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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

No Holds Barred: Raul Ramirez on June 7 Catch Wrestling Alliance International Invitational: The Rebirth 

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

The date and place are now set for their first event, the Catch Wrestling Alliance International Invitational: The Rebirth. It will be held Saturday, June 7, in Collins Court in the John Wooden Center on the campus of UCLA, at 221 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, California 90095-1612.

This invitational event will feature catch wrestling, where you can only win by pin or submission.

Among the athletes who have so far been confirmed to compete in the Catch Wrestling Alliance International Invitational: The Rebirth, are:

Christopher Crossan of the U.K. He won a gold medal at the 2004 European BJJ tournament in Lisbon, gold at the 2005 Gracie European tournament, and was the Alan Woos and Ernie Riley Trophy Winner at the 2013 International Catch Tournament in Wigan, England.

Ian Jones of the U.K. He is a professional MMA fighter with 20 years of competitive martial arts experience. He holds a BJJ brown belt, is a three-time British Thai boxing champion, and has 13 years of grappling experience. He is also a catch wrestler and has wrestled out of the Snake Pit Wigan.

Luis Ojeda of the U.S. He is a Level 3 Scientific Wrestling Certified Catch Wrestler under Billy Robinson, a two-time King of Catch heavyweight champion, and has competed and trained in numerous disciplines including judo.

Jon Strickland of the U.S. A longtime catch wrestler, coach, and martial artist, he is now also building the Billy Wicks Foundation, named for the catch wrestling legend under whom he has trained.

Qin Yunquan of Singapore. She is a martial artist, catch wrestler, and freestyle wrestler, as well as an instructor for women's and children's self-defense at the Kapap Academy Singapore.

Many more athletes will be confirmed shortly.

We spoke with Raul Ramirez by phone Monday.

"Within the past few years, people have been really training hard in catch wrestling, all around the world. So this is basically going to be a big showcase for some of the people who have doing some higher level catch wrestling," he said.

"They're going to be coming from all around the world, straight here to the Wooden Center at UCLA. We're basically going to put on a really, really great show for people to see what higher level catch wrestling is."

We discussed the rules of this event, the difference between catch wrestling and other styles of grappling and wrestling, how catch wrestling was once a major and legitimate professional sport, how this event is open to all styles and all groups, and much more.

"We've got to get the politics out of it," he said. Otherwise, referencing what had happened to catch wrestling a century ago, it will become "extinct."

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