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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

No Holds Barred: Carlos Newton 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with MMA pioneer and fighter Carlos Newton.

The first Canadian to hold a UFC title, he has fought all around the world and in most major promotions, starting at age 19 in Battlecade Extreme Fighting and going to UFC, Pride, Shooto, Heros, IFL, and others. He also is known as one of the most skilled grapplers ever to have competed in MMA.

Based in the Toronto, Ontario, Canada, area, he currently is an instructor at Revolution Mixed Martial Arts and Fitness and at Warrior Mixed Martial Arts in Newmarket. Although he has not fought in MMA for several years, he now hopes to return to action.

We spoke with Carlos Newton by phone Tuesday.

Asked where he might make his return fight, he minced no words.

"Oh, where I might fight for me is not a question," he said.

"My next fight will be for myself. I will be my own promoter. That's just the way it's going to be."

Although there is no imminent date set for this venture, his plan is to start by running a small show, in a hall with 500 seats. "You don't need a promoter to do that."

This was in line with a major theme of our discussion, that anti-competitive practices in MMA are stifling the marketplace and hurting the interests and livelihoods of most MMA fighters.

We thus compared the structure of boxing to that in MMA. Even with all the well-documented flaws and problems in the sport and business of boxing, boxers overall do better financially than MMA fighters, and also have more rights.

While boxers "have caviar," he said, "we're going to McDonald's."

Some prominent boxers like Floyd Mayweather and the now-retired Oscar De La Hoya have formed their own promotional companies. You generally do not see that in MMA, which is one of the many reasons Carlos prefers the structure in boxing to that in MMA.

We also discussed why he wants to return to fighting, some possible solutions to the problems facing MMA fighters, how the de-emphasis on grappling in MMA has been detrimental to it, and much more.

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