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Friday, November 29, 2013

No Holds Barred: Fallon Fox, Thomas Krever, Brendon Ayanbadejo on 2013 Emery Awards 


(Photo of Hudson Taylor, Fallon Fox, and Brendon Ayanbadejo receiving 2013 Emery Awards, courtesy of Fallon Fox)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Fallon Fox, the first openly transgender MMA fighter; Thomas Krever, the CEO of the Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI); and Brendon Ayanbadejo, a three-time Pro Bowl NFL player, a member of the world champion Baltimore Ravens who won Super Bowl XLVII, and a long-time advocate for equal rights.

What they have in common is that they all were involved in the 2013 Emery Awards, presented by the Hetrick-Martin Institute, a professional provider of social support and programming for at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) youth. These awards were presented at an event in New York on Wednesday, November 13. Fallon Fox and Brendon Ayanbadejo were among the athletes receiving these awards, as well as Hudson Taylor, a three-time All-American wrestler at the University of Maryland who is now a volunteer assistant coach for the Columbia University wrestling team and is the founder and executive director of Athlete Ally, a nonprofit organization focused on ending homophobia and transphobia in sports by educating allies in the athletic community and empowering them to take a stand. Also receiving awards were Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, and several other individuals.

The Emery Awards are given to individuals and corporations that exemplify HMI's mission of providing a safe and supportive environment for all young people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

We spoke with Thomas Krever and Brendon Ayanbadejo right before the awards event on November 13, on the red carpet outside Cipriani Wall Street. We spoke with Fallon Fox by phone Wednesday, November 27.

Saying that she had a "wonderful time" at this event, Fallon Fox, in our discussion, raised some of the issues involving the combat sports and the LGBT community.

"I don't think mixed martial arts is very big within the LGBT world. I think it's getting bigger with myself in mixed martial arts and a few other athletes who are lesbian, open lesbian," she said.

There are "LGBT athletes in every sport. We've always been there and always will be. But it's a good thing that a lot of us are coming out now," she said.

And she added, "I hope there's going to be a male gay athlete that comes out in the future."

We also discussed her plans to return to action next year after suffering her first loss in MMA, her plans to go on the public speaking circuit, 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:

LenneHardt.com, the web site of the world's greatest ring announcer, Lenne Hardt. Need a unique and cool combat sports-related gift? At LenneHardt.com, you can order personalized messages, wedding calls, ringtones, phone answering messages, and more, all recorded by Lenne herself, in the style of your choice. For more information, go to LenneHardt.com.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.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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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

No Holds Barred: Nick Garone on Second Annual Grapple at the Garden on December 1 




On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Nick Garone, the president of X-Cel Worldwide.

The main topic of our discussion was the second annual Grapple at the Garden.

This event will be held Sunday, December 1, at the world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden in New York.

For the first time in almost 94 years, when Joe Stecher defeated Earl Caddock on January 30, 1920, to win the world heavyweight wrestling championship, there will be real professional wrestling at Madison Square Garden.

In the main event of Grapple at the Garden 2, four-time NCAA Division I national champion Kyle Dake, the only wrestler to win these championships in four different weight classes, will take on another former NCAA Division I national champion, Bubba Jenkins, who was also a freestyle wrestling junior world champion and is currently a professional MMA fighter. This match will be held under freestyle wrestling rules and is being promoted in association with X-Cel Worldwide.

The co-main event, just announced, is a match between Frankie Edgar, a former UFC lightweight champion and Division I All-American wrestler at Clarion, and Phillipe Nover, who is the current Ring of Combat MMA lightweight champion and will represent the Renzo Gracie Academy.

The card also has numerous college wrestling dual meets, involving Army, Bloomsburg, Boston University, Cornell, Drexel, George Mason, Hofstra, Illinois, Maryland, Penn, Princeton, and Rutgers, as well as four local wrestling programs including Stevens Institute of Technology and NYU in an NCAA Division III matchup, and a match between NCWA men's club teams from Stony Brook University and Westchester Community College.

The card also includes the Renzo Gracie Academy vs. Team Joe Warren, with numerous MMA fighters such as "King" Mo Lawal and Joe Warren himself wrestling; top USA Wrestling senior clubs from the New York Athletic Club and the Titan Mercury Wrestling Club; a team USA vs. team Canada in two women's freestyle wrestling matches with 2012 world champion and three-time world medalist Adeline Gray of the U.S. vs. Canadian World Team member Erica Wiebe, and 2012 world silver medalist Helen Maroulis of the U.S. vs. Canadian World Team member Jillian Gallays; the finals of the Beat The Streets PSAL Thanksgiving Dual Meet Invitational in high school wrestling; and the finals of the inaugural Grapple at the Garden middle school championship, produced in association with the Metropolitan Wrestling Association.

The full card, which of course is subject to change, can be seen here.

We spoke with Nick Garone by phone Sunday.

"One of the things that is so exciting about this opportunity is the venue," he said. "The venue is just second to none. It's the Mecca. It's the most famous arena on earth, in the world. People know it from all around the world, from China, to London, from California to Maine, everybody knows Madison Square Garden."

The event is also aimed at a broad audience.

"We really don't want to attract just wrestling people," he said. "Wrestling fans are going to be into it. Wrestling fans are going to come out and they're going to support. We really want people to appreciate the great athletes that this sport produces."

As for the athletes, he added, "This is giving them an opportunity to make a little money in their own sport, give the sport publicity, and as well be a good will ambassador for their style of wrestling."

We also discussed that while many Division I college wrestling programs have been dropped in recent years, there has been an actual growth of the number of college wrestling programs overall, that the sport of wrestling is growing in the U.S. on the grassroots level, 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:

LenneHardt.com, the web site of the world's greatest ring announcer, Lenne Hardt. Need a unique and cool combat sports-related gift? At LenneHardt.com, you can order personalized messages, wedding calls, ringtones, phone answering messages, and more, all recorded by Lenne herself, in the style of your choice. For more information, go to LenneHardt.com.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.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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Monday, November 25, 2013

No Holds Barred: Dr. Margaret Goodman on Concussions, CTE, Dementia, and the Future of Combat Sports 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Dr. Margaret Goodman, a neurologist, the former chair of the Medical Advisory Board of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and the president and board chairman of VADA, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.

We spoke with her by phone Sunday, mainly about one of the many health issues facing the combat sports: concussions and the subsequent risks of dementia and diseases like CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).

"You can generalize, and you can say that what we know today is, getting hit in the head in any kind of sport, whether it be football, baseball, boxing, or MMA, is not good for the brain," she said.

"How good it's not for the brain hasn't really been established as far as how much trauma can someone sustain before they're predisposed to a condition like chronic traumatic encephalopathy. And those factors are still unknown."

However, she cautioned, "But what we do know is concussions or trauma to the head is additive. So the more punishment you take to your head, especially over a shorter period of time, often in the short time of a career of an MMA fighter or a boxer, has a whole bunch of risks as far as predisposing someone to a dementing illness."

We discussed how trauma to the head can lead to serious brain diseases even in young athletes and especially children, why children are more predisposed to these diseases than adults, and how many in the combat sports are turning "one blind eye to what's going on."

All the studies about the dangers on concussions and the prevalence of CTE in former NFL football players "should be a wakeup call" to those in combat sports where striking the head and trying to score a knockout are key, legal parts of the sport.

We discussed the old saying from the 1990s that "MMA is safer than boxing," and whether or not that can still be said to be true, assuming it ever was.

She was especially critical of the regulators of sports like boxing and MMA, who are largely "ignoring what is happening to the NFL." She said, referring not just to bad scoring, but to health and safety issues, "We're not regulating these sports properly." We also discussed the dangers of rapid weight-cutting, and what might be changed in order to minimize these dangers.

But with the growing body of scientific studies and literature on concussions and CTE, with these issues seeming only to mount in the combat sports, with increased public attention all the time on the effects of head trauma involving high-profile athletes like Georges St-Pierre, with no solution in sight to these problems, and with the likelihood of more tragedies and premature deaths facing these athletes, we had to ask some very tough questions, to which there are not easy answers.

Can the combat sports survive? Which ones are likeliest to go the way of smoking and becoming socially unacceptable and severely decline? Can combat sports with no striking to the head, like the various styles of grappling and wrestling, fill what may be a coming void? And what should those of us presently involved in various capacities with the combat sports do about all this?

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:

LenneHardt.com, the web site of the world's greatest ring announcer, Lenne Hardt. Need a unique and cool combat sports-related gift? At LenneHardt.com, you can order personalized messages, wedding calls, ringtones, phone answering messages, and more, all recorded by Lenne herself, in the style of your choice. For more information, go to LenneHardt.com.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.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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Sunday, November 24, 2013

No Holds Barred: Mike Van Arsdale on Training, Fighting, and Wrestling 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with trainer and former MMA fighter and wrestler Mike Van Arsdale.

Mike Van Arsdale had a distinguished career in wrestling, winning an NCAA Div. I national championship at 167 pounds in 1988 for Iowa State, and winning a gold medal at 97 kg in freestyle wrestling at the 1997 World Cup. In 1998 he began fighting in MMA, competing in Brazil, Mexico, and the U.S. until 2006.

Now 48 years old and retired as an active MMA fighter and wrestler, he is training fighters in strength and conditioning, wrestling, and wrestling for MMA. He is widely known as one of the most respected and sharpest coaches and trainers.

We spoke with him Friday while he was in New York cornering a fighter at the Glory 12 kickboxing event.

A lot of what he teaches is influenced by the old school training methods. Many trainers today, he said, just "make things up," which is not the best approach.

"What they're making up does not replace the real lifts, like the dead lift, or the pullup, or the dip," he said. "Going back to the old days and looking at their systems, some of them are good. Some of them are better than some of the stuff they have out right now."

Along with his business partner, the world-renowned strength and conditioning coach Tim McClellan, he uses what he calls "a prime system".

This is based on "what really worked the best. We looked at everything, and we use what works the best, and it's just a matter of putting the sequence together in the proper order."

We also discussed some of the many problems associated with training, including overtraining, as well as the growing concern in all contact and combat sports with head trauma, brain injuries, concussions, and CTE, and how that is affecting the future of these sports.

In addition, we discussed the recent revival of real professional wrestling in the U.S. He noted that in order for this to be successful, a tournament format is needed, along with new and better leadership in wrestling to organize these events. And we discussed why so many wrestlers have turned to MMA, how his view of wrestling compares to that of the many other combat sports, 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:

LenneHardt.com, the web site of the world's greatest ring announcer, Lenne Hardt. Need a unique and cool combat sports-related gift? At LenneHardt.com, you can order personalized messages, wedding calls, ringtones, phone answering messages, and more, all recorded by Lenne herself, in the style of your choice. For more information, go to LenneHardt.com.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.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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Friday, November 22, 2013

No Holds Barred: Jenny Wong on the Growth of Women's Wrestling 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with women's wrestling pioneer Jenny Wong.

From 2000 to 2008, Jenny Wong was a member of the U.S. National Team in women's freestyle wrestling. From 2002 to 2007, she was also a resident athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

In 2003, she won a world bronze medal at 51 kg/112.25 lbs., at the World Wrestling Championships at New York's Madison Square Garden, whose finals drew over 12,000 spectators. It was only in 2004 that women's wrestling was added to the program of the Olympic Games.

Before retiring from competition in 2008, she won numerous other competitions and medals. She then went to medical school at the Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center and graduated in 2012, and now is an Emergency Medicine Resident Physician at the Henry Ford Health System, which is based in Detroit, Michigan. She is also an athlete representative on the Sport Science Committee at USA Wrestling.

We spoke with Jenny Wong by phone this week.

While she was actively competing, she witnessed a growing acceptance of women's wrestling. Towards the end of her high school wrestling career, "It wasn't really something that was a big deal anymore," she said. She then wrestled on men's teams in college, as well as the U.S. women's team.

"As I moved on there was more acceptance. It became a lot easier to get practice partners. There wasn't such a struggle anymore," she said.

But acceptance is not universal, even in the U.S.

"I do keep hearing about women here and there that are having trouble wrestling for their high school team, so that still exists, but it's a lot better environment, more accepting environment nowadays, I think."

Her wrestling career spanned the time that women's wrestling made historic strides forward. "We've come a long way," she said, but added that there is still "a way to go."

We discussed her own attraction to the male-dominated sport of wrestling, the kinship the wrestling community offered, as well as some of the problems in wrestling, including the decision by several women wrestlers including herself to leave the U.S. Olympic Training Center and train elsewhere.

While she also has an interest in other combat sports such as MMA and jiu-jitsu, as a doctor she is well aware of the dangers of concussions and the growing medical studies about head trauma, brain injuries, and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). We discussed that burning issue including the revelations in the documentary film "League of Denial" about brain damage and the attempted coverup by the NFL in American football, as well as the implications for the combat sports, 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:

LenneHardt.com, the web site of the world's greatest ring announcer, Lenne Hardt. Need a unique and cool combat sports-related gift? At LenneHardt.com, you can order personalized messages, wedding calls, ringtones, phone answering messages, and more, all recorded by Lenne herself, in the style of your choice. For more information, go to LenneHardt.com.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.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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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

No Holds Barred: Declan Hill on the Globalization of the Sports Corruption Industry 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with investigative journalist, documentary maker, and academic Declan Hill.

His new book, "The Insider's Guide to Match-Fixing in Football", has recently been published. In it, he details the latest information on the growing scourge of match-fixing in the world's most popular sport, football (known as soccer in North America), and discussed what can be done to stop it. The lessons in this can be applied directly to the combat sports, which have their own sordid history of corruption and bad governance.

We spoke with Declan Hill by phone Tuesday.

"What we've come to in the sports world is the globalization of the sports corruption industry," he said. "So, ten years ago, Goldman and Hill would be on the line and would be talking about fixing a boxing match or would be fixing a soccer game in some place. And much of the fixing would be constrained because there wouldn't be enough capacity to get cash down on a small boxing match or a small wrestling thing or a small soccer game.

He continued, "Now, the same phenomenon which has hit the music industry or the travel industry or practically any industry that your listeners can think of, has hit what I ironically call the sports corruption industry. So you have these criminals sitting in Singapore or Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur, and they're planning fixing soccer games, ATP tennis, whatever you have, literally halfway around the world. And there's an enormous flow of money traveling around the world fixing these games."

He explained how the money being paid to fix these matches is an important part of the business plan of those sports organizations which are carrying out the fixing. He also discussed why this phenomenon of the globalization of the sports corruption industry has largely not reached North America, because of the sports "isolationism" which means that "nobody watches the sports you play" - yet. He predicted that this will change over the next five to ten years. And we discussed how all this applies to the combat sports, including boxing, wrestling, and MMA. We also discussed illegal and legal sports betting and their relation to match-fixing, the battle for better governance of sports organizations, the need for an international sports anti-corruption agency, and much more.

And towards the end of our discussion he said, "Eddie, thank you for your battle in trying to keep combat sports as clean as possible. It's very much appreciated."

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:

LenneHardt.com, the web site of the world's greatest ring announcer, Lenne Hardt. Need a unique and cool combat sports-related gift? At LenneHardt.com, you can order personalized messages, wedding calls, ringtones, phone answering messages, and more, all recorded by Lenne herself, in the style of your choice. For more information, go to LenneHardt.com.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.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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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

No Holds Barred: Ben Askren on the Rebirth of Real Professional Wrestling 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with U.S. freestyle wrestling Olympian, two-time NCAA Div. I national champion wrestler, and undefeated MMA fighter Ben Askren.

Although he was their welterweight champion and still unbeaten, he was recently released by Bellator MMA. He is now a free agent in MMA, so with his future uncertain, he is focusing much of his time on returning to his roots, the sport of wrestling.

But rather than resuming his career on the international freestyle circuit, Ben Askren is now playing a pivotal role in the revival of real wrestling as a professional sport. He wrestled in the main event of the debut show of the Agon Wrestling Championships on October 27, 2013, handily defeating two-time NCAA champion and four-time NCAA All-American wrestler Quentin Wright by a score of 22-8. Agon uses a blend of freestyle and American folkstyle rules, and this match was held at 195 pounds. Now Ben Askren will also act as the matchmaker for Agon, whose second show is slated for December in Michigan, as he decides what his future will be in MMA and in wrestling.

We spoke with Ben Askren by phone Monday.

The vote in February by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee, later overturned in September at the full IOC meeting, to remove wrestling from the program of the Olympic Games set off a firestorm of activity in the wrestling community. One key development in the U.S. was the re-emergence of a circuit featuring real professional wrestling. The Agon Wrestling Championships and Tour ACW had their first shows in October. The Victory Wrestling Challenge is debuting Friday, November 22, in Omaha, Nebraska. The second annual Grapple at the Garden event, set for December 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York, will be headlined by a professional freestyle match between Kyle Dake and Bubba Jenkins, along with its slate of NCAA dual meets and high school and middle school matches. Right now these events are operating independently, although several wrestlers have been competing in more than one of them.

"At this point we all have the same idea. It's just going to come down to who's going to execute the idea the best," said Ben Askren. But he believes that Agon has a bright future.

"We've already announced a second and a third and a fourth event. So we're getting pretty ambitious in this. I think we have a really good plan to be around for a long time, to the point where we're not really losing money off the bat. We're kind of breaking even with our events, and that way we'll be around for a long time."

We discussed how Agon plans to get more high-level wrestlers involved and run regular events, how they hope to create a situation where top wrestlers can make a good living from the sport, and how Agon is non-exclusive for the athletes. We also talked about the "untapped market" of both athletes and spectators in wrestling, his desire to wrestle Kyle Dake, the concurrent rebirth of catch 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:

LenneHardt.com, the web site of the world's greatest ring announcer, Lenne Hardt. Need a unique and cool combat sports-related gift? At LenneHardt.com, you can order personalized messages, wedding calls, ringtones, phone answering messages, and more, all recorded by Lenne herself, in the style of your choice. For more information, go to LenneHardt.com.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.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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Sunday, November 17, 2013

No Holds Barred: Raul Ramirez on the Global Growth of Catch Wrestling 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with our correspondent Raul Ramirez of Catch Wrestling Los Angeles.

He has just returned from Wigan, England, where on November 9 he won both his matches at the second annual International Catch Wrestling Tournament, organized by the Snake Pit Wigan. He won his first match by hammerlock over Stephen Greenfield of Wales, and his second by pin over Ulli Koch of Germany. For these efforts, he also was awarded three trophies: the Alan Latham AKA Francis Sullivan Trophy presented by his daughter Karen Latham, the Billy Chambers AKA Jack Fallon Trophy, and the Roy Wood Trophy for Most Improved Wrestler of the Year, presented by Wigan head coach Roy Wood himself.

In addition, it was announced that Catch Wrestling Los Angeles is now an official Snake Pit Wigan Training Group.

We spoke with Raul Ramirez by phone Sunday.

We discussed the opportunity wrestling has with the void being created by all the problems in many combat and contact sports, especially those where evidence of head injuries and brain damage are mounting. In the U.S., there is a slow but steady rebirth of real professional wrestling events, with some using a mix of freestyle and American folkstyle rules, and others international freestyle rules.

"With the history of catch wrestling, ours is the granddaddy of them all," he said. "If everyone from Wigan and everyone in the United States works together, we can really try to get something going that's global and really exciting."

He noted that international participation in this Wigan event increased this year, as well as the quality of the wrestling. There are many freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestlers who are "really interested and really wanting to do catch wrestling." At this event alone, freestyle and Greco wrestler Muhammad Ali of Pakistan, a two-time South Asian Games champion, traveled all the way to England to train and wrestle, winning both of his matches by pin. Other international wrestlers included Osamu Matsunami of Japan and Ulli Koch of Germany, with, of course, Raul Ramirez from the U.S. and numerous wrestlers from the U.K.

"This can be global again," he said, as we discussed some of the plans to continue this revival of catch wrestling.

We also discussed plans to hold an international catch wrestling tournament in the Los Angeles area next year, the need for those in catch wrestling to be connected to the broader wrestling community, 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:

LenneHardt.com, the web site of the world's greatest ring announcer, Lenne Hardt. Need a unique and cool combat sports-related gift? At LenneHardt.com, you can order personalized messages, wedding calls, ringtones, phone answering messages, and more, all recorded by Lenne herself, in the style of your choice. For more information, go to LenneHardt.com.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.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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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

No Holds Barred: Dan Schon and the Rise of Jiu-Jitsu in Mexico 




On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with grappler Dan Schon.

Representing his home country of Mexico, he recently made headlines at the 2013 SportAccord World Combat Games in St. Petersburg, Russia. In a dominant performance, on October 24, he won a gold medal in the -85 kg men's ne waza division over David Ben Zaken of Israel by a score of 4-0. This competition, organized by the JJIF (Ju Jitsu International Federation), had rules which were very similar to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu rules, with some minor differences such as a shorter time limit of six minutes. This was the only medal won by a Mexican athlete in the JJIF competition at the World Combat Games.

Besides running a jiu-jitsu school, he has competed in numerous other competitions run by IBJJF, ADCC, NAGA, and other organizations.

We spoke with Dan Schon by Skype Thursday.

"It was a tough match. It was a tough tournament," he said, noting that his semifinal match was even more difficult than the gold medal final.

"I can say that Mexican jiu-jitsu is growing in a way," he said.

"We Mexicans are tough guys. We like boxing. We like a lot of the combat sports. So jiu-jitsu is new here in Mexico, but we're trying to grow it. Thanks to this jiu-jitsu federation, the JJIF, it's been able to grow, because the government is giving us a lot of help in taking us to all these international tournaments and having us compete with some of the best guys."

While he still plans to compete in events organized by other groups, he had high praise for JJIF and said he would recommend that people "at least look into us. None of the federations are exclusive, or at least not in Mexico and not in the States. You can compete in the Brazilian federation, and you can also compete in the JJIF." He also said that all his travel expenses and accommodations were paid for during the World Combat Games.

We discussed his background, and how he was born in Mexico, moved to the U.S. and graduated from UC Davis in California where he had a wrestling scholarship, and moved back to Mexico City where he also works. He talked of his love of jiu-jitsu, why it "is for everybody", how he advanced step-by-step up to black belt, his victory in the 2013 World Games in Colombia, the other styles of traditional jiu-jitsu in which JJIF holds competitions, how JJIF has gained ground in regions where other organizations have not, how he works full-time while training two to four hours a day, his thanks for the guidance his parents continue to give him, 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:

LenneHardt.com, the web site of the world's greatest ring announcer, Lenne Hardt. Need a unique and cool combat sports-related gift? At LenneHardt.com, you can order personalized messages, wedding calls, ringtones, phone answering messages, and more, all recorded by Lenne herself, in the style of your choice. For more information, go to LenneHardt.com.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.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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Sunday, November 10, 2013

No Holds Barred: Hudson Taylor of Athlete Ally 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Hudson Taylor, the founder and executive director of Athlete Ally.

Athlete Ally is a nonprofit organization focused on ending homophobia and transphobia in sports by educating allies in the athletic community and empowering them to take a stand.

A three-time All-American wrestler at the University of Maryland, Hudson Taylor is now a volunteer assistant coach for the Columbia University wrestling team.

On Wednesday, November 13, he will be one of the recipients of an Emery Award, presented by the Hetrick-Martin Institute, a professional provider of social support and programming for at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

We spoke with Hudson Taylor by phone Wednesday.

"I founded Athlete Ally about three years ago, shortly after graduating from the University of Maryland," he said. While still wrestling at Maryland in his senior year, "I decided to start speaking out about homophobia in sports and my opinions about it. So I actually started the season wearing a Human Rights Campaign sticker on my headgear. One, because I thought it looked cool," he said with a laugh. "Two, because I thought it would really start a conversation that I didn't see occurring in the sports world."

And wrestling, he believes, is a great venue in which to speak up for all forms of equality.

"I think that wrestling is a unique sport in its diversity. It's one of the only sports where you can really be any size, any body type, and really be successful at an elite level," he said. "It's pure in a lot of ways, because you don't need to rely on anyone but yourself and what you bring to the mat."

He also is outspoken on the various forms of abuse which have been aimed at transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox. "It's a real shame what Fallon Fox has had to put up with," he said.

We also discussed how Athlete Ally aids the battle against homophobia and transphobia in sports, what non-LGBT people can do to aid this fight, the support Athlete Ally has gotten from organizations including the NCAA and USA Wrestling, the situation facing closeted athletes, the fight against anti-LGBT laws in countries like Russia, the outlook for Columbia wrestling this season, 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:

LenneHardt.com, the web site of the world's greatest ring announcer, Lenne Hardt. Need a unique and cool combat sports-related gift? At LenneHardt.com, you can order personalized messages, wedding calls, ringtones, phone answering messages, and more, all recorded by Lenne herself, in the style of your choice. For more information, go to LenneHardt.com.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.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, November 07, 2013

No Holds Barred: Stephen Greenfield and Raul Ramirez on Snake Pit Wigan International Catch Wrestling Tournament 




On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Stephen Greenfield of the Snake Pit Wigan and our correspondent Raul Ramirez of Catch Wrestling Los Angeles.

They are both now in Wigan, England, the home of catch wrestling, for the second annual International Catch Wrestling Tournament, hosted by the historic Snake Pit Wigan. Several wrestlers from around the world have come to Wigan for this tournament and the annual International Week of training and seminars.

Catch wrestling is in the process of being revived, and this is the most important catch wrestling tournament in the world.

This event, alongside the 36th annual Aspull Freestyle Wrestling Competition, will be held this Saturday, November 9, at the Robin Park Sports Centre in Wigan. As was done last year, videos of the matches are expected to be posted online shortly.

We spoke with both Stephen Greenfield and Raul Ramirez by Skype Wednesday.

"The plan is, this year there's going to be a larger number of matches" than last year, said Stephen Greenfield. "I think currently it's anywhere between 10 and 15, depending on how many people we've got at the time."

He added, "It's not quite an open tournament yet. It's mostly populated by people who have sort of trained at the Snake Pit, and also some of the people that have come for the International Week.... Hopefully it will be interesting for people to watch." Next year, however, the plan is to hold an open tournament.

The influence of the Snake Pit Wigan has already spread far beyond the U.K., and there are plans for more similar catch wrestling tournaments internationally.

"Our mission," said Raul Ramirez, is "try to create that bridge, or outreach or education, on basically letting the American wrestlers - collegiate, folkstyle, freestyle wrestlers - know that we in the United States do have such a rich catch wrestling tradition as well, that they most likely don't know about."

Towards that end, discussions are now under way to plan a catch wrestling tournament in the Los Angeles area for sometime in the first half of 2014.

We also discussed the catch wrestling rules used by the Snake Pit Wigan, which are based on the original rules of Billy Riley of Riley's Gym. Under those rules, there are no points or judges, and a match can only be won by pin or submission. However, the Snake Pit Wigan rules do not allow chokes. Current Snake Pit and Aspull head coach Roy Wood, who was trained by Billy Riley, has argued, according to Stephen Greenfield, "The choke kills the wrestling."

In addition, we discussed the appeal of catch wrestling, the need for those involved in catch wrestling to have ties to the broader wrestling community, what is needed for the revival of catch wrestling to be successful, 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:

LenneHardt.com, the web site of the world's greatest ring announcer, Lenne Hardt. Need a unique and cool combat sports-related gift? At LenneHardt.com, you can order personalized messages, wedding calls, ringtones, phone answering messages, and more, all recorded by Lenne herself, in the style of your choice. For more information, go to LenneHardt.com.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.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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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

No Holds Barred: John Perretti Counters the Amnesia and Deceit on MMA History 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with the ex-pugilist, lifelong martial artist, former UFC and Battlecade Extreme Fighting matchmaker, TV commentator, and our senior correspondent, John Perretti.

With the 20th anniversary of the formation of the UFC, a lot of rubbish is being put out. We spoke with John Perretti by phone Tuesday to counter that.

"20 years ago something occurred," he said. "A little kid in his pajamas got to wrestle a bunch of boneheads and beat them and create a sport. At the same time, Extreme Fighting was creating a different kind of sport. And then the metamorphosis of Extreme Fighting and the UFC occurred. How that happened, I guess, I was there. I remember what happened. Others do not."

He continued, "I really don't have anything to celebrate about what has occurred after my departure - my intentional departure, let me state, again, for the record."

We discussed how most of the people writing about and commenting on MMA history "have no credibility," how many of them are promoting "Hitlerian deceit," why Senator John McCain is a "hypocrite," the mistakes which were made in the early days of UFC and Extreme Fighting, the growing problems of concussions and head injuries in MMA, the many problems facing those who are trying to create real professional grappling and wrestling organizations, 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:

LenneHardt.com, the web site of the world's greatest ring announcer, Lenne Hardt. Need a unique and cool combat sports-related gift? At LenneHardt.com, you can order personalized messages, wedding calls, ringtones, phone answering messages, and more, all recorded by Lenne herself, in the style of your choice. For more information, go to LenneHardt.com.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.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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Sunday, November 03, 2013

No Holds Barred: Charles Farrell on Bernard Hopkins and the 2013 Fighter of the Year Award 


(Photo Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with our colleague, correspondent, and award-winning boxing writer, Charles Farrell, who is also co-editor of The Boxing Standard.

With his commanding and impressive unanimous decision victory October 26 over the 30-year-old challenger Karo Murat (25-2-1, 15 KOs), the 48-year-old IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard "The Alien" Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KOs) is still doing things in the ring perviously thought to be impossible or at least highly improbable. He has thus, in his 25th year as a professional fighter, legitimately put his name into consideration as a candidate for 2013 Fighter of the Year.

We spoke about this phenomenon with Charles Farrell by phone Tuesday.

"Absolutely he should be considered," he said. "Whether he wins it or not, I don't know. But he's had two good wins. And I think if you frame it historically, which I think it's a fair thing to do, I think that's a legitimate element of what you look for, he's very, very much in the mix."

His preference for Fighter of the Year is the unbeaten 122-pound champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, who essentially put on a boxing clinic against last year's consensus Fighter of the Year, Nonito Donaire, with a unanimous decision victory in April. That was, he said, the best performance by a fighter he had seen "certainly in recent memory."

But, he added about Hopkins, "If he were to win it, I think it's a deserving win. He's not the guy I would choose, but I have no quarrel with him winning it."

We also discussed how Hopkins quickly analyzes his opponents in their fights and responds accordingly, why he believes it is unlikely that Hopkins will fight Floyd Mayweather next, the dwindling talent pool in boxing, 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:

LenneHardt.com, the web site of the world's greatest ring announcer, Lenne Hardt. Need a unique and cool combat sports-related gift? At LenneHardt.com, you can order personalized messages, wedding calls, ringtones, phone answering messages, and more, all recorded by Lenne herself, in the style of your choice. For more information, go to LenneHardt.com.

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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.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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Friday, November 01, 2013

No Holds Barred: Coach Tom Brands of Iowa on NWCA All-Star Classic 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Olympic gold medalist, world champion, and three-time NCAA Div. I national champion wrestler Tom Brands, who is the current head wrestling coach of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes.

Before the 2013-14 regular college wrestling season starts, Coach Brands will be bringing two of his top wrestlers to compete in the 2013 edition of the NWCA All-Star Classic.

This event takes place this Saturday, November 2, at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia, on the campus of George Mason University. It will be streamed live on Flowrestling, and televised in about two weeks on Fox College Sports in the U.S. at a date to be announced.

Representing the Iowa Hawkeyes will be defending NCAA champion and top-ranked Derek St. John, who will be facing Nestor Taffur of Boston University at 157 pounds, and Tony Ramos, who is top-ranked at 133 pounds, but will be wrestling at 141 at this event against Devin Carter of Virginia Tech.

We spoke with Coach Brands by phone Thursday.

"I think it's a good thing when you have guys that are willing to put things on the line where there's probably what I would say, there's a lot of ego at stake and it's not just 'give me the matchup that serves me the best'. These are real matchups, I think four or five of them in the lineup, where it could go to either guy, looking at it on paper," he said.

"When you have that type of event, I think you're going to have the potential to do what maybe the All-Star meet is supposed to do, and that's really bring a lot of attention to it and really fire people up and get people onboard for the season and even internationally. There's going to be some future matchups there as well. So a lot going on."

The complete and loaded lineup for the 2013 NWCA All-Star Classic is:

125: Jarrod Patterson (Oklahoma) vs. Nashon Garrett (Cornell)
133: A.J. Schopp (Edinboro) vs. Mason Beckman (Lehigh)
141: Devin Carter (Virginia Tech) vs. Tony Ramos (Iowa)
149: Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) vs. Logan Stieber (Ohio State)
157: Derek St. John (Iowa) vs. Nestor Taffur (Boston U.)
165: David Taylor (Penn State) vs. Michael Moreno (Iowa State)
174: Andrew Howe (Oklahoma) vs. Matt Brown (Penn State)
184: Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland) vs. Jake Swartz (Boise State)
197: Taylor Meeks (Oregon State) vs. Scott Schiller (Minnesota)
HWT: Tony Nelson (Minnesota) vs. Mike McMullan (Northwestern)

There will also be several exhibition feature matches.

We also discussed how he views the Iowa Hawkeyes and their potential to win another national title this season, why wrestling needs to improve the way the sport is promoted and "at least we appear like we're big budget", why wrestling needs "to get the right people in the right place" to promote and market the sport, 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.

GrappleGnostic, sponsored by Defense Soap. Where the will to win meets the power of knowledge. Features, interviews, analysis, health tips, and information on wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and all the grappling arts, written by some of the best writers and experts in the world. Check out their web site, a http://defensesoap.com/grapplegnostic.

Defense Soap, an effective, deep penetrating body soap with natural antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial soap ingredients. Defense Soap is the best cleansing body soap for men and women athletes who are involved in contact sports such as MMA, wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and judo, to help their antifungal, anti-ringworm, anti-jock itch strategy. Check out their web site, at http://defensesoap.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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