In multiple reports in recent days, veteran combat sports journalist Eddie Goldman posted numerous interviews with U.S. Grappling athletes from the Grappling World Championships in Florida, Dec. 12-13.No Holds Barred: Tori Adams, Raphael Davis, Sara McMann, Jessica Aguilar, Tom LeCuyer, Zach Makovsky Click here for Adams, Davis, McMann, Aguilar, LeCuyer and Makovsky interviews
On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman continues our series of interviews with world champion grapplers from the 2009 FILA Grappling World Championships, held December 12-13 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
We spoke with Tori Adams, who won gold medals in the 67 kg/147 lbs. no-gi women's and open no-gi women's divisions; Raphael Davis, who won a gold medal in the 96 kg/211.5 lbs. no-gi men's division for the second year in a row; Sara McMann, an Olympic and world silver medalist freestyle wrestler who won a gold medal in the 63 kg/138.75 lbs. no-gi women's division; Jessica Aguilar, who won a gold medal in the 59 kg/130 lbs. no-gi women's division; Tom LeCuyer, who won a gold medal in the 66 kg/145.5 lbs. no-gi men's division; and Zach Makovsky, who won a gold medal in the 60 kg/132 lbs. no-gi men's division.
We not only discussed their grappling victories and future plans in grappling and wrestling, but also their attitudes to mixed martial arts.
We also open with a discussion of the latest study linking concussions with brain damage and dementia in American football, and how that might affect mixed martial arts, grappling, and boxing.No Holds Barred: Felicia Oh, Grappling StarClick here for Felicia Oh interview
On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with grappling star Felicia Oh (http://www.feliciaoh.com).
At the 2009 Grappling World Championships, held December 12-13 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, she won two world championships, winning both the no-gi and gi tournaments in the women's 50 kg/110 lbs. division. She adds these to her long list of grappling and jiu-jitsu credentials, which include a silver medal at the 2007 ADCC Submission Fighting World Championships in the women's 55 kg division.
Besides competing in all these events, Felicia Oh is employed as a grappling and fitness instructor at the Big John McCarthy Ultimate Training Academy in Valencia, California (http://bjmuta.com).
In a lengthy and heartfelt interview held just after she won that second world championship, she explains how and why she went from being a self-described computer geek to a world champion, and how grappling and jiu-jitsu have become key components of her life. She discusses combat sports and the need to have a healthy lifestyle. She explains how grappling helps her appreciate life. She frankly discusses why she made the life choices she did. And she gives you a glimpse of why so many people who know her respect her so much.
Felicia Oh is thus a star both on and off the mat, and you can hear her on this edition of No Holds Barred.No Holds Barred: Henry Cejudo, Ben Askren, King Mo Lawal, Cung Le, Scott SmithClick here for Cejudo, Askren, Lawal interview
On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman continues our series of interviews from the 2009 FILA Grappling World Championships, and previews the December 19 Strikeforce mixed martial arts card, which will take place in San Jose, California, and will be televised live in the U.S. on Showtime.
First up is 2008 Olympic gold medalist freestyle wrestler, Henry Cejudo (http://henrycejudo.com). His autobiography, "American Victory", will be released January 5, 2010. At the Grappling World Championships, which he was observing, we spoke about his life and this new book. We also discussed the forthcoming chapters in his life, as he will now be training under the legendary Ricardo Liborio at American Top Team. There he will be learning submissions, jiu-jitsu, and grappling, as he prepares potentially to become a mixed martial arts fighter. We also discuss his plans to return to wrestling for the 2012 Olympics, how he has been a lifelong student of boxing, and more.
Next is another member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team, Ben Askren (http://www.benaskren.net/). He won a gold medal at the 2009 Grappling World Championships this past weekend at 84 kg/185 lbs. in men's no-gi grappling. We spoke with him candidly about what this victory does and does not mean, why he wants changes to these grappling rules to attract more jiu-jitsu athletes to this event, how he will continue to wrestle as well as improve his jiu-jitsu skills, his signing by the Bellator Fighting Championships to begin fighting in their mixed martial arts events in April 2010, training to compete in wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, and mixed martial arts all at once, and more.
We next speak with a regular guest on No Holds Barred, the undefeated mixed martial arts fighter and freestyle and college wrestling champion, "King" Mo Lawal (http://kingmo.us/). He will be making his debut in Strikeforce when he faces mixed martial arts veteran Mike Whitehead in a heavyweight bout on the December 19 show. We spoke with "King" Mo about how he plans to fight his opponent, fighting at heavyweight, his first fight in a cage, how he has been treated in Strikeforce, whether he prefers competing in mixed martial arts or wrestling, his expected entourage of "queens" who will accompany him to the cage, and much more.
The main event of this December 19 Strikeforce card features the unbeaten former Strikeforce middleweight champion, Cung Le, who vacated his title to concentrate on an acting career, returning to competition to face veteran Scott Smith. On a recent media conference call, we spoke with both Cung Le and Scott Smith about whether or not Cung Le will also have to fight ring rust, what to expect in this fight regarding the mix of striking and grappling, and more.
This is another edition of No Holds Barred loaded with discussions with some of the top combat sports athletes in the world, so make sure to check it out.