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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

No Holds Barred: Steve Koepfer on 2017 USA Combat Wrestling Nationals and Team Trials 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Steve Koepfer, the owner and head coach of New York Combat Sambo.

He also serves as the Secretary General of USA Combat Wrestling.

USA Combat Wrestling is the official governing body for combat wrestling in the U.S. and the U.S. delegate of the International Federation of Combat Wrestling (FICW).

On Saturday, July 29, USA Combat Wrestling will be hosting its 2017 Nationals and U.S. Team Trials, along with the first annual FICW Pan American Open Championship.

This event will take place at the Parkway West High School, 14653 Clayton Road, Chesterfield, Missouri 63011, near St. Louis.

The winners at the U.S. Team Trials will represent the U.S. at the 2017 World Combat Wrestling Championships, October 21-22, in Honjo, Japan.

We spoke with Steve Koepfer by phone Monday.

Since USA Combat Wrestling was started in 2014, "It definitely is bringing a wide variety of people together under a ruleset that offers a little bit to everyone. So there's something familiar to everyone in there," he said.

"You can win with wrestling if you're a wrestler, because unlike catch wrestling there are points, there's s spectrum of points for the quality of takedown. So if that's you game, you can win using that game.

"You can win using submissions. If you're coming from a jiu-jitsu, BJJ background, we do give points for back takes and mounts, so that's something that they're familiar with.

"So there's something that everybody will be familiar with. It's not a completely unfamiliar environment, which is nice. So it's less intimidating for people to try if they're looking to step outside the box of what they're used to."

These rules have thus attracted a mixed group of athletes who have trained in various styles of wrestling, jiu-jitsu, grappling, sambo, judo, and MMA.

Among the competitors in this year's tournament are Niko Koliastasis, who was a gold medalist at 90 kg at last year's combat wrestling worlds, and Aaron Butler, who was a silver medalist at 82 kg at last year's worlds. Team USA also won the team title at last year's worlds, and is currently ranked second in the world.

We also discussed much more detail on the rules, how this event is a "dry run" for the 2018 worlds which will be held in the U.S., the structure of USA Combat Wrestling as a nonprofit national governing body for combat wrestling, the importance of video and live streaming in the growth of combat wrestling, and much, much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link does not work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is available at Google Play Music.

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 sponsored by:

The Catch Wrestling Alliance, resurrecting and promoting the sport of authentic catch-as-catch-can wrestling. The Catch Wrestling Alliance provides tournaments, seminars, and training as well as education about catch wrestling. Join the movement and keep real wrestling alive. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

Skullz Double-End Bags, the perfect bag for your combat sports training. Skullz Double-End Bags provide a realistic striking target, and help improve timing, distance, and hand and eye coordination. Hang it and hit it right out of the box! No pump required. For more information, go to SkullzDeBags.com.

USA Combat Wrestling, the official U.S. governing body for combat wrestling and U.S. delegate of the International Combat Wrestling Federation (FICW), which was founded by the legendary wrestler Noriaki Kiguchi of Japan. For more information, go to CombatWrestling.us.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

No Holds Barred: Rolles Gracie on KASAI Elite Grappling Championships 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Rolles Gracie, president of the newly-formed KASAI Elite Grappling Championships.

Rolles Gracie is a member of the legendary Gracie family and has competed in jiu-jitsu, grappling, MMA, and wrestling events, as well as running his own academy. Now he will also be in an executive capacity with this new organization, along with a team headed by Richard Byrne, KASAI's CEO, who is a financier, president of Benefit Street Partners, and a black belt in jiu-jitsu.

Their basic plan is to run both professional and amateur jiu-jitsu events in New York City in both gi and no-gi divisions, beginning this fall. Their first amateur event is scheduled for October 21 at Manhattan's Baruch College, with a pro event planned for later in the fall.

We spoke with Rolles Gracie by phone Thursday.

As an athlete who has competed all over the world, he said he always was interested in creating his own organization.

"Every time I was competing, I was paying attention to some things I liked about the tournament, some things I disliked about it," he said.

"I'm nearly 40 years old now, 39, I still feel like a young kid, but I think it's time for me to start giving back to the sport that gave me so much.

"And I'm going to basically put everything I can to fulfill the fighters', the athletes' needs. I'm not trying to do anything completely different than everybody. I just want to put a tournament, some professional events, that's going to treat the fighters with respect, with everything you deserve, tournaments running on time, and you name it."

He stressed, "It's all about the fighters."

While the amateur events will follow IBJJF rules, the professional events may have some innovative rules. While all submissions will be legal in the pro events, they are looking into having the athletes on a portion of the card choose their own rules, whether IBJJF, ADCC, or some other ruleset. All that will be worked out soon.

We also discussed their plans for showing these events online and possibly on television as pay-per-views, their team which is experienced both in jiu-jitsu and sports and financial management, how they plan to feature "premier athletes" in the pro events, how they chose the name KASAI, and much, much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link does not work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is available at Google Play Music.

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 sponsored by:

The Catch Wrestling Alliance, resurrecting and promoting the sport of authentic catch-as-catch-can wrestling. The Catch Wrestling Alliance provides tournaments, seminars, and training as well as education about catch wrestling. Join the movement and keep real wrestling alive. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

Skullz Double-End Bags, the perfect bag for your combat sports training. Skullz Double-End Bags provide a realistic striking target, and help improve timing, distance, and hand and eye coordination. Hang it and hit it right out of the box! No pump required. For more information, go to SkullzDeBags.com.

USA Combat Wrestling, the official U.S. governing body for combat wrestling and U.S. delegate of the International Combat Wrestling Federation (FICW), which was founded by the legendary wrestler Noriaki Kiguchi of Japan. For more information, go to CombatWrestling.us.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

No Holds Barred: The Disastrous Mayweather-McGregor Con Continues 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the escalating con game being used to promote the so-called Mayweather-McGregor "fight"; how they are cynically using racism, misogyny, and anti-LGBT bigotry to sell it to marks; the growing backlash against all this; and how this con game is severely damaging the brands and images of Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor, UFC, and Showtime.

(Photo of Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor in London by Esther Lin/Showtime.)

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link does not work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is available at Google Play Music.

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 sponsored by:

The Catch Wrestling Alliance, resurrecting and promoting the sport of authentic catch-as-catch-can wrestling. The Catch Wrestling Alliance provides tournaments, seminars, and training as well as education about catch wrestling. Join the movement and keep real wrestling alive. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

Skullz Double-End Bags, the perfect bag for your combat sports training. Skullz Double-End Bags provide a realistic striking target, and help improve timing, distance, and hand and eye coordination. Hang it and hit it right out of the box! No pump required. For more information, go to SkullzDeBags.com.

USA Combat Wrestling, the official U.S. governing body for combat wrestling and U.S. delegate of the International Combat Wrestling Federation (FICW), which was founded by the legendary wrestler Noriaki Kiguchi of Japan. For more information, go to CombatWrestling.us.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

No Holds Barred: Real Boxing Still Lives This Week 




On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the news about real boxing taking place the weekend of July 15, which has been mostly drowned out by the contrived propaganda in the 'media' about the August 26 circus fight.

This Saturday, July 15, Chris Eubank Jr. fights Arthur Abraham in London to secure a spot in super middleweight tournament of the World Boxing Super Series. This will be shown on ITV pay-per-view in the U.K.

In the U.S., the unbeaten Omar Figueroa Jr. returns from an extended injury layoff to face veteran Robert Guerrero in Uniondale, New York. This will be shown on PBC on Fox and Fox Deportes.

There will also be an HBO tripleheader from the Forum in Inglewood, California. WBC super featherweight champ Miguel Berchelt will fight former champ Takashi Miura, WBA super featherweight champ Jezreel Corrales will fight Robinson Castellanos, and light heavyweight Joe Smith Jr. will face Sullivan Barrera.

We also discuss the press conference announcing the September 23 fight between WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker and Hughie Fury, and the announcement by Hayemaker Ringstar, the joint venture between David Haye and promoter Richard Schaefer, of their TV rights deal with UKTV, the biggest multichannel broadcaster in the UK, for its entertainment channel Dave.

(Photo of Chris Eubank Jr. and Arthur Abraham courtesy of Poxon Sports. Photo of Miguel Berchelt and Takashi Miura card from Golden Boy Promotions. Photo of Omar Figueroa and Robert Guerrero from Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment.)

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link does not work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is available at Google Play Music.

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 sponsored by:

The 2017 Frank Gotch World Catch Wrestling Tournament. On Saturday, July 15, 2017, 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 (CWA) and co-sponsored by City of Humboldt Chamber of Commerce, Sprout Living (official protein powder of the CWA), and Ultima Replenisher (official electrolyte drink of the CWA), the event will take place at Humboldt High School. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

Skullz Double-End Bags, the perfect bag for your combat sports training. Skullz Double-End Bags provide a realistic striking target, and help improve timing, distance, and hand and eye coordination. Hang it and hit it right out of the box! No pump required. For more information, go to SkullzDeBags.com.

USA Combat Wrestling, the official U.S. governing body for combat wrestling and U.S. delegate of the International Combat Wrestling Federation (FICW), which was founded by the legendary wrestler Noriaki Kiguchi of Japan. For more information, go to CombatWrestling.us.

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Sunday, July 09, 2017

No Holds Barred: Raul Ramirez on Gotch Tournament Double Elimination Bracket  


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

Our main topic was the update to the format of the 2017 Frank Gotch World Catch Wrestling Tournament.

This event, which had its inaugural edition last year, has emerged as the biggest and most important tournament in the world in catch wrestling.

This year's edition will take place Saturday, July 15, at Humboldt High School in Humboldt, Iowa. Humboldt is the hometown of the legendary wrestler Frank Gotch, who was world heavyweight champion in the early 1900s when professional wrestling was still a real sport.

Unlike last year's event, this year there will be one open-weight bracket for all male wrestlers. This will also be a double-elimination tournament.

We spoke with Raul Ramirez by phone Thursday.

"We were getting a lot of interest from heavier weights," he said. "So, since last year we had four-man divisions, and because of the demand for the heavier weights, so then we just opened it up. So we want to try to let more people in, and since we're also getting most of the champions back from last year, they're all really tough guys, so we figured even a lighter weight champion would be willing to go up against a larger man.

"So we're turning the format into a double-elimination, weightless division. It's like an absolute division. So we're going to have a champion of all the different -- regardless of weight."

As of now, 13 wrestlers have signed up to compete, and have been divided up into two groups. The top bracket has six wrestlers while the bottom bracket has seven wrestlers.

The top bracket has two opening round matches, with the winners each facing opponents who have been given byes to the next round. The first opening round match is Ned Morales vs. Jake Lahniers. The winner will take on last year's champion and a favorite to win this year, Travis Wiuff. The second opening round match will have James Bunn vs. Nicholas "The Giant" Caggia, with the winner facing Chris Morales.

The lower bracket has three opening round matches. Wil Bunn will face Mark Benge in one, while Curran Jacobs, another of this year's favorites, will face Joshua Hightower, with the winners of these two opening round matches wrestling each other next. The third opening round match will have Sean Duckworth vs. Kody Konicki, with the winner facing Anthony Pacheck.

We discussed who these wrestlers are and the matchups, more on the format of this tournament, plans for regional qualifying tournaments, plans for more seminars and educational work about catch wrestling, the worldwide growth of interest in catch wrestling in many places including Asia and Europe, plans to livestream this event on YouTube, and much, much more.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link does not work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is available at Google Play Music.

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 sponsored by:

The 2017 Frank Gotch World Catch Wrestling Tournament. On Saturday, July 15, 2017, 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 (CWA) and co-sponsored by City of Humboldt Chamber of Commerce, Sprout Living (official protein powder of the CWA), and Ultima Replenisher (official electrolyte drink of the CWA), the event will take place at Humboldt High School. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

Skullz Double-End Bags, the perfect bag for your combat sports training. Skullz Double-End Bags provide a realistic striking target, and help improve timing, distance, and hand and eye coordination. Hang it and hit it right out of the box! No pump required. For more information, go to SkullzDeBags.com.

USA Combat Wrestling, the official U.S. governing body for combat wrestling and U.S. delegate of the International Combat Wrestling Federation (FICW), which was founded by the legendary wrestler Noriaki Kiguchi of Japan. For more information, go to CombatWrestling.us.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2017

No Holds Barred: Pacquiao-Horn and ESPN Leave A Rotten Odor 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the raging controversy about the Jeff Horn-Manny Pacquiao fight, which took place July 2 in Brisbane, Australia. The fight was telecast on pay-per-view in Australia and New Zealand and shown in many countries, including as a debut of the new Top Rank series on ESPN in the U.S.

The controversies over the scoring of the fight and Horn's being awarded a unanimous decision, the idiotic and rude screaming of commentators Teddy Atlas and Stephen A. Smith on ESPN, the scoring controversies on Friday's PBC on Bounce TV card, and the Pacquiao-Horn fight and ESPN telecast overall leaving many people with a rotten taste, as well as much more about Pacquiao, are discussed.

You can play or download No Holds Barred here and here. If one link does not work, please try another.

No Holds Barred is available at Google Play Music.

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 sponsored by:

The 2017 Frank Gotch World Catch Wrestling Tournament. On Saturday, July 15, 2017, 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 (CWA) and co-sponsored by City of Humboldt Chamber of Commerce, Sprout Living (official protein powder of the CWA), and Ultima Replenisher (official electrolyte drink of the CWA), the event will take place at Humboldt High School. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

Skullz Double-End Bags, the perfect bag for your combat sports training. Skullz Double-End Bags provide a realistic striking target, and help improve timing, distance, and hand and eye coordination. Hang it and hit it right out of the box! No pump required. For more information, go to SkullzDeBags.com.

USA Combat Wrestling, the official U.S. governing body for combat wrestling and U.S. delegate of the International Combat Wrestling Federation (FICW), which was founded by the legendary wrestler Noriaki Kiguchi of Japan. For more information, go to CombatWrestling.us.

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