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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

No Holds Barred: Rigan Machado on the Jiu-Jitsu World League 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend Rigan Machado, who is now the commissioner of the newly-formed Jiu-Jitsu World League.

Featuring new rules which reward aggressive action and penalize stalling, and with plans to run 12 events in 12 cities in 2015, their first event is set for Saturday, January 17, 2015. The location will be the Bren Events Center at the University of California, Irvine, at 100 Mesa Road, Irvine, California 92697.

We spoke with Rigan Machado by phone Monday.

"What's missing in jiu-jitsu is to go to the next level, to go professional, to be sure athletes get paid," like in other sports, he said.

"And the only way you can do that is by getting the TV. But to get the TV, you have a transformation. We need to readjust the rules to be more exciting, more aggressive, because in TV, the good fights which finish with a little points here and there is not enough. They have to put a lot of points on the board, a lot of submissions, a lot of big throws. And that's what I did."

Besides these rules, he has teamed up in this venture with veteran sports TV executive Mat Tinley, who also had been a boxing promoter with America Presents when it represented Mike Tyson.

We discussed more on the rules; the plans to release recorded video of the first event and then have live streaming of the next events; how the first event will have competition in a gi, but the next one will likely have no-gi competition; why the first year of the Jiu-Jitsu World League will prepare it to be "100 percent ready" for TV; how they aim to create "the best organization in the world" and base themselves on "honor, integrity, and respect"; how this plan can keep top athletes in jiu-jitsu; how they want to help kids become the next generation of champions; the two open weight classes of heavy and light in their tournaments; bringing in top athletes from many styles of grappling to compete; and much more.

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