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Monday, December 30, 2013

No Holds Barred: The Crisis in Wrestling and 2014 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses some of the main lessons of the tumultuous year of 2013 for wrestling, where it was almost banished from the Olympics, and examines what international, real professional, and catch wrestling must do in order to resolve the problems holding back the sport. The need for professional leadership, being media-savvy, running the various wrestling organizations like real sports, and battling corruption are among the topics stressed.

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, December 27, 2013

No Holds Barred: Antonio Graceffo on Wrestling in China 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with the writer, web show host, MMA fighter, and wrestler, Antonio Graceffo.

Born in Brooklyn, known as the "Brooklyn Monk", and raised in Tennessee, he has been living, training, and competing in several different countries in Asia for many years. Now 46 years old, he has gone back to school, this time in Shanghai, China, to complete his Ph.D. We spoke with him Thursday at Foley's Bar and Restaurant in New York, while he was in town visiting with family members for the holidays.

"I started doing a Ph.D. at Shanghai University of Sport, and I'm on the traditional wrestling team there," he said, referring to competing in the Chinese traditional style of wrestling known as Shuai Jiao, where the wrestlers wear jackets. "And I decided that I was going to take one year away from MMA fighting, just concentrate on improving my wrestling skills."

Discussing his studies, he said, "For my Ph.D., I'm writing a dissertation on comparative forms of wrestling. So within China, there's a number of traditional and ethnic forms of wrestling, and I'm also along the way writing scholarly articles for comparing wrestling with other sports, including MMA, sambo, judo, and so forth."

While sports, including combat sports, have been booming in recent years in China, wrestlers from that country still often do not achieve much success on the international level. In addition, there are relatively few people in China training and competing in wrestling.

"I think the key for China to improve in wrestling would be if they would promote the traditional wrestling more within China," he advised. Right now wrestling is mainly done in clubs, often involving people who work or go to school full-time.

"Culturally, they could promote traditional wrestling to the Chinese people as a Chinese sport. From that pool of traditional wrestlers, they could probably begin to draw people and then train them in freestyle and Greco-Roman."

He continued, "The strength and the weakness of Chinese sports in general is the system of sports schools, that they only have people at sports schools playing sports, and that kids in regular schools don't play sports."

We also discussed his training and experiences at the Shaolin Temple, how prevailing attitudes have changed over the years in China to martial arts and combat sports, how the standup fighting style of Sanda is still very influential in China, the prospects for Wushu as a sport, why the issues of concussions and brain injuries in combat sports have not become major areas of controversy in China, learning the Chinese language, what is called Chinese food in America, 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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Monday, December 23, 2013

No Holds Barred: Jessica Aguilar on Her WSOF 8 Title Fight 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with the world's top-ranked MMA fighter in the women's 115-pound division, American Top Team fighter Jessica Aguilar.

She has recently signed with the World Series of Fighting, and will make her debut in that promotion at WSOF 8 on Saturday, January 18, 2014, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Her opponent will be Alida Gray, 4-0 in MMA, in a bout for World Series of Fighting's inaugural women's strawweight title.

WSOF 8 will be telecast live in the U.S. on NBC Sports Network.

We spoke with Jessica Aguilar by phone Sunday night.

Having watched some video of Alida Gray, she is confident that she will win this fight and retain her number one ranking.

"I'm going to be ready," she said, "and that belt's going to be mine."

We also discussed her previous fight, a rematch with grappling legend and MMA pioneer Megumi Fujii, which took place October 5, 2013, on the Vale Tudo Japan 3rd event card in Ota, Tokyo, Japan. Jessica Aguilar won that fight, albeit with some controversy, and she explained what happened.

In addition, we also discussed the treatment of LGBT fighters in MMA and her own experiences. Speaking for herself, she said that there was "nothing bad to say from my experience."

Besides reiterating her love of Japan and their culture and fans, we discussed her future plans, how her mother has come to accept that she is a fighter, her training at American Top Team, and the humorous story of how she first became a professional MMA fighter. And towards the end of our discussion, she treated us to a brief rendition of an old Garth Brooks song.

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, December 19, 2013

No Holds Barred: Jens Sejer Andersen on Good Governance, Democracy, and Corruption in Sport 




On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Jens Sejer Andersen, the international director of Play the Game.

Based in Denmark, Play the Game is an international conference and communication initiative aiming to strengthen the ethical foundation of sport and promote democracy, transparency, and freedom of expression in sport.

The Play the Game 2013 conference was held October 28-31, 2013, in Aarhus, Denmark, with 148 speakers addressing many of the burning issues in world sport. All the conference presentations are now online.

We spoke with Jens Sejer Andersen by Skype on Tuesday.

Among the many key areas of interest and issues which he identified as being focused upon at this conference were: match-fixing, especially in international football (soccer); "mega-events: what are they good for?"; "the quality of sports governance, the quality of the sports leaders, their honesty"; "doping as a permanent item on the international agenda"; and the "whole concern about which interests is sport serving".

Describing this as "the best conference we've had so far," he also explained that there is more "public involvement" in the fight for good governance and against the various forms of corruption in sport than ever before. One of the many examples of this was the popular uprising in Brazil earlier this year against the corruption and massive government spending on the 2014 FIFA World Cup while the needs of the people were not being met.

We also discussed how the "sports-business complex" uses mega-events to their advantage and often against the interests of the majority of people; the issue of rights for LGBT people in Russia and the upcoming 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics; who are the new and current "superpowers" in world sport; the exposure in the media of horrific working conditions for those involved in the construction of facilities for the 2022 Qatar World Cup; the lack of democracy and good governance in many of the international federations which are affiliated with the International Olympic Committee; how it is "outrageous" that safety for athletes is not the number one issue in many sports; allegations of corruption in some of the lower-profile sports such as weightlifting and wrestling; the growing problem of many youths not being involved in sports at the grassroots level and having sedentary lifestyles; the role of the sports media; 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, December 17, 2013

No Holds Barred: Wade Davis of You Can Play Project 




On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Wade Davis, the executive director of the You Can Play Project.

You Can Play is, according to its web site, an organization "dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation." Its slogan is: "Gay athletes. Straight allies. Teaming up for respect."

The issues of respect and fairness for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) athletes are major ones being discussed in world sport, from the controversy over Russia's law against so-called "gay propaganda" passed shortly before the start of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, to the debate in the combat sports involving transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox and gay boxer Orlando Cruz. These are issues we addressed with Wade Davis. We spoke with him by phone Monday.

"One of the first things that we try to do at You Can Play is create a conversation," he said. "Whether you're someone who is against the idea of playing with an LGBT person or you're for it, our goal is to approach it from the perspective that we don't believe that people are inherently homophobic."

He continued, "Now there are definitely some who are, but we don't believe that the majority of people are, so we're willing to say, 'Hey, tell me what your beliefs are. I'll tell you mine. There is no right or wrong, but our goal is to really have a conversation.' If there is at least the option of having a conversation, then there is a chance that you're looking to be educated and receive some information that could potentially make you more or less likely to engage with helping to create a space for an LGBT person to play sports. We don't believe that telling someone what they believe is right or wrong helps to facilitate a conversation."

We discussed how to approach both sports organizations and fans on these issues, combat sports and views of what masculinity means, what people can do to fight homophobia and transphobia, 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, December 15, 2013

No Holds Barred: Your Year-End Assignment 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, with many people around the world having some free time in the last two weeks of the year, host Eddie Goldman gives you your year-end assignment. (No, there will be no test or quiz, but you will be judged in practice.)

First, study internationally what is going on in the world of sport. The International Olympic Committee has just announced a set of new proposals to combat doping, corruption, and match-fixing, in its Olympic Agenda 2020, which has been proposed by new IOC president Thomas Bach. Will these be adequate to clean up world sport? And how will these affect the combat sports?

Second, all the presentations are now online from the Play the Game 2013 conference.

Held October 28-31, 2013, in Aarhus, Denmark, 148 speakers addressed burning issues in world sport such as match-fixing, doping, lack of democracy and transparency, who benefits and who does not from the Olympics, bad governance, racism, women in sport, homophobia, the role of sports journalists, the recent mass protests in Brazil, and much more. Now online are presentations, audio, video, and photos from this conference.

Among the many essential presentations which should be studied were:

"The democratic noise of sport" by Jens Sejer Andersen.

"Making the World Safe for Capitalism: A Critique of Global Sport and Development" by John Nauright.

"The Democratization of Athletes: What if athletes determined who governed their sports?" by Peter Donnelly.

"Money, Power and Marionettes: The shift of Olympic Power" by Jens Weinreich.

In addition, the issues of concussions, head trauma, brain damage, and dementia, which were not highlighted at Play the Game 2013, are now being understood and discussed by more and more people involved in sports around the world, and this is also of particular importance to the combat sports.

So that's your year-end assignment: Study these and related issues, and follow the advice of Jens Sejer Andersen: "It is your turn to drive the funeral silence out of sport."

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, December 12, 2013

No Holds Barred: Eddie Goldman, Dan McCool, and Scott Casber on Takedown Radio 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman was interviewed, along with veteran wrestling journalist and author Dan McCool, by Scott Casber, the host of Takedown Wrestling Radio.

This discussion took place on Takedown Wrestling Radio and was recorded right after Monday's media conference call of the Agon Wrestling Championships. That conference call previewed the Agon 2 show, scheduled for Sunday, December 22, in Flint, Michigan.

Our discussion focused not only on the development of the many real professional wrestling events like Agon, but also what changes are needed in general in wrestling to market, promote, and popularize the sport properly, and how many of the efforts in this regard so far have been inadequate at best.

Scott Casber wrote that this was "a fun, informative, and lively roundtable discussion." As is usual when the three of us talk, we told the brutal and beautiful truth.

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, December 10, 2013

No Holds Barred: Agon 2 Conference Call with Ben Askren, Chris Bono, Brent Metcalf, Max Askren, Mike DiSabato, Dave Dean 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman presents the audio of the December 9 media conference call hosted by the Agon Wrestling Championships.

Participating on this call were Agon matchmaker, undefeated MMA fighter, U.S. Olympian, and two-time NCAA Div. I national champion Ben Askren; NCAA Div. I national champion and current head wrestling coach at South Dakota State University Chris Bono; two-time NCAA Div. I national champion and current U.S. national team member in freestyle wrestling Brent Metcalf; NCAA Div. I national champion Max Askren; Agon co-founder Mike DiSabato; and Agon Commissioner Dave Dean. Asking questions were numerous members of the wrestling media.

Agon 2 will be held Sunday, December 22, at the Perani Arena & Event Center in Flint, Michigan. The main event will feature a match between Chris Bono and Brent Metcalf. The Agon Wrestling Championships is one of several organizations bringing back real professional wrestling, and uses a mix of American folkstyle and freestyle wrestling rules.

It was on this call that Ben Askren first officially announced that he had signed to fight with ONE FC, the largest MMA organization in Asia, beginning in 2014, as well as wrestling at an Agon event in January.

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, December 08, 2013

No Holds Barred: Frank Molinaro, Mike Van Arsdale, Real Professional Wrestling 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman continues our coverage of the rebirth of real professional wrestling, with comments from Frank Molinaro, Mike Van Arsdale, and Ben Askren.

Frank Molinaro has already competed in two of these events. A 2012 NCAA Div. I champion at Penn State and now an assistant wrestling coach at Rutgers, on October 20, he defeated two-time All-American Kyle Borshoff by a score of 10-1 at the inaugural Tour ACW event in Pittsburgh. He was a late replacement for the injured Kyle Dake at the second annual Grapple at the Garden event held December 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York. There he faced 2011 NCAA Div. I national champion and 2007 junior world freestyle wrestling champion Bubba Jenkins, who also is an MMA fighter for Bellator. The match was held under American folkstyle rules. Tied 2-2 after three periods, it went to sudden victory overtime, with Jenkins scoring a takedown to win 4-2.

We spoke with Frank Molinaro after his match at Madison Square Garden.

While he is aiming at representing the USA in freestyle wrestling at the 2016 Olympics, he has his eyes on this rebirth of real professional wrestling. But he believes that much more needs to be done to guarantee its success.

"I kind of feel like everybody is out on their own plan and everyone's trying to start their own wrestling league," he said. "And I think at some point we're all going to have to come together and make one organization and have everyone contribute a piece to the puzzle and maybe get a great wrestling league out there."

We also replay comments on real professional wrestling from recent interviews on No Holds Barred with another NCAA Div. I champion and retired MMA fighter Mike Van Arsdale. He advocated "some kind of a tournament format." And we close with a response by two-time NCAA Div. I champion, 2008 Olympian, undefeated MMA fighter, and a victor at the first Agon Wrestling Championships on October 27, Ben Askren, about what the vast majority of wrestlers who have entered MMA would do if they could earn the same from wrestling as they do in MMA.

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, December 06, 2013

No Holds Barred: Joel Resnick on RUFF and MMA in China in 2014 and Beyond 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Joel Resnick, the CEO of RUFF (Ranik Ultimate Fighting Federation).

The only MMA organization sanctioned to hold events in mainland China, RUFF just held their 11th show on November 30, at the Hongkou Indoor Stadium in Shanghai. The much-talked about main event pitted two undefeated fighters against one another, Bekbulat Magomedov of Russia and Wang Guan of China. After three rounds, Magomedov won by unanimous decision, but this was only the second time in his 12 victories that Magomedov went the distance and didn't win by submission or knockout.

We spoke with Joel Resnick about RUFF 11 and the plans of RUFF by Skype Thursday (Wednesday New York time).

Asked where RUFF stands in comparison to other MMA organizations around the world, he replied, "RUFF stands on their own. That's where we stand. We don't pay attention to too many other organizations. Really, we're the only ones in China that are government-sanctioned that are actually holding MMA events as sporting events. Not as a promotional event, not as a cultural event, but as a sporting event."

He added, "We have no plans to go outside of China. We have 1.4 billion people to educate here about MMA."

He believes that since RUFF first started in 2011, the top Chinese fighters have risen to "a global level." He also said that with their system of crowning champions and now by bringing in fighters from outside China, like Magomedov, they do not have "paper champions."

As for next year, he said, "For 2014, we're going to keep doing what we're doing. We're going to bring in more foreigners to challenge our champions." He said to expect RUFF's fighters to get more exposure through increased sponsorships and appearances on television shows.

"We always said from day one, how we're going to grow the company is by growing the fighters. And that's what we're going to continue to do."

He also did not exactly sound worried by the attempted entrance into China by non-Chinese MMA companies, including UFC. "We have all the good fighters under contract with us, and everybody knows that," he said. Regarding the UFC's upcoming reality TV show in China, "We haven't heard too much about it here."

We also discussed RUFF's growing number of viewers, plans to add English-language commentary to their upcoming shows, how fighting is readily accepted in China since martial arts are such an important part of Chinese culture, the coverage of RUFF in the Chinese media, 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, December 05, 2013

No Holds Barred: Paul Herrera on Pro and Amateur MMA and Wrestling 




On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Paul "Hitman" Herrera, the head MMA instructor at Empire MMA in Corona, California.

A 1990 All-American wrestler at Nebraska and a former MMA fighter, he now focuses on training both adults and youths in professional and amateur MMA, boxing, and wrestling. He also has promoted an amateur MMA world championship in Beijing, China, and plans to do more of these tournaments.

He was in New York this past weekend for the second annual Grapple at the Garden wrestling event, held December 1 at Madison Square Garden, where he cornered Bubba Jenkins, whom he also had trained. Bubba Jenkins, a 2011 NCAA Div. I champion and a 2007 junior world champion in freestyle wrestling, faced 2012 NCAA Div. I champion Frank Molinaro under American folkstyle rules in the main event of Grapple at the Garden. The match was tied 2-2 after three periods and went into the sudden victory overtime, where Bubba Jenkins scored a takedown to win 4-2.

This match marked Bubba Jenkins's entrance into this budding circuit of real professional wrestling events. Bubba Jenkins, of course, is also an MMA fighter, currently with Bellator MMA.

We spoke with Paul Herrera by phone Wednesday.

Speaking about the goals for Bubba Jenkins and his participation in MMA and wrestling competition at the same time, he said, "This crossover, I love it. I think it's going to do a lot for wrestling. I'm in support of anything for wrestling."

But he added, "Our main focus and our main goal right now is to win that Bellator tournament, become a Bellator champion, and then move on to become the best in MMA."

We discussed the difficulties of competing at a high level in two sports at once. "You've got to treat it like a full-time job," he said. "You can't do both."

Another problem is that wrestling "is lacking that big backer," meaning that very few elite level wrestlers can make a living in the sport, with many going to MMA.

"Most people have never seen a wrestling match," he said, highlighting the problems stemming from the absence of wrestling from major television networks in the U.S., except once a year for the NCAA Div. I championship finals and every four years for the Olympics. That is a challenge this new circuit of real pro wrestling events must meet if they are to survive.

So while Empire MMA trains its share of wrestlers, they also focus on training MMA fighters and boxers of all ages and experience.

We also discussed how "fighting is wrestling", the development and growth of amateur MMA, 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, December 03, 2013

No Holds Barred: Carlos Carvalho on 2013 ADCC U.S. Nationals 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Carlos Carvalho, the executive officer of the USA ADCC Federation, about the ADCC U.S. Nationals.

This edition of the ADCC U.S. Nationals will take place this Saturday, December 7, at the John Adams Middle School, 2002 Presidential Drive, Charleston, West Virginia 25314. There will be both professional and amateur divisions for men and women, as well as superfights. This will be the last edition of the four ADCC U.S. Nationals events held in 2013.

To pre-register or for more information, click here.

We spoke with Carlos Carvalho by phone Tuesday.

The ADCC U.S. Nationals have been established "with the objective of trying to find new athletes, new competitors to be able to compete in the ADCC" world championships, the "most prestigious" no-gi championships in the world, he said.

The ADCC rules of no-gi grappling are unique. Thus, he said, amateur athletes need experience competing under them "so when they become professionals, they are used to the rules and regulations for the ADCC."

We also discussed the many pro and amateur divisions at this event, the superfights, the plans for ADCC to run more events in 2014 in the U.S., and more.

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

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

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

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

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

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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