Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Eddie Goldman: The World's Greatest MMA Journalist

Eddie Goldman is my favorite journalist- period. He has been covering boxing, MMA and NHB fights for many years. He has a no nonsense style that I respect. Eddie is the Howard Cosell of the game. If you don't know why he's the man, come check out the realest guy in the fight news game. He's much deeper than MMA.

AB: You are a true pioneer of MMA and NHB journalism. What made you cover this sport, and what were you writing before that?
EG: I wrestled in high school and was a boxing fan my whole life. I was involved in leftist radical politics for many years and mainly a number of small, mostly failed publications. When that played itself out, I changed direction, especially after reading C.L.R. James. He criticized those middle class lefty pseudo-intellectual hypocrites who hated sports just like they feared and tried to control those whose lives depended on physical labor, i.e., the working class. I had seen these fakers as being useless at best and dangerous at worst. Plus, James wrote about sports, mostly cricket, and I thus had a precedent to do my thing as a sports journalist. Of course, I focused on the best sports in the world, the combat sports. When I got a chance in 1996 to cover the struggle of the Mohawk community in Kahnawake, including their battle to run Extreme Fighting shows, for Penthouse, I was moving forward. I also covered combat sports for WBAI radio until these same types of anti-sports, anti-working class phonies ran me out. In-between, I had the show and countless webcasting, editing and writing gigs. All were along the theme of No Holds Barred, which to me is another way of saying By Any Means Necessary.

AB: In the DVD "The Smashing Machine" on MMA fighter Mark Kerr you spoke about how much of a threat MMA was to the boxing world- when it first started to evolve. How much do you think the sport has evolved since then?
EG: Too much. Boxing has its own problems, but MMA in America is mainly aiming at a much whiter, more affluent fan base than boxing. MMA tried to copy WWE, except they have real fights. The emphases on sportsmanship, technique, and submissions have been auctioned off for high ratings among white, young, male, disgruntled fake wrestling fans.

AB:Who MMA fighters impress you the most with their character?
EG: Almost all of them. Overall they are a great bunch of men and women, far more honorable and dignified than these garden variety promoters. I have managed to get along with all sorts of rival factions and teams of fighters by recognizing this.

AB: On your podcasts, you get to speak to the best of the best in boxing and MMA. Tell me something that most outsiders don't understand about the business of fighting.
EG: That you don't have to fix too many fights anymore. Just dress up mismatches with trash talk and meaningless titles. The Tito Ortiz-Ken Shamrock rematches aimed at people who either didn't know much about MMA or didn't care about what should go in sports, such as many fake wrestling fans. As for the top fighters, I just look them in their eyes and respectfully speak with them as any other ordinary people.

AB: Since you are on the pulse of the fight game, can you tell me who you think some of the up and coming stars of MMA to look for?
EG: I used to be. The last few years I have mainly focused on boxing. As for MMA, keep an eye on Big Ben Rothwell, heavyweight for the Quad Cities Silverbacks of the IFL. He is not invincible, but multi-talented, colorful, and only 26. Also, I don't watch much Pride, but they have been loaded with talented young fighters.

AB: Who is your favorite overall MMA fighter and why?
EG: I can't play favorites. That's for fans.

AB: As the Howard Cosell of MMA reporting, what should an aspiring writer do to get started in covering the sport?
EG: Read Cosell's books. Study history, philosophy, journalism, writing, and technology. Participate in combat sports as best as you can, but do it while you're young. Don't sell out. Don't expect to get rich. And find some good bars in every town you visit.

AB: Any last words?
EG: The brain is the organ of thought, so keep it and the rest of your body healthy. No Holds Barred blog
No Holds Barred podcast
No Holds Barred on


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