learned from mental side of the fight business are so important to him that he has become involved with an organization called Nvr Fly Solo. They include in their Mission Statement the aim to "Encourage anyone and everyone to stand up and start talking about anxiety and depression."

We also discussed his two fights thus far in ONE FC. In August 2012, after winning the first round against the then-unbeaten Eric Kelly, and in Kelly's home of the Philippines, he tired in the second round and was stopped in the second round. He attributed that largely to jet lag, something for which he is learning to adjust as he continues to fight in Asia while living in the U.S.

His next fight, against Zhao Ya Fei of China in October 2012 in Singapore, saw Jens winning in the second round when he was struck by an unintentional but powerful shot to the groin. He was unable to continue, and was then awarded a technical decision victory. This was in the bantamweight Grand Prix quarterfinals, thus advancing him to the semifinals.

In addition, we discussed how only in recent years he is maturing as a person, how he likes to travel, how he considers Ueda a counter-puncher and how he might fight him, his background as a Division I wrestler and professional boxer, his plans for coaching and public speaking, his new gym in Nebraska which opens in May, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

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.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

No Holds Barred: Jessica Aguilar Returns 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with American Top Team MMA fighter Jessica Aguilar.

Widely regarded as the number one fighter in the world in the women's 115-pound division, Jessica Aguilar will be returning to action this Thursday, March 28, after a ten-month layoff. She will be facing Patricia Vidonic on a Bellator MMA card at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida. Right now this fight will just be streamed live on the Bellator web site, and may be shown on tape-delay on Spike TV.

This fight will be a rematch between Jessica Aguilar and Patricia Vidonic. They first fought on the Fight Time Promotions 8 card on February 17, 2012, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with Jessica Aguilar winning by unanimous decision. After that fight, Jessica Aguilar next faced Japanese star Megumi Fujii on the Bellator 69 card on May 18, 2012, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, with Jessica Aguilar again winning by unanimous decision.

We spoke with Jessica Aguilar by phone Sunday about her upcoming fight and her career as a fighter.

Speaking of the state of women's MMA, she said, "This is the best it's ever been." She noted, "It's taken off so much since I started. I remember that there only used to be one female fight on a card. Now there's a whole card of females."

We discussed her long layoff, what to expect in this fight with Patricia Vidonic, her desire to compete this year in the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in late May (she is a purple belt), where she would like to fight, and her work in the anti-bullying organization Sweethearts and Heroes. She also requested that we mention her shoutouts to: Sweethearts and Heroes, Garden of Life, Jawzz, Everlast, Donkeeboy, Boca Tanning Club, Mma2TheMax, Pro Fight, Onnit, Big Boys Moving, Jugular Energy Drink, Perfecting Athletes, American Top Team, and Paradigm Sports Management.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

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.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

No Holds Barred: David Rowe on the Lamentable State of Sports Journalism 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with David Rowe, a professor of cultural research at the University of Western Sydney in Australia.

In February, he wrote an article, first for The Conversation and then republished by Play the Game, which has gained much attention around the world: "On scandal after scandal, sports journalists drop the ball".

In this article, he noted that while sport is rocked by numerous scandals, those who are supposed to be covering them, the sports journalists, "are looking more than a little dishevelled", and that most good investigative sports journalism "happens outside the mainstream institutional media". This should certainly be understood by those who are familiar with what tries to pass as "journalism" in the combat sports.

We spoke with David Rowe by Skype Wednesday (Tuesday New York time) about the many issues facing sports journalists and journalism.

He discussed in this interview what he called "a very basic question".

"What is a sports journalist? What is sports journalists for? What do they do? Now, I have a kind of old-fashioned idea of journalism as being about the Fourth Estate, that is, a watchdog on behalf of the citizenry, speaks truth to power, etc. That's what we expect of people who call themselves journalists. Now I guess if they want to call themselves something else, then that's OK, as long as they don't, I suppose, pretend to be journalists."

We discussed how sports journalists have dealt with such issues as the Lance Armstrong doping scandal and match-fixing. He said about their coverage, "Generally I'd have to say, that it's been pretty lamentable, but on the whole, with some distinguished exceptions", with many of these journalists acting like fans and getting too close to the sports organizations than they should.

We also discussed the many types of difficulties facing freelance sports journalists who do aspire to act as watchdogs on behalf of the public, how the main target of bad sports journalism has to be the big media companies which too often act as unofficial public relations agencies, the training of sports journalists, what fans can do to pressure the media, some positive signs with the emergence of a new generation of sports journalists, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

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.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

No Holds Barred: Fallon Fox 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with MMA fighter Fallon Fox.

After winning her second pro fight by first-round knockout on March 2 on a Championship Fighting Alliance card in Coral Gables, Florida, Fallon Fox then gave interviews where she came out as a transsexual female. Born a male, she had gender reassignment surgery back in 2006, and the associated hormone therapy. Now 37, she is physically, mentally, socially, and legally a woman, and happy to be one.

A decade ago the International Olympic Committee devised guidelines for transgender athletes, and were followed by the NCAA for college sports in the U.S. The medical committee of the Association of Boxing Commissions in North America also developed a policy last year based on that of the IOC, although it is up to each individual commission to implement it.

Despite this seemingly being a settled issue in international sports, including the combat sports, her revelation of her status has been met with heated reactions, both from her many supporters as well as those opponents who have provided public displays of bigotry and ignorance.

We spoke with Fallon Fox by phone Friday about the ensuing controversy about her and her career.

"I really don't see why there should be a lot of hoopla about past gender status, but this is what it turned into," she said in this interview.

"It's frustrating, but I realize that in the end, I'm going to win."

She also patiently tried to explain her position to those who just are not educated on this issue.

Discussing her transition to becoming a woman, she said, "I did this to save my sanity."

As for the bigots and haters, "The people who have bigotry or hatred for me just don't know me. And if they knew me - if they really, really, really, really knew me - then they wouldn't fear and they wouldn't hate."

We also discussed her licensing situation with the Florida and California commissions. She explained that contrary to some reports, she does have a license to fight, and as a woman, in Florida. She also posted on her Facebook fan page a copy of what looks like a license which was sent to her by the California commission. You can judge for yourself if she is in the right in believing that this was actually a license and not simply a receipt, as a California official has claimed. That commission is currently reviewing, once again, her application, and is expected to grant her a fighter's license shortly.

She thus is entirely justified when she said, "I've done nothing wrong."

We also discussed her training and background since her transition, including her earning a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and competing in IBJJF and NAGA grappling events, and the ADCC Trials. She has been training since 2008 in MMA, mainly at the Midwest Training Center, in all the disciplines needed for MMA.

Also to answer her critics and to educate those who remain uneducated, she explained how she has much lower testosterone than those who were born with a full female anatomy, as well as less bone density and muscle mass than she had previously.

And we discussed when her next fight might take place, what she needs to work on in her young MMA career, for which organizations she would like to fight, a new documentary film called "Game Face" about her and other LGBT athletes being made by filmmaker Michiel Thomas, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

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.

American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

No Holds Barred: An Hour With Lenne Hardt 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again speaks with the legendary and iconic world champion of ring announcers, Lenne Hardt.

Living in Tokyo, and an announcer for many years with both the Pride and Dream MMA promotions, Lenne will be racking up a lot of frequent flyer miles as she heads to two shows in two different countries.

On Saturday, March 23, she will be plying her trade at the Glory 5 kickboxing show in London, England, headlined by the Remy Bonjasky-Tyrone Spong fight. This will be the first kickboxing card at which she is an announcer.

Then, on Friday, April 5, it's back to Asia for the ONE FC: KINGS AND CHAMPIONS MMA show at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, headlined by ONE FC lightweight champion Kotetsu Boku defending his title against Shinya Aoki.

We spoke with Lenne Hardt by Skype Wednesday (Tuesday New York time) about these upcoming events.

Speaking about the tremendous growth of ONE FC, the largest MMA promotion in Asia, she said in this interview, "They are the new Pride. They're the new Dream."

We discussed how she approaches preparing for her role as an announcer, her careers as an announcer and as an entertainer, what she has learned about cultural differences between people around the world, how sport brings many diverse people together, a comparison of the outfits worn by ring girls in different eras and countries, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

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.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

No Holds Barred: Kid Peligro on Pan 2013 and ADCC 2013 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again speaks with our colleague and correspondent Kid Peligro.

Our discussion focused on two major tournaments coming up, the Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2013 and the ADCC Submission Fighting World Championship 2013.

The Pan 2013 takes place Wednesday, March 20, through Sunday, March 24, at the Bren Events Center at the University of California, Irvine.

"The Pan is by far the largest jiu-jitsu tournament in the world," Kid Peligro said in this interview, which was recorded by phone Tuesday. It has over 3000 competitors, numerous divisions, has been running since 1996, and will be held for five days this year for the first time.

"The number of competitors is growing by leaps and bounds. It's just unbelievable."

The Pan 2013 will be webcast live as a pay-per-view by Budo Videos.

It has recently been announced that the ADCC Submission Fighting World Championship 2013, the most important and prestigious grappling tournament in the world, will be held October 19-20 in Beijing, China. As always, the ADCC 2013 will feature competition in no-gi grappling.

We discussed both these important events, who is expected to compete at them, the rules of each, the anti-doping testing at the Pan 2013, the future and worldwide growth of both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling, why ADCC 2013 will be in China, the growing universality of these disciplines, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

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.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

No Holds Barred: A Lot of Numbers and a Lot of Trouble 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman uses a lot of numbers to illustrate a lot of trouble in a lot of the combat sports.

Topics discussed include the exciting but brutal fight Saturday night between Timothy Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov on the HBO boxing telecast and what it might do to each of these fighters; a main reason why Russian president Vladimir Putin is supporting reinstating wrestling on the Olympic program; a main reason why New York Governor Andrew Cuomo may be supporting the legalization of MMA in his state; what such a law would and would not mean for MMA and its fighters especially in terms of fighter rights; the declining ratings for the Robot Combat League's telecasts in the U.S.; and more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

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.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

No Holds Barred: Bill Eng on MMA in China 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Bill Eng.

Born in New York but living in China for many years, Bill Eng works with many different types of people and organizations in the MMA community in China.

"I help a lot promotions organize their fights in terms of experience and setting it up," he said in this interview, which was recorded Friday in New York's Chinatown. He also works with national coaches, describing himself as "not a businessman making a living off the fighters." He added that there are a "pretty broad range of things I do for organizations," including working with government licensing bodies.

China has the world's second-largest economy, and MMA has been growing there for the past decade. We discussed MMA organizations which are already in China, such as RUFF, and what those that are interested in running events there, including ONE FC and UFC, need to do to be successful there. Bill emphasized the need for those companies which are based outside of China to have or develop "top fighters" who are Chinese.

We also discussed some of the history of martial arts in China since the victory of the revolution in 1949, how the attitude of the Chinese government has changed over the years both to traditional martial arts and MMA, the difference between running MMA shows in Macao and in mainland China, the growth of grappling in China and the coming of the 2013 ADCC World Championships to Beijing, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

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.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

No Holds Barred: Donna Rose on Transsexual Athletes 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with transsexual athlete, author, and speaker Donna Rose.

Donna Rose is also a wrestler. In her youth as a man, she wrestled in college. Now as a woman, and in her 50s, she is continuing to compete, finishing sixth at the 2010 U.S. Open Wrestling Championships at 72 kg/158.75 lbs. in senior women's freestyle wrestling.

We spoke with Donna Rose by phone Thursday as the controversy over female transsexual MMA fighter Fallon Fox continued. Fox, who last fought March 2 in Florida, is awaiting reviews of her fighter license applications from the athletic commissions in Florida and California. These commissions thus far have not adopted a policy regarding licensing of transsexual athletes, even though the International Olympic Committee did so almost a decade ago, and the Association of Boxing Commission's Medical Committee advised them to do so as recently as their annual meeting in July 2012.

"It's unfortunate that sports keeps falling back into outdated stereotypes of transsexual people," Donna Rose said in this interview. "All any of us wants to do is to be judged on our abilities."

Our discussion with Donna Rose touched on her own positive experiences in dealing with USA Wrestling as an openly transsexual woman, the many years of transition that a transsexual woman has to go through, why they do not have any unfair advantage over other female athletes, how the decision by the IOC Executive Board to drop wrestling from the Olympic program starting in 2020 "broke my heart", her plans to continue wrestling, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

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.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

No Holds Barred: On the Crisis in International Wrestling 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the current crisis in international wrestling and the pending exclusion of the sport from the Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee has come under fire recently for the recommendation by their Executive Board that wrestling be dropped from the Olympic program starting in 2020. While this is itself an absurd decision, much of the blame also rests with the clueless, incompetent, and intellectually deficient leadership in international wrestling, specifically in FILA, the international wrestling federation. Now there is a new leadership in FILA, comprised of many of the same people who drove wrestling to the brink of elimination from the Olympics, and who were admittedly asleep at the wheel during this whole process. This and other concerns raise issues about the governance of international wrestling, whether or not the sport manages to hang on and not be eliminated from the Olympics after IOC meetings in May and September which will make the final decision on this issue.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

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.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

No Holds Barred: Devonric Johnson of Robot Combat League 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with robo-jockey Devonric Johnson.

The second show of the Robot Combat League, shown in the U.S. on Syfy and in Canada on Space on March 5, saw his robot, Brimstone, which he controls with robo-tech Russell Tait, defeat Thunder Skull by second-round disqualification. This win, in their first fight, means that they now move on to the second round of competition on this show, whose nine episodes have already been filmed.

In a sense, Devonric Johnson's background is similar to that of other athletes from the combat and contact sports. Growing up dirt poor and living in a shack in Terrell, Texas, he was adopted at the age of 13, became a model student, found success in the sport of football, and then was a star linebacker at Southern Methodist University.

But in another sense, his athletic career took another turn which is also becoming more well-known in these sports. He suffered a concussion in one of those college football games, ended up with post-concussion syndrome, and suddenly, while still in college, his football career was over.

Later on he moved to Los Angeles to pursue careers in acting and modeling. It was there that he had another opportunity to participate in a new type of combat sport, which would not injure him, and on a new TV show: robot fighting on the Robot Combat League. And he is loving it.

"I personally think that there's going to be a future of it because there's nothing of its kind," he said in this interview, which was recorded by phone Saturday. "It's really cool to see these magnificent machines in action. If you were actually at the arena you would be like, 'Wow! This is crazy!' Because, imagine a thousand-pound pressure coming from a machine on each single punch, and watching these machines being maneuvered by people on these platforms. It's amazing. The technology is amazing. It's way ahead of its time and it's just going to get better."

We also discussed more about the future of robot fighting and its relation to human combat sports, what happened in Brimstone's fight that led to a controversial disqualification of Thunder Skull, and the issue of head trauma and concussions.

In addition, Devonric also is the founder of the non-profit organization Brothers By Choice, which assists at-risk youths. We discussed that important work, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

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.

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American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

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Saturday, March 09, 2013

No Holds Barred: In Support of Fallon Fox 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the burning issue of the situation involving MMA fighter Fallon Fox, who is a transgender woman and who has been fighting other women.

As usual, this commentary is no holds barred.

It puts the blame for the controversy over the licensing of Fallon Fox not on the fighter, but squarely on the clueless, incompetent, and intellectually and culturally deficient political appointees of the state athletic commissions where she applied for a license, both Florida and California. These commissions ignored the guidelines for dealing with transgender athletes proposed at the 2012 annual convention of the Association of Boxing Commissions, which were based on those already in place for the International Olympic Committee.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

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.

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American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

No Holds Barred: Ross Mead, Robo-Tech on Robot Combat League 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Robot Combat League robo-tech Ross Mead.

A robo-tech controls the bottom half of the eight-foot tall robots, with the top half controlled by a robo-jockey, as these robots are sent to fight one another in the Robot Combat League.

When Ross Mead is not helping to smash giant robots, he is a PhD research student at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, focusing, of course on robotics. While his goal there is to help develop robots which could assist people in their homes and daily lives, his experience in the Robot Combat League has left its mark on him.

"I was Iron Man," he said in this interview, which was recorded Wednesday on Skype. "You can't get away from the superhero aspect of this. I was driving this gigantic robot. No one can really say that. There are 24 people on the planet Earth who can say that right now. That's pretty incredible. That's really freaking awesome."

Adding that he already missed doing the show, whose episodes have already all been filmed, and that he would do it again, he said, "I wish everyone could experience it because it was absolutely incredible. It's a life-changing experience."

We get our first chance to see Ross Mead in action this coming Tuesday, March 12, when he teams with MMA fighter Andrew Montanez on the robot A.X.E. as it battles Game Over. In the other fight on that show, Robo Hammer, with MMA fighter Amanda Lucas as the robo-jockey, fights Drone Strike.

The Robot Combat League is telecast on the Syfy network in the U.S. and on Space in Canada.

Our discussion with him also touched on the relation of human fighting to robot fighting. He has some training in boxing and martial arts and is a fan of MMA, but he explained just how a background in human fighting is both "a blessing and a curse" for developing techniques for robot fighting. We discussed just where the technology is at now for robot fighting, some of the ethical questions of it as this new sport evolves, how many including boxing trainer Freddy Roach believe that robot fighting may one day replace or surpass human fighting in popularity, how he got involved with it, and much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

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.

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American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

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Monday, March 04, 2013

No Holds Barred: Bernard Hopkins, Tavoris Cloud, Don King, and Reflections on Real Steel 




On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman previews the fight between the unbeaten IBF champion Tavoris Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs) and the 48-year-old legend Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins (52-6, 32 KOs), and discusses its significance in the context of the lessons of the 2011 science fiction film "Real Steel".

The Cloud-Hopkins fight takes place Saturday, March 9, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and will be televised live in the U.S. on HBO.

In "Real Steel", set in the year 2020, robot boxing has replaced human boxing and, apparently, MMA. This film was just repeated on Showtime in the U.S. on Saturday, March 2 -- right before the live Showtime boxing card headlined by the wild Abril-Bogere fight.

The film "Real Steel" is loosely based on the 1956 short story "Steel" by Richard Matheson, which was made into a 1963 episode of "The Twilight Zone" TV series starring Lee Marvin. In both the short story and the TV show, boxing had been banned; the movie is more ambiguous about the future legal status of the human fighting sports. In the U.S., the debut show of the Robot Combat League on the Syfy network last Tuesday, February 26, featuring 12 eight-foot robot boxers in a tournament format, drew over 1.35 million viewers, with a total of nine weekly episodes already filmed.

Even before all this buzz about robot fighting, boxing has long been a largely tragic sport. It is a slowly dying sport that is killing its own people, but which we still sometimes love. Therein lies the degree of sadness with which we approach it, especially when a 48-year-old fighter is involved.

We spoke with Bernard Hopkins, Tavoris Cloud, Cloud's new trainer Abel Sanchez, and Cloud's promoter, the one and only Don King, about this fight on a media conference call this past Wednesday.

"It's going to be a barnburner on March the 9th," promised Don King on this conference call. "Get ready. We coming. We coming to Brooklyn. And no one could be prouder. And if you cannot hear us, we'll say it a little louder."

We shall see whose barn burns down Saturday night.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

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.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

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Saturday, March 02, 2013

No Holds Barred: Chris Thomas On Why Robot Combat League Is The Future of Combat Sports 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with our longtime colleague and correspondent Chris Thomas.

Based in Maryland, Chris has been involved both in MMA and traditional martial arts for many years in various capacities. He also is among those of us from the combat sports who are closely following the development of the new Robot Combat League, which had its debut show on Syfy in the U.S. Tuesday, February 26.

The Robot Combat League features 12 state-of-the-art robots engaged in a tournament where they fight each other. The robots are controlled by a human fighter known as a robo-jockey and an engineer known as a robo-tech. The first season of nine weekly episodes has already been filmed. Two of the 12 robo-jockeys, Andrew Montanez and Amanda Lucas, are professional MMA fighters.

The Nielsen ratings for the debut episode of the Robot Combat League showed it drew 1.351 million viewers, with just 1.143 million viewers for The Ultimate Fighter on FX on the same night but one hour earlier.

We spoke with Chris by phone Friday to discuss the significance of the Robot Combat League and review its first televised show.

"Coming out of the gate, Eddie, with drawing 1.35 million people on the debut night, it was pretty impressive," he said in this interview.

"It really gave a lot of people, I think, a glance at the future of combat sports. With the head injuries and the challenges of athletes getting bigger, stronger, and faster every single day, gosh, I can't say I hate to see it, but It could be the future of combat sports, these robots fighting with jockeys, so therefore there's no personal injury. Is it happening now? No. Do I hope it happens now? Not necessarily. But I sure did enjoy it."

We discussed what happened on this first episode, how apparently brains defeated brawn in the first televised fight, why we like the tournament format, what this sport might look like in the future, what improvements this show can make, and more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link doesn't work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is also available on mobile phones and iPads through Stitcher.

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

The No Holds Barred theme song is called "The Heist", which is also available on iTunes by composer Ian Snow.

No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

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.

Beezid.com - Penny Auctions. Your #1 source for exciting auction shopping and outstanding deals on just about anything! Top rated, most trusted auction site online. Where do you shop? Beezid.com - Penny Auctions.

American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

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