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Friday, October 30, 2015

No Holds Barred: Bellator 145 Conference Call with Will Brooks, Patricio Pitbull, Daniel Straus, James Thompson, Bobby Lashley, Marcin Held, Scott Coker, Kurt Angle 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman presents the complete and unedited audio from the Bellator 145 media conference call of October 29.

Bellator 145 will take place Friday, November 6, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. It will be televised live in the U.S. on Spike TV.

This card will feature two Bellator title fights. Bellator featherweight champion Patricio "Pitbull" Freire (24-2) will face challenger Daniel Straus (23-6) in their third fight, both of which were won by Pitbull. Bellator lightweight champion Will "Ill Will" Brooks (16-1) will fight Marcin Held (21-3). And a heavyweight clash will have James Thompson (20-14) fighting Bobby Lashley (13-2), also in a rematch of their first fight, which Thompson won.

On this conference call were fighters Will Brooks, Patricio "Pitbull" Freire, Daniel Straus, James Thompson, Bobby Lashley, and Marcin Held. Also on the call were Bellator president Scott Coker and Olympic gold medalist wrestler Kurt Angle, who will be appearing at the November 5 Bellator Fan Fest along with Tito Ortiz, Kimbo Slice, Ken Shamrock, Royce Gracie, and Liam McGeary.

This was a lively call with much animated discussion, including several questions from No Holds Barred, and it is all here for you.

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

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web, at http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/no-holds-barred-with-eddie-goldman.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player for iOS is available for free on the App Store.

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:

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

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 DefenseSoap.com.

Gracie Tournaments, featuring regional, national, and world competitions in submission-only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For more information, go to GracieWorlds.com.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

No Holds Barred: Jason Bryant on 2015 NWCA All-Star Classic, College Wrestling, and Beards 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with wrestling journalist Jason Bryant of Mat Talk Online.

Our subject was the 2015 NWCA All-Star Classic, the college wrestling all-star meet which takes place Sunday, November 1. The location Georgia Tech, in the McCamish Pavilion, 965 Fowler Street, Atlanta, Georgia 30332.

The main matches of the 2015 NWCA All-Star Classic will be televised live in the U.S. on ESPNU and will also be available on the WatchESPN app.

Held at the start of the 2015-16 college wrestling season, this event is its semi-official kickoff.

This year's event includes matches featuring three defending NCAA Div. I national champions as well as a total of 19 of the 20 wrestlers in the main matches who are returning All-Americans. There will also be several other matches featuring wrestlers from the Georgia area, including a women's match.

We spoke with Jason Bryant by Skype Tuesday.

Besides being held in Atlanta, the home of the 1996 Olympics, this event is very accessible to viewers through both ESPNU on television and the WatchESPN app.

"As a cord-cutter, I don't have cable or satellite anymore, but I do have access to the WatchESPN app, so I'm still watching ESPN content," he said.

"With the way that the cord-cutters have adopted streaming and things through high-speed Internet, I think that the fact that it's on ESPNU, yes, it's on television, but there's also that ability to watch it on a mobile device, to watch it wherever you're at. I think, and having it live, it really will create a captive audience."

Here is the announced lineup so far, with the place in last season's NCAA finals of the wrestlers in the main matches:

125: Zeke Moisey 2nd NCAA (West Virginia) vs. Nathan Tomasello NCAA Champion (Ohio State)

133: Mason Beckman 6th NCAA - 2X AA (Lehigh) vs. Rossi Bruno 8th NCAA (Michigan)

141: Dean Heil 4th NCAA (Oklahoma State) vs. Cody Brewer NCAA Champion (Oklahoma)

149: Bryant Clagon 5th NCAA (Rider) vs. Alexander Richardson 7th NCAA (Old Dominion)

157: Mitchell Minotti 8th NCAA - 2X All-American (Lehigh) vs. Cody Pack NCAA Qualifier (South Dakota State)

165: Alex Dieringer 2X NCAA Champion (Oklahoma State) vs. Ethan Ramos 6th NCAA (North Carolina)

174: Zach Epperly 7th NCAA (Virginia Tech) vs. Kyle Crutchmer 5th NCAA (Oklahoma State)

184: Blake Stauffer 4th NCAA (Arizona State) vs. Nate Brown 2nd NCAA - 2X AA (Lehigh)

197: Conner Hartmann 2nd NCAA - 2X AA (Duke) vs. Max Huntley 8th NCAA (Michigan)

285: Adam Coon 2nd NCAA (Michigan) vs. Ty Walz 7th NCAA (Virginia Tech)

Local Features:

125: Devane Dodens (Life) vs. Sean Russel (Edinboro)

149: Chris Perez (Princeton) vs. Derek Arnold (Ursinus)

157: Chad Pyke (NC State) vs. Kamaal Shakur (Chattanooga)

174: Jason Grimes (American) vs. Brandon Womak (Cornell)

184: Willie Miklus 7th NCAA (Missouri) vs. Hunter Gamble (Gardner Webb)

197: Bryce Barnes (Army) vs. Scottie Boykin (Chattanooga)

197: Chance McClure (Virginia-Unattached) vs. Chip Ness (North Carolina- Unattached)

Local Features - Women's Division:

123: Jennifer Jaurez (Life) vs. Cindy Calixto (Emmanuel)

We opened our discussion with, of all things, observations on beards and their place in cultural and social history.

Our main discussion was about this important event, its significance and some of its history, the importance of holding it in the city of Atlanta, the rules of it including an experimental rule of awarding three points for a takedown, the likely effects on college wrestling of the O'Bannon decision which mandates some college athletes be compensated, notes from the history of wrestling podcasting, and much, much more.

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

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web, at http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/no-holds-barred-with-eddie-goldman.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player for iOS is available for free on the App Store.

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:

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

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 DefenseSoap.com.

Gracie Tournaments, featuring regional, national, and world competitions in submission-only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For more information, go to GracieWorlds.com.

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

No Holds Barred: Kevin Jackson on Iowa State Wrestling 2015-16, Mental Toughness, and Character 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Kevin Jackson, the Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion freestyle wrestler, who is starting his seventh season as head wrestling coach for the legendary Iowa State Cyclones.

The 2015-16 college wrestling season is about to start, with Iowa State having their first dual meet by hitting the road to face Virginia Tech Saturday, November 7, at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Virginia.

We spoke with Coach Jackson by phone Tuesday.

While 2015 NCAA champion Kyven Gadson has graduated, this season's Cyclone wrestling team has a number of holdovers. But there will be some changes, as redshirt senior Tanner Weatherman, a two-time Big 12 runner-up, will be moving down to 165 pounds, and redshirt junior Lelund Weatherspoon, a 2014 Big 12 champion, will be moving down to 174 pounds. Senior Earl Hall at 133 pounds, a 2014 All-American, is another wrestler expected to have an outstanding season.

"I would have to say it's not a rebuilding year anymore," Coach Jackson said. "We're past the rebuilding stage. I think we have everything in place to take the necessary steps to do what we're capable of doing," he said. "I think we have a lot of the pieces in place to really make some noise."

We also discussed the likely starting lineup at each weight, including those weights where the starter remains to be determined by wrestle-offs.

Wrestling is a unique sport, and in this highly quotable interview, Coach Jackson shared some of his observations on it.

"People think that wrestling builds character. I think that's been said several times. But really, wrestling reveals character. A wrestling match, especially a collegiate match, will tell who you really are, what you've really been doing every single day in your day-to-day life," he said.

"It is a direct reflection of life. That's the beauty of our sport, how it carries over to life."

A large part of wrestling involves mental toughness. We discussed that at length, with Coach Jackson explaining that skillsets can easily be taught, but that some of mental toughness is "ingrained" in people. The mind can control the rest of the body, he said, with success both on and off the mat being "based on the decisions you make in life."

We also discussed what lies in the future for Kyven Gadson as he trains to make the 2016 Olympic team, the expansion of the Big 12 Conference for wrestling, the proper equipment needed for new wrestlers, and much, much more.

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

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web, at http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/no-holds-barred-with-eddie-goldman.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player for iOS is available for free on the App Store.

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:

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

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 DefenseSoap.com.

Gracie Tournaments, featuring regional, national, and world competitions in submission-only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For more information, go to GracieWorlds.com.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

No Holds Barred: Wallid Ismail on Rizin and Jungle Fight 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend Wallid Ismail, who is the founder of the Brazilian MMA promotion Jungle Fight Championship.

Jungle Fight 82 takes place Saturday, October 24, 2015, in Clube Sírio in São Paulo, Brazil. The main event is Ciro "Bad Boy" Rodrigues vs. Eric "Parrudo" Barbosa. Jungle Fight shows are televised on the Band broadcast network in Brazil and ESPN Deportes in the U.S.

Beyond Brazil, Jungle Fight is gaining more international recognition. Wallid has just returned from Japan, where he was part of the inaugural press conference held October 8 introducing the newest Japanese MMA promotion, the Rizin Fighting Federation.

This new organization was founded by former executives of the Pride Fighting Championships, which from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s had been the largest and most important MMA promotion in the world. Unlike other organizations, Rizin will work with many other companies around the world, without requiring fighters to sign exclusive contracts with them and leave their promotions. Jungle Fight is one of those companies.

We spoke with Wallid Ismail by Skype this past Tuesday.

Speaking of Rizin and its head, Nobuyuki Sakakibara, he said, "I think it's going to be great for the sport. It's going to be great for Japan, because no matter what, to doing good in Japan needed to be a Japanese. Because he understands the market, he understands everything about the TV deals, the sponsorship deals in Japan, is very different [from] the United States."

Unlike many others, however, he does not see Rizin as competing with UFC.

"UFC do a great job all over the world. And I think Rizin's coming to help the sport," he said. Rizin is "going to be another organization can help the sport, especially in Asia and Japan." He thus described UFC as sort of a "World Cup" of MMA, while Rizin will be a "World Cup of Clubs." And he said he and Jungle Fight plan to continue working with UFC as well as now also working with Rizin.

Much of the fight card for Rizin's debut show, the Rizin Fighting World Grand-Prix 2015, a three-day extravaganza scheduled for the week of New Year's Eve from December 29 to December 31, remains to be finalized. But he plans to have fighting on that show the Jungle Fight bantamweight champion, Maike Linhares, as well as also possibly a heavyweight.

We also discussed how Jungle Fight's ratings dramatically increased when its shows moved to broadcast TV on the Band network in Brazil from cable, plans for an English-language telecast aimed at the U.S., how many fights on Jungle Fight's cards end in knockouts or submissions and have lots of action, and much, much more.

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

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web, at http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/no-holds-barred-with-eddie-goldman.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player for iOS is available for free on the App Store.

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:

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

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 DefenseSoap.com.

Gracie Tournaments, featuring regional, national, and world competitions in submission-only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For more information, go to GracieWorlds.com.

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Sunday, October 18, 2015

No Holds Barred: Steve Mocco on 'Beast' 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Olympic wrestler and American Top Team MMA fighter Steve Mocco.

He is one of the fighters extensively profiled in Doug Merlino's new highly-acclaimed book, Beast: Blood, Struggle, and Dreams at the Heart of Mixed Martial Arts.

This book chronicles the recent events in the lives of four American Top Team MMA fighters: Jeff Monson, Steve Mocco, Daniel Straus, and Mirsad Bektic. From 2012 to 2014, Doug Merlino followed them from fight to fight, training camp to training camp, and country to country, and ably and candidly recorded what happened in this book.

We spoke with Steve Mocco at a book launch party Monday in New York.

"I think Doug did a very good job capturing the highs -- and the lows," he said. "Some of the stuff in the book, it was hard to read, but it was hard to live, too. I think he did a very good job capturing the energy, and the highs and the lows of not only me, all the guys in the book, that we all went through."

He added, "And it's kind of neat to see now to have that in front of us and see that part of our lives in a book form. You don't usually see that too often. For me I thought it was kind of cool. I really enjoyed it."

The book chronicles his first five MMA fights, in which he won the first four but dropped a decision in his fifth fight. He has since returned to action, picking up another win in April 2015. We discussed his decision loss in his February 2014 fight with Smealinho Rama, and what he learned from that fight.

A two-time NCAA Div. I national college wrestling champion and a 2008 U.S. Olympian in freestyle wrestling, he discussed his transition from wrestling to MMA when his wrestling career was over.

"I'm definitely a wrestler that's in MMA," he said. His style of fighting is based on grappling and wrestling, while he is evolving as a fighter and even scored a ground-and-pound TKO win in his last fight.

We also discussed how MMA has been "great" for former wrestlers, how his judo background has helped in both wrestling and MMA, how he still is more comfortable on the ground than in standup fighting, his current recovery from injuries, how he will return at some unspecified time to fight again for the World Series of Fighting, his training at American Top Team and with Ricardo Liborio, and much more.

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

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web, at http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/no-holds-barred-with-eddie-goldman.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player for iOS is available for free on the App Store.

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:

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

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 DefenseSoap.com.

Gracie Tournaments, featuring regional, national, and world competitions in submission-only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For more information, go to GracieWorlds.com.

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

No Holds Barred: Doug Merlino on "Beast: Blood, Struggle, and Dreams at the Heart of Mixed Martial Arts" 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with author Doug Merlino.

His highly-acclaimed new book was released this week, called Beast: Blood, Struggle, and Dreams at the Heart of Mixed Martial Arts.

This book chronicles the recent events in the lives of four American Top Team MMA fighters: Jeff Monson, Steve Mocco, Daniel Straus, and Mirsad Bektic. From 2012 to 2014, Doug Merlino followed them from fight to fight, training camp to training camp, and country to country, and ably and candidly recorded what happened in this book.

We spoke with him at a book launch party Monday in New York.

Breaking down many myths about MMA fighters, he said, "A lot of these guys don't make much money." While "Tito Ortiz is making money," he noted "but the Pat Currans and Daniel Strauses don't get paid a lot, especially for the amount of risk and dedication it takes."

For Daniel Straus, "I know it's a frustration because he comes from a humble background, and people who he grew up with see him on TV and assume that he's rich. And they want some money from him or whatnot, and he doesn't have it."

And he said, "That's kind of what part of what the book is about, is, this is the way the guys actually live, not what you're seeing on TV."

We discussed Daniel Straus's struggles with money, how Jeff Monson has become a big star in Russia, why Monson has been fighting too long, Steve Mocco's relatively late transition from wrestling to fighting, why despite the numerous problems in MMA the fighters are the ones who deserve great respect, and much, much more.

My recommendation: This book is a must-read for anyone interested in MMA, combat sports, and the lives and struggles of athletes in general. While discussion of the early history of MMA could be better done, the book succeeds in starkly recreating with words and a few photos the actual day-to-day lives of these fighters. It is easily the best book on MMA that I have ever read.

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

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web, at http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/no-holds-barred-with-eddie-goldman.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player for iOS is available for free on the App Store.

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:

MMA World Expo. The mixed martial arts community comes to New York City December 12 and 13, 2015, for the sixth annual MMA World Expo, featuring two days of the Renzo Gracie Open 2015 no-gi and gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, MMA fighters, seminars with world-class trainers, vendors, panel discussions, catch wrestling competition, and much more. The MMA World Expo takes place Saturday, December 12, and Sunday, December 13, 2015, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

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 DefenseSoap.com.

Gracie Tournaments, featuring regional, national, and world competitions in submission-only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For more information, go to GracieWorlds.com.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

No Holds Barred: Tadashi Tanaka on Rizin Fighting Federation 


(Photo courtesy of Tadashi Tanaka/Miruhon.net.)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with our long-time colleague and friend, the Japanese mixed martial arts and puroresu (Japanese pro wrestling) journalist Tadashi Tanaka of Miruhon.net.

He covered the inaugural press conference held October 8 introducing the newest Japanese MMA promotion, Rizin Fighting Federation.

We spoke with Tadashi Tanaka by Skype Monday.

The head of Rizin is someone well-known in the combat sports world: Nobuyuki Sakakibara. Sakakibara had formerly headed the Pride Fighting Championships, which from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s had been the largest and most important MMA promotion in the world. But after a scandal linking the organization to the Yakuza, the Japanese mob, Pride telecasts were dropped by the influential Fuji TV, the promotion soon folded, and Sakakibara left the combat sports world.

Now Rizin seeks to take the place of Pride, and is adopting many of the methods which made Pride so popular, including Pride rules, using a ring instead of a cage, and signing an international group of star fighters such as Fedor Emelianenko, Kazushi Sakuraba, Shinya Aoki, and Gabi Garcia, who will make her MMA debut. In addition, Rizin is actually trying to create a federation, and will be working directly with other major promotions including Bellator in the U.S., Jungle Fight in Brazil, BAMMA in the U.K., KSW in Poland, Road FC in Korea, and Bushido in Lithuania.

Rizin's first show, the Rizin Fighting World Grand-Prix 2015, will actually be a three-day extravaganza scheduled for the week of New Year's Eve. Sakuraba will fight Aoki on December 29, there will be a fan expo December 30, and the main card featuring Fedor against an opponent to be announced will be December 31.

Already Spike TV in the U.S. had announced that it will televise fights from this card, likely on tape-delay because of the time difference between the U.S. and Japan. But major news has also come out in Japan, as once again Fuji TV will be televising fights from this card as well.

"The most important thing is, Fuji TV backs this new promotion. That's the biggest news," said Tadashi Tanaka. In Japan, Fuji TV is one of only five major networks which broadcast free, terrestrial TV, with everything else being "tiny," he said.

Fuji TV's involvement is of particular note because it was articles by Tadashi Tanaka and others in the Japanese publication Shukan Gendai that publicly exposed the Pride-Yakuza connections and eventually led to Fuji TV dropping Pride.

The question arises as to the nature of the backers of this new promotion. And Tadashi Tanaka believes that this new organization "is very clean."

He explained that in Japan, "The Yakuza is essentially dead." The government has had a major crackdown on it, and the gangs themselves are splintering. Thus, Fuji TV and various sponsors feel safe in backing this new venture, he said.

Even so, that is no guarantee that it will all work and fans will buy tickets to live events and watch it on TV. "We don't know the success," he said, and will have to wait and see how Rizin does.

We also discussed this new federation, which he characterized as in essence an "anti-UFC alliance." Fans in Japan and many other parts of the world prefer MMA in a ring rather than a cage, he said, and also are not that concerned about who will be Fedor's opponent because they mainly want to see him fight again.

Expect more announcements soon about the involvement with Rizin of others, including K-1 founder Kazuyoshi Ishii, he said.

We also discussed the "totally bogus" rumors that Rizin is backed by "oil money", possible opponents for Fedor including Masakatsu Funaki, the New Year's Eve tradition in Japan of televising major combat sports events, and much, much more.

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

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web, at http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/no-holds-barred-with-eddie-goldman.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player for iOS is available for free on the App Store.

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:

MMA World Expo. The mixed martial arts community comes to New York City December 12 and 13, 2015, for the sixth annual MMA World Expo, featuring two days of the Renzo Gracie Open 2015 no-gi and gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, MMA fighters, seminars with world-class trainers, vendors, panel discussions, catch wrestling competition, and much more. The MMA World Expo takes place Saturday, December 12, and Sunday, December 13, 2015, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

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 DefenseSoap.com.

Gracie Tournaments, featuring regional, national, and world competitions in submission-only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For more information, go to GracieWorlds.com.

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Friday, October 09, 2015

No Holds Barred: Jens Sejer Andersen on Global Sport: Reform or Revolution? 


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

The 2015 Play the Game conference, which is held every two years, will take place October 25-29 at the Marselis Aarhus Hotel in Aarhus, Denmark.

This year's conference will be held amidst an ever-growing list of scandals in world sport, the arrest of numerous top figures in many popular sports, and mounting popular opposition in many countries to hosting the Olympics.

Thus, the theme of this year's conference is both provocative and timely: Global Sport: Reform or Revolution?

We spoke with Jens Sejer Andersen by Skype Wednesday.

While the International Olympic Committee and various sports bodies like FIFA claim to be reforming their ways, many people do not believe that they are capable of reforming themselves.

"Our question is, if these reforms fail, what's left?" he said.

"Yet we then have a revolution.

"And in many ways you can say this revolution is perhaps taking place in front of our eyes. We see ordinary citizens in democratic countries going to the polls and saying no to hosting Olympic Games in their town or in their region. We see large part of the population finding new ways of physical activity all organized outside the traditional sports framework, outside the clubs, outside the federations. They go to the private gym or they go running in the forest or they make parkour in the cities."

He noted, "All in all, the patterns of the way we practice sport and practice physical activity are changing, but the structures of sport remain the same. And if that goes on, it will automatically be a revolution."

We discussed why these major sports organizations need to be thoroughly reformed, how world sport reached a "tipping point" when the British press wrote about the controversy over the awarding of FIFA World Cups to Russia and Qatar, how the growth of the number of scandals in world sport are "still in the landslide process," the great role of organized crime in sport, how most sports organizations have "very, very bad governance" and bad structures, issues like match-fixing and doping, what can be done to improve these situations, and much, much more.

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

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web, at http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/no-holds-barred-with-eddie-goldman.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player for iOS is available for free on the App Store.

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:

MMA World Expo. The mixed martial arts community comes to New York City December 12 and 13, 2015, for the sixth annual MMA World Expo, featuring two days of the Renzo Gracie Open 2015 no-gi and gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, MMA fighters, seminars with world-class trainers, vendors, panel discussions, catch wrestling competition, and much more. The MMA World Expo takes place Saturday, December 12, and Sunday, December 13, 2015, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

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 DefenseSoap.com.

Gracie Tournaments, featuring regional, national, and world competitions in submission-only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For more information, go to GracieWorlds.com.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2015

No Holds Barred: John Perretti on A Life Of Concussions 


(Photo of Adrien Broner and Khabib Allakhverdiev by Stephanie Trapp/Showtime. Photo of Lucas Matthysse and Viktor Postol by Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions.)

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

We spoke with him by Skype Tuesday Japan time (Monday New York time).

John Perretti's fighting career mainly focused on kickboxing, where he took "a lot of damage," and also included competition in karate and taekwondo, as well as rigorous training in grappling, judo, and wrestling, he said. This resulted in "16 verifiable concussions" and a few more "accidental" ones along the way.

After he had retired as an active fighter but still was training and coaching, at about the age of 40 he started having cognitive problems.

He illustrated what this meant for him: "For myself, that was the real beginning of not knowing where I was, even though I was probably 50-60 feet down a driveway in the Hampton Bays, and getting lost, I mean physically lost, and having to pull the car over and not know where I was for an hour or two."

As time went on, he said, having scar tissue on the brain and other brain injuries made him susceptible to other diseases. And he knows many fighters and ex-fighters with similar problems.

What upsets him to no end today is seeing parents encourage and even steer their children into training and competing in sports where inflicting head trauma resulting in brain injuries is common and often legal within the sport's rules.

"Parents have to take responsibility," he argued, when it comes to having their children participate in sports like rugby, American football, boxing, and MMA.

We discussed how many parents are attached to a "macho" culture which ignores health and safety, why he recommends only sports which are "low impact" and have a relatively low chance of head trauma, how even non-contact sports today are becoming "really physical," and much, much more.

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

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web, at http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/no-holds-barred-with-eddie-goldman.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player for iOS is available for free on the App Store.

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:

MMA World Expo. The mixed martial arts community comes to New York City December 12 and 13, 2015, for the sixth annual MMA World Expo, featuring two days of the Renzo Gracie Open 2015 no-gi and gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, MMA fighters, seminars with world-class trainers, vendors, panel discussions, catch wrestling competition, and much more. The MMA World Expo takes place Saturday, December 12, and Sunday, December 13, 2015, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

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 DefenseSoap.com.

Gracie Tournaments, featuring regional, national, and world competitions in submission-only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For more information, go to GracieWorlds.com.

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Thursday, October 01, 2015

No Holds Barred: Chris Crossan, Amin Nazer, and Flash Carter on Legit Pro Wrestling 2 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with catch wrestlers Chris Crossan, Amin Nazer, and Flash Carter.

They will all be competing this Saturday, October 3, in the second event held by Legit Pro Wrestling (LPW).

Legit Pro Wrestling 2, also known as the Legit Pro Wrestling World Open, will be held at the Billingham Synthonia Theatre Suite, Billingham, TS23 1LH Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom. Video of the matches from this event will be recorded and later posted online.

We spoke with Chris Crossan, Amin Nazer, and Flash Carter by Skype Thursday.

Discussing the format of this event, Chris Crossan, who also is an organizer of it, said, "We've got a four-man tournament, a world open, with current world champion Nicholas Caggia from New Jersey." Nick Caggia won that belt at the catch wrestling open tournament organized by the Snake Pit U.S.A. held at the 2014 MMA World Expo in New York.

Also in this open tournament will be LPW U.K. open weight catch wrestling champion Amin Nazer, Lee Chadwick, and European grappling champion Phil Clegg. There will also be a U.K. light heavyweight title match between catch wrestler and former MMA fighter Ian Jones and British sambo champion Chris Hoban, and a U.K. heavyweight title match between U.K. combat wrestling champion Martin Jenkinson and Chris Crossan, as well as several other matches.

The format of these matches, said Chris Crossan, will be "no holds barred." All submissions, including chokes, are legal. The matches are two out of three falls and can only be won by pin or submission, with three seconds required for a pin. Each fall has a 12-minute time limit, and there are no judges, meaning that there can be draws if no one wins any of the three falls, although many matches have been completed in much shorter times.

He explained that Legit Pro Wrestling is open to anybody from any group or style, how LPW plans to run consistent events, the need for better organization in catch wrestling, how the worked "wrestling" of groups such as WWE gives real wrestling a bad name, and much more.

Amin Nazer was born in Dagestan, Russia, and his family moved to Iran when he was very young. At about the age or 9 or 10 they moved to the U.K., and it was there he started training at around 12 or 13 with Chris Crossan in many styles of grappling and wrestling. Now 20 and in college, he is improving as a wrestler, and we discussed this tournament as well as his future.

Flash Carter, also based in the U.K., is only 17 but has already built up a record of 3-0 in catch wrestling. At LPW 2, he will be facing Martin Wilby, the head coach at The Lab in Darlington, who is a pro MMA fighter and the current NAGA U.K. Champion and also U.K. BJJ champion at brown belt. Flash Carter plans to move to the U.S. next year, and to the wrestling hotbed of Oklahoma. Asked what attracted him to catch wrestling, he said, "It's no holds barred." We discussed his match, his future plans, and more.

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

Also, No Holds Barred is available through iTunes.

You can also listen to No Holds Barred via Stitcher through iOS or Android devices or on the web, at http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/no-holds-barred-with-eddie-goldman.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player for iOS is available for free on the App Store.

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:

MMA World Expo. The mixed martial arts community comes to New York City December 12 and 13, 2015, for the sixth annual MMA World Expo, featuring two days of the Renzo Gracie Open 2015 no-gi and gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, MMA fighters, seminars with world-class trainers, vendors, panel discussions, catch wrestling competition, and much more. The MMA World Expo takes place Saturday, December 12, and Sunday, December 13, 2015, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

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 AmericanTopTeam.com.

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 DefenseSoap.com.

Gracie Tournaments, featuring regional, national, and world competitions in submission-only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For more information, go to GracieWorlds.com.

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