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Friday, August 30, 2019

No Holds Barred: Maxwell Kalu on African Warriors Fighting Championship 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Maxwell Kalu, founder and CEO of the African Warriors Fighting Championship.

The African Warriors Fighting Championship is Africa's first multidisciplinary fighting organization.

Based in Lagos, Nigeria, the African Warriors Fighting Championship showcases warriors competing in indigenous African styles of combat sports such as Dambe, which is a form of boxing popular in West Africa, and traditional wrestling.

After a debut event in April, their next event, called "The Battle for Lagos", is scheduled for September 14 at the Jalisco Stadium, Oshodi, Lagos. A third event is also planned for December.

We spoke with Maxwell Kalu by Skype Thursday.

After speaking with many people already involved in the combat sports in Nigeria, rather than trying to import MMA, Nigeria's indigenous sports like wrestling and Dambe "are here already," he said.

"There's such a rich culture of them, and rather than be the sort of poor African cousin of the UFC, of ONE, or of Cage Warriors, or whatever, I'd thought, I'd love to do something totally, totally different that really speaks to the uniqueness of Africa, starting with Nigeria, and really plays to our strengths," he said.

With hundreds of athletes already competing in Dambe and wrestling, the decision was made to showcase these athletes and styles.

We discussed how his background in the combat sports and Nigerian heritage influenced him getting involved in this, the large amount of talented athletes already competing in these traditional combat sports in Nigeria, and how Nigeria plays a key role in Africa in terms of culture and media.

Also we discussed the rules for Dambe, which allows punching with one hand, the back hand, which is wrapped, and kicks and sweeps. A knockdown ends the round in these three-round fights. For wrestling, a round ends when someone's back touches the ground from a takedown or throw, also in three-round matches. All the competition takes place on sand.

The African Warriors Fighting Championship is working with the Traditional Sports Federations in Nigeria and in Lagos State to regulate their events.

We also discussed the plans for the upcoming events in Lagos, their critical use of social media, the growing interest in this group by international media, how they are working to the point where anyone can watch their events live, 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.

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Monday, August 26, 2019

No Holds Barred: Ruiz, Joshua, Fury, Wilder, and the Unfinished Quest for Heavyweight Unification 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the major heavyweight fights which may or may not take place by the end of this year, and the dimming prospects for there being a heavyweight title unification any time soon.

The self-proclaimed lineal champion, Tyson Fury, is slated to fight Sept. 14 against little-known Otto Wallin. Unified WBA-IBF-WBO champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua are scheduled to have their rematch Dec. 7 in Saudi Arabia. And WBC champion Deontay Wilder may or may not be rematching Luis "King Kong" Ortiz before the year ends. Where this all leads and these fights' accompanying controversies are analyzed, with enhancements by a few select audio clips.

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.

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Ruiz-Joshua 2: Assholery in Arabia 


Go to the article on Patreon:

Ruiz-Joshua 2: Assholery in Arabia

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Friday, August 02, 2019

No Holds Barred: The Legacy of the World Sumo Challenge 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman reposts what was the first preview show of No Holds Barred, and featured interviews about and from the World Sumo Challenge.

This event originally took place October 22, 2005, at Madison Square Garden, and was shown on tape delay on ESPN2 that December. The original No Holds Barred show on this event was posted on December 27, 2005.

This new edition of No Holds Barred adds at the beginning of the show commentary on why this venture failed and the still-unmet need for the formation of a real professional wrestling circuit of some kind.

The original World Sumo Challenge event will be replayed in August by ESPN as part of their "The Ocho" series, on the ESPN app and also via your service provider's On Demand feature, we are told by an ESPN representative.

A highlight video of the World Sumo Challenge can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmv4xm8d72w.

Here is the original and quite optimistic description from the December 2005 No Holds Barred show on the World Sumo Challenge:

Here are the people with whom we spoke:

Former yokozuna Musashimaru, who served as a color commentator and analyst on the ESPN2 telecast.

Veteran boxing trainer Tommy Gallagher, who was also working with this event.

Ken Podziba, head of the New York City Sports Commission, which assisted this event.

Noah Goldman, president and CEO of Big Boy Productions, which produced and promoted the event.

Yoshisada Yonezuka, a vice president of the International Sumo Federation and longtime judo coach, who acted as a sumo technical advisor for the event. [Note: Sadly he passed away in 2014.]

We also spoke with two of the participants, sumo wrestlers Ronny Allman of Norway and Sydney Carty of the Netherlands.

In addition, at the Mayhem On Mulberry 5 muay Thai event held the night before the live sumo show, we caught up with two judo legends, Teimoc Jonston-Ono and Mike Swain. We discussed the sumo event, with which they both were attending, as well as judo, mixed martial arts, muay Thai, and the combat sports in general.

Also at the muay Thai event, we caught up with two of the fighters that night, Brian Robertson, who won a decision over Marcus Antebi, and Willow Chanthavong, who lost a decision to Liz Linstrom.

As we mentioned during this special preview show, the World Sumo Challenge was highly organized, got tremendous mainstream media attention, and was very well received by the fans at Madison Square Garden. The telecast had excellent production values and the tournament format was well explained both at the live event and on TV. Plus, sumo is fairly easy for casual fans to understand, and the action on the mat was usually non-stop and had the mainly American crowd cheering throughout the tournament.

The major and perhaps only shortcoming was its inconsistency in educating the fans as to who the athletes were. For example, Torsten Scheibler, the 438.5-pound wrestler from Germany, had recently won the gold medal at the world championships in Japan. Yet he was upset in the first round by Sydney Carty, a mere 328.5 pounds. Yet this was only noted briefly after the match by Musashimaru, with Scheibler's credentials going almost unnoticed, and the huge sports story of this first-round upset not being emphasized.

Also, the event's first champion was Mitshuhiko Fukao, a 5'10", 411.5-pound wrestler from Japan. Little was known about Fukao before the event and less reported about him afterwards. There was no post-match interview with Fukao, who had become a crowd favorite, or a post-event press conference. Even though an interview with Fukao would have had to have been conducted in Japanese, there were numerous people who could have done the translating right there. Thus, Fukao is their first champion and will defend his title without much more information even to this date being provided about him.

Nonetheless, the World Sumo Challenge has to be considered overall a major success. A new professional combat sport is being born, and that is good news. Others in the combat sports world can learn a lot from how this event was organized and conducted.

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.

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