Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

No Holds Barred: John S. Nash on Catch Wrestling, Corruption, and Combat Sports 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with journalist John S. Nash.

Writing primarily for the web site Bloody Elbow, his articles have ranged from the Martial Chronicles series on the history of combat sports, to a lengthy analysis of the available data about the UFC's finances, to how fighters are unfairly treated in MMA and how they are attempting to organize themselves.

We spoke with John Nash by Skype Tuesday.

Besides writing about the colorful history of catch wrestling in the 19th and 20th centuries, he has been closely following the rebirth of this sport, and made several key observations.

"I think catch-as-catch-can can be a much more popular sport than it is now. It's a few people holding events across the country and the world. They're trying to revive it," he said.

Even with the popularity of MMA and the many styles of submission grappling, he was cautious about the potential for catch to succeed.

"I just don't know if it's television-friendly enough to be that popular, put it on TV and get the revenue necessary to be a major combat sport, a major competitor," he said.

Whether or not it can be successfully revived will in large part be determined by the direction taken by those in the sport itself.

"Hopefully whoever helps make catch a bigger sport, they do it right, because this is going to be the golden age of any new catch, where the foundation is going to be laid of how is the sport going to be for the next -- well, I guess it's going to decide if the sport becomes bigger or if it survives and what form it survives for the next century, let's say," he noted.

"If done right, it's in a great position," he said. Catch wrestling has "mixed martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and pro wrestling all to piggyback off of. It has an avenue besides just college wrestling, it has an avenue to capture fan bases that are already out there."

In addition to discussing a lot more about catch wrestling, we discussed the future of sports like American football and combat sports where head injuries and brain trauma are common, the widespread corruption which continues to exist in sports in general, the reaction to the articles on UFC's finances, the growth of interest among MMA fighters in being part of a fighters' association and/or union, the challenges facing those combat sports journalists who dare to tell the truth, why he uses the handle "not the face", and much, much more.

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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.

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.

The National Registry for Wrestling, whose mission is to increase wrestling's fanbase, to build a registry of all wrestling fans, to serve as a connecting point for all wrestling fans, and to provide TV and Internet listings for wrestling. For more information, go to NR4W.com.

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