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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

No Holds Barred: Carl Frampton, Scott Quigg, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Jazza Dickens 


(Carl Frampton-Scott Quigg photo: Mark Robinson)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the upcoming Carl Frampton-Scott Quigg and Guillermo Rigondeaux-Jazza Dickens super bantamweight fights, and gets comments from the fighters.

The long-awaited title unification fight between the two unbeaten fighters, IBF champion Carl Frampton and WBA champion Scott Quigg, will take place Saturday, February 27, in the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. It will be televised live in the U.K. on Sky Sports Box Office and live in the U.S. on Showtime Extreme.

Frampton (21-0, 14 KOs), of Belfast, Northern Ireland, is known more as a boxer. Quigg (32-0-2, 23 KOs), of Bury, Lancashire, United Kingdom, is seen more as a puncher.

On Saturday, March 12, one of the best pound-for-pound fighters and technicians in the world, and also one of the most avoided fighters in the world, two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0, 10 KOs) returns to action. He will face a huge underdog, the 24-year-old British super bantamweight champion James "Jazza" Dickens (21-1, 6 KOs). This fight, on the undercard of the Terry Flanagan-Derry Mathews WBO lightweight title fight, takes place at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. It will be shown live in the U.K. on BoxNation. Thus far, no U.S. telecast has been announced.

We spoke with Carl Frampton, Scott Quigg, Guillermo Rigondeaux, and Jazza Dickens on recent media conference calls to get their views on their fights and their plans.

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 here.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player app is available for free, both for Android at Google Play, and for iOS 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:

The North American Catch Wrestling Association, a grassroots organization designed to help rebuild the sport of catch-as-catch-can-wrestling. For more information, go to their Facebook page at facebook.com/NorthAmericanCatchWrestlingAssociation.

BJJ Eastern Europe, for the latest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu news, articles, interviews, competition calendar, European belt rankings, academy directory, and more. For more information, go to BJJEE.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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Monday, February 22, 2016

No Holds Barred: Bob Carson on Bellator 149's Double Disaster 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Bob Carson, the host of Carson's Corner.

We spoke with him by phone Sunday.

This past Friday, February 19, Bellator MMA not only put on a show featuring some of the worst fights in the history of the world, but also at least one fight which almost ended up in the death on live TV of one of the participants.

In the co-main event at Bellator 149 in Houston, Texas, street fighters Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson and Dhafir "Dada 5000" Harris both gassed out early in their fight. Somehow these two, who both lacked professional technique and conditioning, made it into the third round, where basically Harris collapsed to the mat while Ferguson could barely stand up by himself. There was no knockout blow or submission, but only an ending because Harris was a bit more exhausted than the exhausted Ferguson.

After the fight, Harris was carried out of the cage on a stretcher, and hospitalized. Several news reports said that he had suffered kidney failure and that his heart had stopped beating. He was revived by medical personnel, but almost had died from this horrid fight. Reports also indicated that Harris had a major and fast weight cut to get down to the 265-pound heavyweight limit. Harris is reportedly recovering.

Both Ferguson and Harris are African-American, and it was not lost on everyone that this freakshow spectacle involved two Black fighters fulfilling the stereotypical role of lumpen thugs.

"It's marketed in a way to really depict African-Americans in a certain light," said Bob Carson. "And Kimbo, if you look at, if you had a checklist for a menacing, what would be considered an enemy, what would be considered a menace to society from the standpoint of the white bourgeois community, it would be Kimbo Slice. And the fact that they're showing him fighting these people in street fights, and his demeanor, and him and Dada going back and forth, it really, really had a racial aspect to it."

The other main event was just a shade less shady. While it featured two MMA legends, Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock, both are almost two decades past their primes. This was billed as their third fight, but their first two took place in 1993 and 1995. Gracie is now 49 years old and had not fought since 2007. Shamrock is now 52 years old, fighting once in 2015 (a knockout loss to Kimbo Slice) and then not since 2010.

This fight was over in the first round, when Shamrock went down from an unintentional knee to the groin by Gracie, which the referee did not see. The fight was stopped and Gracie awarded a TKO victory. It was another disgrace all around, and, along with the previous fight, has led some people to vow never to watch Bellator again.

This double disaster in Houston and the reaction it received are in some ways reminiscent of what happened in another fight in the same city of Houston, and the repercussions boxing faced from it: the November 26, 1982, brutal mismatch between WBC heavyweight champion Larry Holmes, then 40-0, and Randall "Tex" Cobb. As this completely one-sided beatdown continued and the referee did not stop it, Howard Cosell, calling the fight on ABC, said on the live telecast in the 14th round: "I wonder if that referee understands that he is constructing an advertisement for the abolition of the very sport that he's a part of?"

We discussed why this "complete spectacle" was "terrible all the way around," the potential repercussions of this show, why aging fighters like Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock need to fight (follow the money, or lack thereof), what this says about the future of MMA, why young people deciding to fight in MMA would be an "irrational act," 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 here.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player app is available for free, both for Android at Google Play, and for iOS 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:

The North American Catch Wrestling Association, a grassroots organization designed to help rebuild the sport of catch-as-catch-can-wrestling. For more information, go to their Facebook page at facebook.com/NorthAmericanCatchWrestlingAssociation.

BJJ Eastern Europe, for the latest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu news, articles, interviews, competition calendar, European belt rankings, academy directory, and more. For more information, go to BJJEE.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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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

No Holds Barred: John Perretti on the Life and Death of Kevin Randleman 


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.

Our focus was the untimely passing of the two-time NCAA wrestling champion and former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman, who passed away February 11 at the age of 44. John Perretti was the UFC matchmaker for most of his fights there and during his title reign.

We spoke with John Perretti Tuesday Japan time (Monday New York time).

It is important to examine what we know and what lessons can be drawn from this sad event so we can try to avoid future such tragedies. While we mourn Kevin Randleman's death and celebrate his life, we also must try to get to the truth. But the details of his passing, and exactly how and why it happened now, are still not completely known. News reports about it have been vague, without clear sources, and even contradictory. But we do know how he lived, and the dangers that posed for him.

"He was a specimen, but he would have been on my top ten list of guys to go early," John Perretti said.

"He burned twice as bright, so to speak.

"Also, I don't know what he was doing as of late, but guys of that kind of physicality have a short half-life. And I'm not sure where he was mentally, and I can't speculate on that. I know how difficult it can be to age, although he was only 44."

But, he added, when he heard the news of his sudden passing, "I wasn't at all shocked."

We discussed the many health problems Kevin Randleman faced, including battles against staph infections, as well as being suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in 2007 for providing a fake urine sample for a drug test.

For many years in MMA, John Perretti said, use of performance-enhancing and other drugs was rampant.

"Conservatively, 85 percent of all fighters during my time period and prior were on drugs," he said.

"Not just fooling around drugs, but performance-enhancement drugs. And I know a lot of the dealers who dealt, who were also fighters, personally. So I know the list, and I know from personal exposure, that, I would say that 50 percent of the guys that I dealt with, I've seen them using performance-enhancement drugs. This was a situation that was normal, and this was a situation that was prevalent."

While we still need more information as to why Kevin Randleman passed, we were able to discuss more generally the issue of safety in MMA. From the birth of modern MMA in North America in the 1990s, many people argued for the sport's legalization and recognition as being legitimate by saying that it was safer than established sports including boxing and even American football, and thus should also be legalized.

That was true in those days, said John Perretti, but today it is "not so," and we discussed why.

Still, what role these factors played in the death of Kevin Randleman, if any, is not yet known.

We also discussed some highlights of Kevin Randleman's career including his excellence in college wrestling and controversial loss to Bas Rutten in UFC, the growing awareness of the perils of head trauma and concussions in sports, 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 here.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player app is available for free, both for Android at Google Play, and for iOS 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:

The North American Catch Wrestling Association, a grassroots organization designed to help rebuild the sport of catch-as-catch-can-wrestling. For more information, go to their Facebook page at facebook.com/NorthAmericanCatchWrestlingAssociation.

BJJ Eastern Europe, for the latest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu news, articles, interviews, competition calendar, European belt rankings, academy directory, and more. For more information, go to BJJEE.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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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

No Holds Barred: Dan Kanagie on April 2 Carolina Catch Wrestling Challenge 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Dan Kanagie of the North American Catch Wrestling Association.

Their first event of 2016 will be the Carolina Catch Wrestling Challenge. It will take place Saturday, April 2, at the Rogue Combat Club, 711 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, North Carolina 28803.

We spoke with Dan Kanagie by phone Tuesday.

"It's our first event of this year," he said.

"We're at a new location, a new area that we're adding on to, hoping to be expanding to even more states in the new year."

We discussed the rules of this catch wrestling event, where there are no points, you can only win by pin or submission, and each match is two out of three falls.

"These rules cross all boundaries," he said. "This is the most inclusive ruleset of all tournaments on the market."

We also discussed how there will be tournaments in several weight classes, how the open weight tournament at this event is a state qualifier for the 2016 King of Catch Wrestling event later this year, what the future of catch wrestling should look like, the need for catch wrestling to be organized independently and separately from the corrupt Olympic movement, 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 here.

The PodOmatic Podcast Player app is available for free, both for Android at Google Play, and for iOS 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:

The North American Catch Wrestling Association, a grassroots organization designed to help rebuild the sport of catch-as-catch-can-wrestling. For more information, go to their Facebook page at facebook.com/NorthAmericanCatchWrestlingAssociation.

BJJ Eastern Europe, for the latest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu news, articles, interviews, competition calendar, European belt rankings, academy directory, and more. For more information, go to BJJEE.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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Sunday, February 07, 2016

A No Holds Barred World 



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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

No Holds Barred: Joanna Harper on New IOC Transgender Guidelines 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Joanna Harper, a transgender athlete and the chief medical physicist, radiation oncology, at the Providence Portland Medical Center in Portland, Oregon.

She is the author of a study in the Journal of Sporting Cultures and Identities called Race Times for Transgender Athletes.

She also wrote a piece in the Washington Post called Do transgender athletes have an edge? I sure don't.

In November, she was involved in meetings with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about revising and updating their policy towards transgender athletes. The IOC has recently publicly released these new guidelines.

We spoke with Joanna Harper by phone Tuesday.

"On a personal level, I was thrilled that I was actually the very first transgender person ever involved with the IOC's transgender rules. It may seem hard to believe that they've never had a transgender person advising them on transgender rules, but they hadn't," she said.

"The IOC brought in 12 of us from around the world to Switzerland in November, and we had a very productive few days of discussions and came up with rules that I think were huge improvements on the old rules."

For transgender women athletes, the new guidelines reduce the waiting period to compete after undergoing hormone replacement therapy from two years to one year. They also eliminate the necessity of undergoing gender-reassignment surgery.

For transgender men athletes, the new guidelines say they can now compete "without restriction".

One of the key controversies about the participation of transgender women athletes with cisgender women is the notion that the transgender women will have unfair advantages. While there may sometimes be some advantages that transgender women athletes have, "pretty clearly that any advantages that transgender women have will not lead to unequitable competition," she said.

We also discussed why for female transgender athletes anatomy "makes no difference" but the testosterone level is "most important"; how the IOC's new guidelines are very close to those already in place in the NCAA; how transgender people are actually very underrepresented in sports; how the issue of equitable competition involving transgender and cisgender women athletes may vary from sport to sport; the situation involving Fallon Fox, the first openly transgender MMA fighter; 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:

The North American Catch Wrestling Association, a grassroots organization designed to help rebuild the sport of catch-as-catch-can-wrestling. For more information, go to their Facebook page at facebook.com/NorthAmericanCatchWrestlingAssociation.

BJJ Eastern Europe, for the latest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu news, articles, interviews, competition calendar, European belt rankings, academy directory, and more. For more information, go to BJJEE.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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