|Subscribe to No Holds Barred|
|Browse Archives at groups.google.com|
Thursday, December 05, 2013
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/.