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Thursday, May 30, 2013

No Holds Barred: Lenne Hardt on ONE FC: Rise to Power 



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

She has already arrived in Manila in the Philippines in preparation for ONE FC: Rise to Power, which takes place Friday, May 31, at the 20,000-seat SM Mall of Asia Arena.

We spoke with Lenne Hardt by Skype Thursday to preview this card.

"I don't play favorites. It's not just because of my job. I really shouldn't do that. I have to remain neutral," she explained in this interview. "It's also, even if I weren't involved in this as a job, as a fan, there are certain matches I get excited about."

As is usual for ONE FC, this is another loaded card. It is headlined by a ONE FC featherweight title bout between reigning champion Honorio Banario of the Philippines and challenger Koji Oishi of Japan, and pound-for-pound king Bibiano Fernandes, originally from Brazil but now from the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada area, taking on Koetsu Okazaki of Japan for the ONE FC bantamweight interim title.

Another local favorite from the Philippines, Kevin Belingon, will face Masakatsu Ueda of Japan in the final of the Bantamweight Grand Prix. The popular Eduard Folayang, also from the Philippines, faces MMA, grappling, and wrestling veteran Kamal Shalorus, originally from Iran. Yasuhiro Urushitani of Japan will fight Rey Docyogen from the Philippines. American Andrew Leone fights Geje Eustaquio, also from the Philippines. And American Phil Baroni takes on Nobutatsu Suzuki from Japan.

On the undercard, the up-and-coming Lowen Tynanes of the USA will fight Felipe Enomoto from Japan, American heavyweights Tim Sylvia and Tony Johnson will collide, and Ryan Diaz of Canada will take on Yusup Saadulaev of Russia.

ONE FC: Rise to Power will be televised live on Star Sports in Asia and be shown as an online pay-per-view at http://www.onefc.livesport.tv.

We also discussed with her the atmosphere for fights in the Philippines, what her own future plans are, 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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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

No Holds Barred: Ralek Gracie on Metamoris Pro Jiu Jitsu Invitational II 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Ralek Gracie, founder of the Metamoris Pro Jiu Jitsu Invitational.

Their second event, Metamoris II, will take place Sunday. June 9, at the Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, California.

The rules of this jiu-jitsu event are easy to understand. There are no points. Each match has a 20-minute time limit. The only ways to win are by submission, or if there is no submission, judges' decision based on evaluating the entire match.

Metamoris I, held in October 2012 in San Diego, California, had numerous exciting matches involving some of the best grapplers in the world. This second edition features another stellar fight card.

Headlining this card will be a no-gi match between Japanese grappling and MMA sensation Shinya Aoki, who is the reigning ONE FC lightweight champion, and rising star Kron Gracie, who is coached by his legendary father, Rickson Gracie.

Numerous BJJ and ADCC champions will also face each other on this card, including: Braulio Estima vs. Rodolfo Vieira, Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu vs. Brendan Schaub, Mackenzie Dern vs. Michelle Nicolini, Andre Galvao vs. Rafael Lovato Jr., and Bill "The Grill" Cooper vs. Victor Estima.

Metamoris Pro Jiu Jitsu Invitational II will be broadcast live on an online pay-per-view at http://metamoris.com.

We spoke with Ralek Gracie by phone Tuesday about this important event.

In this interview, he said that Metamoris cannot be compared to events such the Mundials, also known as the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, or other events where there are thousands of competitors, and at all levels. Metamoris, he said, has "just the top, top cream of the crop competitors." In addition, there is a strong cultural aspect to Metamoris.

The format for this event includes a card of single matches which puts "them against each other in an extremely entertaining environment that brings together the culture of Brazil through the music and the soundtrack of the event, and it brings together the art and the very contemporary artistic flair, and it brings together the pure art of jiu-jitsu."

He explained, "We hold exhibitions of jiu-jitsu, and we display the beauty and the art. And it's essentially non-violent." He continued, "We pretty much just create what we think people are going to want to see, and what we think is true to the art of jiu-jitsu, to the highest level that we can and what we know, and that's it."

Besides this event itself, we also discussed the changes in the rules since their first event, the potential for grappling events to grow as spectator sports, when they will announce their next show, 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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Sunday, May 26, 2013

No Holds Barred: On Fallon Fox, the Dragon Sleeper, and Knockouts 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the technique used by MMA fighter Fallon Fox in her third-round submission victory over Allanna Jones Friday, May 24, at CFA 11, and the dangers of the continuing trend of more knockouts and fewer submissions in MMA. The Fallon Fox-Allanna Jones fight is now on YouTube.

Fallon Fox was quoted as saying that she first saw the move with which she won, a knee-to-the-neck choke, used by MMA fighter Shayna Baszler. Shayna Baszler confirmed by phone Sunday that she indeed uses this move, and said it is called the Dragon Sleeper.

Shayna Baszler is also a Level 1 Scientific Wrestler Trainer. Jake Shannon of Scientific Wrestling also confirmed by phone Sunday that she was taught this move by MMA fighter and catch wrestler Josh Barnett, and that MMA legend Frank Shamrock also teaches it. In addition, Jake Shannon said that the name of the hold comes from its use by the Japanese pro wrestler Yoshihiro Asai AKA Ultimo Dragon, who has trained in real catch wrestling as have many Japanese pro wrestlers.

As the first openly transsexual fighter in MMA, Fallon Fox has many haters who continue to downplay her skills. But as is demonstrated, the submission hold she used to win her fight, and to advance to the finals of the CFA women's 145-pound tournament, is a technique with quite a sophisticated lineage.

But while Fallon Fox was using this hold, the trend in MMA of there being more and more knockouts, and thus more concussions, is continuing. Interestingly enough, the issue of concussions is being addressed by, of all organizations, the leader in staged pro wrestling, the WWE. That group recently donated $1.2 million to the non-profit Sports Legacy Institute to fund a new research program aimed at developing a treatment for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The implications of all this for the real combat sports are discussed.

Also discussed are the latest odds for the combat sports and possible inclusion on the program of the 2020 Olympics. The IOC Executive Board meets this Wednesday, May 29, and will be coming up with a shortlist of sports to be considered for a final vote in September for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics. Those combat sports are wrestling, karate, and wushu.

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, May 24, 2013

No Holds Barred: Kid Peligro on the 2013 Mundials and the Rise of Buchecha 


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

Our main topic was the 2013 IBJJF World Jiu Jitsu Championship, also known as the Mundials, which takes place May 29 through June 2 at The Pyramid at California State University in Long Beach, California. There will be a pay-per-view webcast of the Mundials on IBJJF TV.

Much of the discussion leading up to this year's Mundials focuses on the sensation who emerged with double gold last year, the heavyweight Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida of CheckMat. Now just 23 years old, among other victories, Buchecha repeated his double gold performance in March at the world's largest jiu-jitsu tournament, the 2013 Pans, winning both his weight class and the absolute division.

"He, kind of, came out of nowhere," said Kid Peligro in this interview. "It is part of his mystique, is he came out of nowhere last Worlds."

Kid noted Buchecha's defeat of two-time world absolute champion Rodolfo Viera in the elimination rounds of the 2012 Mundials.

 "He's a very different heavyweight because he's very fast and he's very aggressive. He moves a lot."

He also called Buchecha's victory over Leo Nogueira in the finals of the 2012 absolute division "one of the most exciting I've ever seen." After falling behind on points, Buchecha came back to win the match in the last minute.

We discussed which competitors may stand in the way of Buchecha repeating his remarkable accomplishments at this year's Mundials. We also discussed Buchecha's background, why it is unlikely he will be going to MMA any time soon, the future of grappling and the many organizations in the sport, the upcoming 2013 ADCC Submission Fighting World Championship, 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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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

No Holds Barred: Luke Cummo on League of Assassins, and Safety in MMA 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with the Long Island, New York-based martial artist and former MMA fighter Luke Cummo.

We spoke with Luke Cummo by Skype Tuesday.

It would not do justice to the unique and highly passionate style and commentary used in the remarks of the always colorful and outspoken Luke Cummo merely to quote them. They have to be heard, read, and seen to be understood properly. He has already been posting online critiques of the violence and the dangers inherent in the sport which earned him much recognition: MMA. One of these is a video called "Against the Cage".

He not only has vowed not to fight in MMA again, but is now starting a new, less violent martial arts event called, almost ironically, the League of Assassins. Their first show, open to all, will be held this Saturday afternoon, May 25, at Pride Fitness and MMA, which is located at 906 West Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, New York, USA 11787.

We spoke with Luke Cummo about his views on MMA, health and nutrition, the system where promoters profit from the fighters battling each other, fighter safety and injuries in MMA, the effect on children, the League of Assassins and its rules, and much, 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, May 20, 2013

No Holds Barred: A License To Cheat 

(Photo from Blackzilians)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses some of the recent examples of horrible governance and corruption in the combat sports, including UFC fighter Vitor Belfort being allowed to fight while undergoing testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

This essentially is granting Belfort and other fighters using TRT a license and agreement to cheat. Such cheating makes the outcomes of these fights as meaningless as baseball's home run records, and fans are encouraged to spend their money elsewhere. We also read a statement by Dr. Margaret Goodman of VADA, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, on this subject.

Also addressed is the rampant homophobia and transphobia in MMA, coming especially at a time when there has been a wave of anti-LGBT violence and at least one murder in New York, as well the return to action this Friday of transsexual female fighter Fallon Fox at CFA 11. Human rights for LGBT people, including transsexual people and athletes, are something which must be supported.

While grappling has been growing around the world, the new leadership of FILA, the international wrestling federation, has decided to abandon grappling altogether, along with amateur MMA. This absurd decision has opened the door to the possibility of a new grappling federation being formed, as well as an opportunity for catch wrestling to grow among these jilted grapplers. How such bad governance by this new leadership of FILA creates a lose-lose situation for all of wrestling is also discussed.

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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Videos of the three historic catch wrestling matches from the Feb. 2013 MMA World Expo 

Phil Doig vs. Mario Perricone - catch wrestling, Feb. 17, 2013, MMA World Expo 


Teddy Pericleous vs. Jack Cordero - catch wrestling, Feb. 17, 2013, MMA World Expo


Jorge Martinez vs. Mike Robinson, and John Potenza and Joel Bane on Return of Catch Wrestling at MMA World Expo, NYC

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

No Holds Barred: Nick Denis on Retiring from MMA, Brain Injuries, and the Future of Combat Sports 

Nick Denis

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman (D, WFP - Manhattan)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with the now-retired MMA fighter Nick Denis.

In November 2012, the 29-year-old Denis, from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and with a pro MMA record of 11-3, surprised many by announcing his retirement from the sport.

"I guess the main issue was my worry over potential brain injury," he said in this interview, which was recorded over Skype on Friday.

He explained that the main danger of brain injury in MMA comes from "blows to the head from training, not necessarily from fighting. Because when you're competing in the ring, it's only 15 minutes, and there's only so many times you can get hit. What it is, it's all the training, the months and months and weeks of training and hard sparring, and all these things that add up. It was really the training."

Already feeling some early effects of the blows he had taken, he said. "I basically just pictured myself, whether I was 60 or 70 or whatever, with some sort of form of dementia or neurological problems." His conclusion: "I don't want to not be able to recognize my friends and my family. It's not really that important to me. It's not worth risking my health and my mental health over, so I decided it was time to retire."

Since then, he has not even watched much MMA on television, saying, "I just kind of grew out of it." But that did not end his involvement with the sport.

Recently he was contacted by New York State Senator Brad Hoylman about the issue of brain injuries in MMA. Hoylman had read about his retirement, and was in the process of introducing legislation in New York to create a fund for MMA fighters to handle the long-term health effects of fighting.

Together, they wrote an opinion piece dated May 12, 2013, for the New York Daily News, entitled Protect cage fighters before it’s too late.

In that piece, they wrote, "Before we take additional steps to roll out the red carpet for this sport, we must ensure that MMA fighters have the resources to deal with the health effects as a result of their time in the ring. That's why we support legislation recently introduced in the state Senate mandating that the UFC and other promoters contribute to a state-coordinated fund -- similar to funds already created for horse jockeys and New York City cab drivers -- to cover long-term job-related injuries sustained by fighters. If cage fighting is ever going to be legal here, the least we should require is that the businesses that profit from the sport take financial responsibility for its health consequences."

Hoylman, a Democrat from Manhattan who interestingly enough has also voted to oppose the re-legalization of MMA in New York, has introduced S5055-2013. This bill "Establishes protocols for combative sports; authorizes mixed martial arts events in this state; establishes the New York Mixed Martial Arts Injury Compensation Fund, Inc.; establishes procedures for applications for licenses; establishes penalties for violations; imposes taxes on gross receipts of such events."

Our discussion with Nick Denis focused on these issues and the lessons from his fighting career for the future of the combat sports. We discussed how his devastating first-round knockout loss in 2009 in Sengoku to Marlon Sandro, his first-ever pro defeat after seven victories, started to change the direction of his career. While doing graduate study in biochemistry at the University of Ottawa, he discovered that not only concussions had long-term neurological effects on fighters, but repeated sub-concussive blows as well.

We also discussed whether it can any longer be said that MMA is safer than boxing, his own knockout slam victory over Nick Mamalis in 2011 in Wreck MMA, the need for people to be more educated on the issue of brain injuries and these sports, whether parents should allow their children to participate in them, the role of the traditional martial arts in teaching discipline, his own background in karate, and more.

"Anything that helps people start discussing the brain injury and the concussions and sub-concussive trauma and stuff like that aspect of MMA, or really any sport, I guess I really am appreciative for," he concluded. "As long as people are talking about it, then at least it's in people's consciousness and it's in people's psyche. And then whatever they chose to do with that information, it's up to them."

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, May 17, 2013

No Holds Barred: Bibiano Fernandes On His May 31 ONE FC Fight 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with multi-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA champion, and one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, Bibiano Fernandes.

He will be trying to add yet another belt to his collection, as he takes on former Shooto champion Koetsu Okazaki of Japan for the ONE FC interim bantamweight title on Friday, May 31. This fight will be part of the ONE FC: Rise to Power card at the 20,000-seat SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, the Philippines.

ONE FC: Rise to Power will be televised live on Star Sports in Asia and as an online pay-per-view at http://www.onefc.livesport.tv.

The current ONE FC bantamweight champion, Soo Chul Kim of Korea, is currently recovering from a shoulder injury and is unavailable to fight.

We spoke with Bibiano Fernandes by phone Wednesday about this fight, how his career is going, and his plans.

Bibiano Fernandes is a very busy man, While he lives and trains in the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada area, he often also travels to the Seattle, Washington, USA area to train at Matt Hume's AMC Pankration gym. In addition, while he is originally from Brazil, he has fought exclusively in Asia since 2009.

When he signed with ONE FC last year rather than with UFC, he demonstrated how ONE FC has become not only the largest MMA organization in Asia, but also a major player in the world. And he has no regrets about his choice.

"I'm very happy to fight for ONE FC," he said in this interview. "For me, I make a good choice. For me, for my family, I make the best choice." Citing the growth of the organization and the people running it, he summed up his experience with ONE FC clearly and succinctly: "Everything's good."

But he also does not anticipate an easy fight against the veteran Koetsu Okazaki. Bibiano has seen video of his fights and noted that he has "good hands" and "good jiu-jitsu." So while Bibiano is known mainly for his grappling and submission skills, he expects that this fight may see a diversity of technique.

We also discussed fighting in front of the enthusiastic fans in the Philippines, whether or not there will be any effect on his opponent who is fighting outside Japan for the first time, 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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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

No Holds Barred: Malcolm X and the Martial Arts and Combat Sports 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the legacy of Malcolm X and its meaning for the martial arts and combat sports.

On March 29, 1964, at a speech at the Audubon Ballroom in New York, Malcolm X repeated what he had said many times about the importance of the martial arts: "If you're interested in freedom, you need some judo, you need some karate, you need all the things that will help you fight for freedom."

That building now houses the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, at 3940 Broadway, New York, NY 10032, where one of the many celebrations of the 88th anniversary of Malcolm's birth will take place this Sunday, May 19.

Malcolm X also explained the importance of martial arts training in The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and how the values they teach are part of the overall training in values which "are vital in a person, a home, a community, a nation, and a civilization," and not only the aspect of training in self-defense. The book also discussed his relations with Muhammad Ali, when he won the heavyweight boxing championship of the world from Sonny Liston in 1964.

But the type of positive values which Malcolm advocated are today often not being promoted, particularly in combat sports like MMA and wrestling. This is discussed, including how this may be affecting the bid by wrestling to be restored to the Olympic program.

So the lessons taught by Malcolm X about the martial arts and combat sports are still valid. It is up to us to learn this legacy, and to apply it to what we do today.

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, May 12, 2013

No Holds Barred: A Tribute to Johnny Bos 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman pays tribute to the legendary fight agent and boxing personality Johnny Bos, who passed away Saturday, May 11.

Johnny, a native New Yorker who had to relocate to the Clearwater, Florida, area, was visiting his hometown in July 2009 to testify in the lawsuit brought by his former fighter, Joey Gamache, against the New York State Athletic Commission. That stemmed from the botched weigh-in for the Gamache-Arturo Gatti fight at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 26, 2000. We spoke with Johnny on July 21, 2009, in New York, and that interview is reposted here in its entirety.

After our interview, in April 2010, Judge Melvin Schweitzer of the New York State Court of Claims ruled in favor of Gamache, saying that there indeed had been negligence in the weigh-in. However, the judge did not award Gamache any monetary damages, as he claimed that it had not been proved that this negligence had necessarily affected the outcome of the fight.

Here is the original introduction to our July 2009 interview with Johnny Bos:

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with the legendary fight agent and boxing personality, Johnny Bos.

There are few if any people alive who know more about boxing than Johnny Bos. But instead of prospering from that knowledge and wisdom, last year Johnny Bos, the quintessential New Yorker, had to leave this faded but still sometimes active center of boxing for a town not known for being a pugilistic capital: Clearwater, Florida. The main reason was that he could no longer find work in this alleged sport.

Johnny's fortunes in boxing seemed to head swiftly downhill after an incident whose consequences, ironically, brought him back to the Big Apple this week. His fighter, former world champion Joey Gamache, was slated to fight the late Arturo Gatti in Madison Square Garden Feb. 26, 2000. At the weigh-in the day before, however, Bos and many others said that Gatti hopped on and off the scale without making the contracted weight of 141 pounds. While he objected to this, officials from the New York State Athletic Commission declared that Gatti had indeed made weight, and that the fight was on.

Gatti, who reportedly weighed 160 pounds on an unofficial HBO scale the day of the bout, proceeded to score a brutal second-round knockout. Gamache had to be taken to a hospital after it, nearly died there that night, and suffers from permanent brain damage. His career, of course, was over, although he does still train fighters.

Gamache then sued the New York State Athletic Commission for negligence for allegedly permitting Gatti to fight well over the contracted weight. After years of legal wrangling, that case was finally heard this past week, and this was why Johnny Bos returned to New York, in an unusual role as a witness on behalf of Joey Gamache.

We had a chance while he was still in New York, and after the trial itself was over, to speak with Johnny Bos. (A verdict by the trial judge is expected in several months.)

In our lengthy discussion, Johnny explained what went on at this botched weigh-in, how it affected the Gatti-Gamache fight, and what it all indicated about the quality of the regulation of boxing. He also gave us some ideas on what major changes are needed in boxing, and just who may be starting to make them. And, as always, he did so in a style and tone reflective of the long gone glory days of boxing in America. So join us on this edition of No Holds Barred for a rare behind-the-scenes look at what really goes on in the world of boxing.

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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Thursday, May 09, 2013

No Holds Barred: Bjorn Rebney on Bellator MMA Summer Series 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Bellator MMA Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney.

Bellator's eighth season, which concluded in April, and which was its first on Spike TV, was its most successful and had the most viewers in the organization's history. While another full regular season will commence in the fall, Bellator will be starting a Summer Series of monthly shows on Wednesday, June 19.

Taking place at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma, and again televised live in the U.S. on Spike TV, the main event will have the unbeaten Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler defending his belt against Bellator season seven lightweight tournament winner Dave Jansen.

The June 19 event will also see the introduction of four-fighter, two-round tournaments in Bellator. Previously, all tournaments had eight competitors and three rounds.

In the first round of this tournament, which is in the light heavyweight division, "King" Mo Lawal will face Seth Petruzelli and Renato "Babalu" Sobral will fight Jacob Noe.

The four-man tournament format "just gives us the opportunity to keep guys rolling through the tournaments and get those champions title defense after title defense," said Bjorn Rebney in this interview, which was recorded by phone Thursday. "It's going to keep the ball moving. Occasionally you're going to see four-mans thrown in. You're going to see a four-man, and then you might see another four-man in the fall."

In addition, Bellator's "Fight Master" pre-recorded series also debuts on Wednesday, June 19, on Spike TV, featuring 32 welterweight fighters competing for a spot in a Bellator MMA tournament, with MMA legends Randy Couture, Greg Jackson, Frank Shamrock, and Joe Warren as coaches.

We also discussed with Bjorn Rebney how he is still running Bellator on a day-to-day basis with endless "20-hour days" even as Viacom is now majority owner of Bellator, why he will always maintain a tournament format for determining title challengers rather than using subjective matchmaking, the plans to have more women's fights in Bellator, plans to have every champion defend their belts at least three times a year, the overall status of relations with Bellator fighters, the Eddie Alvarez legal situation, 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, May 06, 2013

No Holds Barred: Nathan Hatton on His Book 'Rugged Game' and the History of Catch Wrestling 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Nathan Hatton.

He is the author of the new book about catch wrestling history entitled Rugged Game: Community, Culture and Wrestling at the Lakehead to 1933.

Dr. Hatton, who describes himself as a recreational wrestler, will be teaching history at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, starting this fall.

This book details the rich history of both amateur and professional wrestling from the late 1800s to 1933 in the Lakehead, Ontario, region, whose main city is now today known as Thunder Bay.

Although it is published by the Lakehead University Centre for Northern Studies, and has numerous, helpful footnotes and ample documentation, this book was written for the general public and is highly readable. Dr. Hatton said his aim was to "bridge the gap" between popular writing and academic research, and he certainly has succeeded with this book.

Unlike today, in those days much of professional wrestling was a real sport, although to what degree is still debated. There also was considerable cooperation and connection between many of the people involved in amateur and professional wrestling.

"There was a real heyday for wrestling on this continent between the early 1880s and into the early to mid-1920s, where you had the development of catch-as-catch-wrestling," said Dr. Hatton in this interview, which was recorded over Skype on Sunday. "Catch-as-catch-can is really the precursor to modern freestyle/folkstyle wrestling." In catch wrestling, you can win by pin or submission.

With stars like world heavyweight champion Frank Gotch and many internationally-known as well as local wrestlers, professional wrestling was a major sport.

"There was a period, when much like boxing, the best wrestlers unquestionably on the planet were professional wrestlers," he explained.

There were also numerous grassroots wrestling clubs and organizations, including many based in the working class and working class organizations, such as the Finnish Labour Temple and even the Communist Party of Canada and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

The book details the relation of the growth of wrestling in this region to the growth of the economy, industry, and trade, as well as the accompanying national and ethnic tensions and disputes.

We discussed the growth and decline of catch wrestling in this region, how much of it we can be certain was real and how much was staged, the lessons this period teaches for reviving catch wrestling today, and much, much more.

Rugged Game: Community, Culture and Wrestling at the Lakehead to 1933 by Nathan Hatton is a must-read book for wrestling historians and aficionados, combat sports fans, labor historians and activists, and anybody who appreciates good sports history. Buy it, read it, learn, enjoy, and pass on its lessons.

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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Sunday, May 05, 2013

No Holds Barred: Why They Do Not Have To Fix Boxing Matches Anymore 

(Photo by Tom Casino/Showtime)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the major fights in boxing held Saturday, May 4, and why, despite some brilliant performances, they were all showcase fights, and the fighters who were supposed to win all won, one way or another.

In those fights, welterweight and pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. won a unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, while heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko scored a sixth-round knockout over Francesco Pianeta in Mannheim, Germany. Also in Las Vegas, Abner Mares won by a somewhat controversial ninth-round TKO over Daniel Ponce De Leon, Leo Santa Cruz stopped veteran Alexander Munoz with a TKO in the fifth round, and J'Leon Love survived a knockdown to win a controversial split decision over Gabriel Rosado.

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, May 02, 2013

No Holds Barred: Charles Farrell on Guillermo Rigondeaux, Mayweather-Guerrero, the Klitschko Era, and Bad Boxing Writers 





On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with our colleague, correspondent, and award-winning boxing writer, Charles Farrell.

Charles is also co-editor of The Boxing Standard.

The eyes of the combat sports world and the sports world in general will be focused on boxing this weekend, as two of the top fighters in the world are in action Saturday, May 4. Welterweight and pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. will face Robert Guerrero in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, while heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko will fight Francesco Pianeta in Mannheim, Germany.

Charles, however, reserved his highest praise for the top 122-pound fighter in the world, Guillermo Rigondeaux, who won an impressive decision victory over Nonito Donaire April 13 in New York.

"I was more than impressed," Charles said of this fight, in an interview recorded Thursday by phone. "I'm comfortable saying that it's the best performance I've seen by anybody in the last half-decade." He added, "That was a performance for the ages. It was a virtuoso performance."

We discussed why and how Rigondeaux was so brilliant in this fight, as well as the myriad of supposed boxing experts and writers who panned it and just did not understand what Rigondeaux was doing to dominate Donaire.

Neither of us expect anything close to an upset in the Mayweather-Guerrero or Klitschko-Pianeta fights, which we also discussed, as well as the careers of both Mayweather and Wladimir and his brother, Vitali Klitschko. We also discussed whether more people will watch Mayweather-Guerrero or Klitschko-Pianeta, why the Abner Mares-Daniel Ponce de Leon featherweight fight might steal the show featuring Mayweather, a relatively impressive performance by heavyweight Bermane Stiverne against Chris Arreola last week, why the best TV boxing commentary in the U.S. is by present and former fighters, 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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