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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

No Holds Barred: Raul Ramirez on Who Is Wrestling at Frank Gotch Catch Tournament 

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

Our topic was what is shaping up to be an historic event in the 21st century revival of catch wrestling: The Frank Gotch World Catch Wrestling Tournament.

This event will take place Sunday, July 3, at Humboldt High School in Humboldt, Iowa, the hometown of the legendary world champion wrestler Frank Gotch.

We spoke with Raul Ramirez by phone Monday.

The tournament will include five weight classes for men with four contestants per weight class, and one open-weight division for women.

"We're definitely gong to have two wrestling mats going at once," said Raul Ramirez, since the "goal is to have everything done in one day."

He added, "Each division will be run as a tournament of its own."

Every match has a 20-minute time limit. Victory in each match comes with a three-second pin or submission. While there are no points, if there is no pin or submission before the time expires, a winner will be chosen based on factors such as aggression and control.

Among the contestants signed up to date are:

Curran Jacobs, captain of the 2011 Michigan State University wrestling team, who has won two previous catch tournaments and was given the Frank Gotch Award as the outstanding competitor in the 2014 catch tournament in Los Angeles. He also scored a 29-second knockout in a recent MMA fight.

Nick Caggia, called by some "Nick the Giant", who is a 300-plus pounder with numerous titles in many combat sports and martial arts. At the 2014 Catch Wrestling World Championship, which took place at the MMA World Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in New York, he won the overall championship belt after defeating four opponents without surrendering a fall.

Travis Newaza, who won the heavyweight division of the West Coast King of Catch Wrestling Tournament held in San Diego and was named the outstanding competitor, winning all his matches by submissions. Besides competing in numerous tournaments in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling, Newaza trains in catch wrestling with former UFC champion Josh Barnett.

Adam DeHart of North Carolina, who has an overall (amateur and pro) record of 17-10 in MMA. He is a student of the late catch wrestling legend Billy Wicks, whose lineage goes back to Farmer Burns and Tom Connors.

Travis Wiuff of Rochester, Minnesota, with an overall record of 73-20 in MMA. He was also an All-American wrestler at Minnesota State University-Mankato (2001) and RCTC - Rochester Community and Technical College (1998 and 1999).

Bruce Wilson of Waterloo, Iowa, a former state wrestling champion from Dan Gable's high school. He is also a black belt in karate and a very respected tough guy who knows a lot of hooking moves.

Ned and Christopher Morales, a father-and-son catch wrestling duo who train at Catch Wrestling Los Angeles under Raul Ramirez.

Also competing in the women's open division:

MMA fighter and pro wrestler Shayna Baszler, who trained under the late Billy Robinson and currently under Josh Barnett, and is part of MMA's "Four Horsewomen".

Laura Anderson, who is a world and U.S. grappling champion.

Two-time NCAA All-American gymnast and catch wrestler Wendy Minch, who also trained under the late catch wrestling legend Billy Wicks.

Among the many other topics we also discussed was the July 2 catch wrestling seminar with Roy Wood, the coach and owner of the legendary Snake Pit wrestling club in Wigan, England, and Raul Ramirez. This will take place in Humboldt's Bicknell Park, where Frank Gotch trained for his epic 1911 match with George Hackenschmidt, and where a statue of Gotch now stands.

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No Holds Barred is free to listen to and is sponsored by:

The Frank Gotch World Catch Wrestling Tournament. On Sunday, July 3, 2016, catch wrestlers from all around the world will compete in Humboldt, Iowa, the hometown of the legendary world champion wrestler Frank Gotch. Organized by the Catch Wrestling Alliance and co-sponsored by IAWrestle, the Frank Gotch Statue Committee, and the Frank Gotch Kids Wrestling Club, the event will take place at Humboldt High School. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

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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