No Holds Barred: A Tribute to Phyllis Lee, the First Lady of NHB

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman presents a tribute to one of the true pioneers in the sport once known as no-holds-barred fighting (NHB) and now known as mixed martial arts, Phyllis Lee.

Coming from a background as a pro wrestler, she was one of the first fight managers in the earliest days of MMA, representing numerous fighters including Dan Severn, Ron Waterman, Gary Myers, Chris Lytle, Nathan Marquardt, Shane Carwin, Carlos Condit, and many others. Besides getting fighters in North American organizations such as UFC and Battlecade Extreme Fighting, she had a particularly close relationship for many years with the Pancrase organization of Japan.

All over the world Phyllis Lee was known as the First Lady of NHB.

After a bout with pneumonia, Phyllis Lee passed away Sunday, January 18, 2015, at age 76, while in her sleep and hospitalized. A memorial service for family and friends will be held Saturday, January 31, at her church in West Unity, Ohio.

As a tribute to her, we are reposting an interview conducted with her in June 2006. In it, she explained how she got involved with MMA; why this grandmother from the Toledo, Ohio, area, had such a passion for the combat sports and the people involved in it; her connections with Pancrase and Karl Gotch; pro and amateur wrestling; some of the events which took place and fighters who fought at the time of this interview; and much more.

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