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UFC Fan Expo Interview with Bubba McDaniel

We know, we know. It took forever to get up. But literally every computer problem that could go wrong did. Nonetheless, here is our interview with the man himself, Bubba McDaniel, from last month's UFC Fan Expo.

This is just Part 1, we've got some other fun bonus footage we'll be putting up in the coming days as well, so stay tuned.

And if you like Bubba's appearance here, don't forget to check out our latest podcast with "The Menace" himself right here.



28 Things We Learned from UFC Fight Night on Fox Sports 1

Sometimes a UFC Fight Night comes and goes so fast you miss the story behind the story.  Don't worry, Raf's got you covered.  Check out the 28 things that we learned from the premiere of Fox Sports 1 (a.k.a. "Fox Sports Juan"). 1.  Sometimes you can have the best guillotine of the evening and still lose the Submission of the Night bonus to some other guy.

2.  Never let Ovince St. Preux inside of your guard.

3.  This is what Ronda Rousey would look like if she starred in a sequel to a Nicholas Sparks movie. #TheNotebook2


4.  Sometimes if a fight is too close to call the judges will side with the person who took more time to put on their shirt.

5.  It's never impolite to ask the ref, "do I have to hit this guy anymore?"

6.  Try as we might, fights are not "Best 2/3."

7.  For whatever reason, Conor McGregor was really over with this crowd. #Boston #Irish #Drunk

8.  The best offense does not involve letting your opponent tire out his fists by hitting you multiple times in the face.

9.  Turns out, Wet Willies have no effect on Max Holloway.

10.  Sometimes Conor McGregor thinks he's the Irish Batman.

11.  Maybe everyone deserved a Submission of the Night bonus?

12.  Yeah, basically jiu-jitsu is pretty awesome.

13.  Brad Pickett does a pretty sweet impression of a Picasso painting.

14.  A knuckle sandwich is a real thing.

15.  This is the last time Uriah Hall ever takes a page out of Chun Li's playbook.








16.  Uriah might have lost the fight the minute he got caught trying to complete the maze in John Howard's hair.

17.  Uriah's pretty much over this decision. But in all fairness, Howard did throw more high fives during the fight.

18.  Matt Brown was probably a little more inspired to knock out Mike Pyle after getting the bird flipped at him inside the cage.

20.  Whoa, whoa, whoa, how the shit did this happen so fast?

21.  "Oh, pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease work, I'm so losing..."

22.  "No way, that worked!"

23.  "Oh my God, everything hurts BUT THIS IS AMAZING!"

24.  Best Belly-to-Belly guard pull ever.

25.  "Is Chael Sonnen gonna have to choke a bitch?"

26.  Seems Chael is one of the few lucky enough to know "levitation guard."

27.  Joe Rogan has no problem being called "a middle-aged comedian", as long as it comes from the Don Rickels of MMA.

28.  "No, but seriously... can someone explain what just happened?"

That'll do it for us.  If for some reason you missed some of the highlights, here are a few Fox Sports Juan put together for everyone to enjoy.  It's perfect for the person who's said, "you know, I like my slow motion replays, but I just wish they were shown at a much slower frame rate."

Good night and good fight, golks.



Kev Watches Bellator 97

People ask us all the time (us being myself and my slightly Mexican-ier Verbal Tap cohort, Raf) what it's like for us when a guest and a friend of the podcast fights?  As some of you may know, David Rickels was a guest on the show recently and talked with us about this very fight on our podcast.  And as a subjectively unobjective viewer, I decided to show you what that viewing process looks like. So here, for your viewing pleasure, is a complete GIF and Photo Review of me (Kevin) watching fellow Kansan, David "The Caveman" Rickels take on Michael "I'm drawing a blank right now... what's his fight nickname again?" Chandler at #Bellator97.

In case I wasn't clear enough earlier, I think it's easy to tell who I'm rooting for here just based on nickname recognition. (And spoiler alert: things didn't go great).


Bellator 97

And the night begins... First fight I watch: King Mo vs. Jake Noe. Or "MoNoe" as I like to call it.

Noe was not prepared for this beast

Fight over.  King Mo makes Noe... NoeMo' (get it?). 

As in: This fight ends when King Mo hits Noe so hard, he can't take "NoeMo!"

Pun work aside, time to restock for Rampage's announcement.

And now, a glimpse into my mind: What was I thinking when Rampage Jackson made his "special announcement?"

Rampage vs. Ortiz

“Rampage has to be high right now!  But I can appreciate this pro-wrestling style call out.  Oh wait, he's literally CALLING OUT his opponent.  So we all have to wait and see!  Who is it, who is it?!  I hope I’ve heard of him!  AHHHH, I can't see shitmaybe I need to get my eye's checked, it has been two yearsHOLLLLLLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY BALLLLLLSSSS ITS FUCKING, wait, is that Tito?! HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLY BALLS it is Tito Ortiz!!! GO BELLATOR!.....Must.  Call.  Raf!”

(...and Scene!)

Get Excited!

Askerin vs. Koreshkov

NEXT FIGHT! Lets go Askren! I'd like to ASKren if you can end this quickly, please, so we can get to the main event!  

[Seven Minutes Later]: Well, the fight is technically still going on....

"Please end this fight" Said EVERYONE WATCHING! "No" said the Referee, "he's intelligently defending the floor!"

UHH! FINALLY this thing over.  Now bring on the Beast!


"Too the windows, too the wall"

Time for a little double fisting good luck ritual! ("Double Fisting" is hard to write with a straight face)

and.... here we go!

oh uh...





now please be respectful as Kevin goes through the five stages of grief....

1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression Not quite ready for acceptance.... 5. Back to Depression 6. Acceptance

On a serious note: Congrats to Michael Chandler.  That was a really amazing performance.  And I have no doubt Caveman will be back.  And so will I.  Until next time, fight fans.


Verbal Tap Productions Presents: Kevin Phillips' Review of Nick Diaz's WAR MMA


Verbal Tap Productions Presents: Kevin Phillips' Review of Nick Diaz's WAR MMA


xfl Does anyone remember that time when Vince McMahon tried to start the XFL?  If not, google it and thank me later, it was a crazy time.  For those who don’t know, remember or who spent years in therapy trying to forget, the X in the name was intended to stand for Xtreme.  Which meant Xtreme athletes, Xtreme cheerleaders, and Xtreme fans.  The organization even pitched itself as football “without the rules” (and without the viewers, heyo!!!).  Semantics aside, it seemed like an interesting attempt to deviate from the norm... that crashed and burned into a terrible death.

Nonetheless, it was an attempt to give the fans something different.

So when it was announced that everyone’s favorite MMA villain, Nick Diaz, was going to put on his own fighting organization, I had an XFL-like flashback.  And despite my love for all things UFC and MMA, I tend to be somewhat skeptical of new organizations popping up.  But this time I allowed myself to say, “screw it,” Diaz is behind it, so, at the very least, it has to be entertaining.


WAR Diaz

Five hours and six minutes of OnDemand replay later, I feel exactly the same way I did after watching my first XFL game; a little bored, a little used, and maybe just a little confused.  Much like the XFL, the minimal adjustments brought nothing more than a variation of the same kind of product we’re used to seeing elsewhere — only with less talented players involved.  And much like how the XFL’s competitors looked like an NFL practice team, WAR MMA, presented by Nick Diaz featured a set of new mixed martial artists who were given the spotlight for the first time.  While I don’t fault them for taking advantage of the exposure (a few of whom managed to produce a couple of really fun fights throughout the evening), I guess I was just surprised that Diaz was behind the start of a shockingly normal fight promotion -- and maybe that is there where the disappointment lies?

With my admitted bias out of the way, now on to the event:

So turns out all you had to do to watch the fights was to head over to the subtlety titled, where TJ De Santis and Javier Vasquez were calling the action.  The five hour event featured 12 fights and, sadly, not a single high power knockout to show for it.  In fact, only two of the 12 fights were decided by the fighters in the ring.

Do I personally suggest that you stop reading this now and head over to

Well, that depends on if you magically have five hours and thirty minutes of free time (five to watch the fight and thirty to read this article then send it to every person you can think of in the world), then definitely!  If you don’t, keep reading and you’ll get the gist.

Lets start with what was different about the fights. First of all it was in a ring, not a cage.  If I'm allowed to get on my soap box for a minute: May I just say, there is a reason most major MMA organizations use a cage?  It’s because it works better.  The cage allows for body position and continued striking in a way that a ring does not.  Fighters just kept getting caught up in the ropes and occasionally kept the dominant fighter from continuing to hold dominant position.  Granted, not in a way that would have saved Diaz in his last few decisions, but rather in a distracting, “is this still happening” kind of way.  I, like any boxing fan, will always hold the ring with some regard, it’s just not my sort of thing when it comes to MMA.

The next difference was the banning of elbow strikes from the ground.  Essentially when a fighter is grounded, no throwing any bows (suffice to say, Jon Jones is never fighting for WAR MMA, presented by Nick Diaz).  Diaz says this is to keep people from stalling in a top position.  From his perspective, too many referees see someone throw an elbow and count that as being active from the bottom.  My comment after watching 12 fights of which eight went the WHOLE 15 minutes?  Not a huge difference.  In fact, had I not looked up the rules earlier, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed.

Final difference, and, in my opinion, the smartest thing this promotion did, they opened up a livestream option and gave people the ability to donate what they wanted to watch the fights.  I love that they did this!  Had they asked for a set amount, I probably would have skipped watching the event altogether.  Opening it up for the fight community to pay what they wanted after watching the fights is a very cool and modern way of promoting an event that's just starting.  This also leads into my favorite sidebar in writing this article.

war_flyer_web_mediumSIDEBAR BEGINS: My Verbal Tap co-host, Raf Esparza, tried to watch the livestream of the event Saturday night, but paypal wouldn’t let him put in zero dollars as a donation (they will, however, let you put in $ 0.10 FYI).  So he pulled a genuine Nick Diaz and said, “well, fuck this (his exact words)." In a weird way, shouldn’t Nick Diaz have no choice but to endorse Raf’s emotional outburst as familiar?  I mean, we are talking about the only fighter i can think of in recent memory to get fired from a UFC Main Event Card for missing “media obligations?”  I like to think Nick Diaz smiled a little as Raf said the F’word -- but I have not been able to confirm that with any sources close to Nick Diaz.  SIDEBAR ENDS, REVIEW CONTINUES.

Okay, we’ve genuinely covered all of the differences.  Now onto the fights!

Fight 1: Aziz Rashid vs. Derek Brown.  For some reason both fighters didn’t know they were fighting at 140, so they came in at different weights (139, and 145) because... why not?  The color commentary guys did a good job chalking it up to a new promotion blunder, but here’s my question: have people heard of that before?  Is that a normal thing?  Because in my personal fight watching career, that’s a first.  So if I ever fail to make weight I can just chalk it up to being around a new promotion?  Good to know.  Having said that, it was a fun fight that went the distance and Brown won via decision.  There was a screwy ref decision during this fight (the first of many), but suffice it to say the guy who refereed these fights enjoys rewarding people who break the rules by taking them out of a bad position (yeah, I know that’s vague, it was really hard to understand while watching live, even the commentators just sort of laughed it off).

Fight 2: Powell vs. Ortega.  These two light heavyweights brought the pain, but the fight went the distance and Ortega won via Split Decision.

Fight 3: Hamilton vs. Adona.  The win in this fight should go to the “ringside doctor,” but, by default, went to Adona.  He ended the fight because of a not very bad cut on Hamilton’s eye.  It wasn’t the doctor’s only win of the evening.  Stay tuned.

Fight 4: Tatum vs. Cabezas.  All you need to know about this fight was that at the end Tatum threw his mouthpiece into the crowd... and they threw it back!  Hilarious!  Tatum won the fight by decision, but it was genuinely one of the weirder fights I’ve ever seen.  Tatum appeared to be able to end the fight about 12 times, but just didn’t.  My sincere thanks to the crowd for both boo’ing him and returning his mouthpiece.

Between Fight 4 and Fight 5: WE SEE NICK DIAZ (as presented by War MMA, presented by Nick Diaz!)!  He’s bald, wearing a suit, and appears to be doing his best Dana White impression......NOT!  But wouldn’t that have been hilarious? (I’m here all day, folks!)

Fight 5: Marsh vs. Fortuna.  FIRST SUBMISSION OF THE NIGHT ALERT!  Fortuna submits Marsh early with a baseball choke.  The announcers kept calling it a side choke submission (I’ll be sure to verify with my instructor/black belt), but I am pretty sure it was a modified baseball choke.  Either way, sweet move from Fortuna and the highlight of the night in my opinion.

Fight 6: Quitiquit vs. Clark.  2 and 0 goes the ringside Doctor!  He ends the fight, giving Clark the win due to a moderately-sized cut on Quitiquit’s eye.  The cut wasn’t even bleeding when the fight was stopped.  It was a genuine shock to everyone in the stadium and the dozens upon dozens of people watching around the world.

Fight 7: Boughton vs. Martinez.  WE HAVE A VERBAL TAP!  Boughton wins by toe hold 20 seconds into the fight forcing Martinez to Verbally Tap Out!  Thanks to these guys for the ringing endorsement.

Fight 8: Cooley vs. Gibson. Cooley lost a point for passivity (the first real Diaz enjoyed moment of the night; also, is that a word?).  This was a weird fight.  Cooley kept trying to pull guard, Gibson kept striking.  Finally late in the third, Cooley pulled guard as Gibson was throwing a punch and the ref just called a TKO.  It’s unclear if the NBA has fined Cooley for flopping, but either way it was a weird end to a not so great fight.

Fight 9: Hays vs. Linderman.  Linderman takes it by decision.  There, I just saved you 15 minutes of your life.

Fight 10: McKinney vs. Persons.  Great exchanges, fun fight, Clayton “MONEYSHOT (if you say so)” McKinney wins by unanimous decision.  Lets now spend 4 paragraphs theorizing how he got that nickname — even if I’m almost positive Raf will cut these paragraphs in post-editing... sorry in advance (Raf’s Editorial Note: I did and I’m not sorry).

Fight 11: “Evil” Evan Esguerra vs. Calev “The Machete” Mitchell.  A back and forth war that “Evil” pretty much controlled from start to finish.  He won via Unanimous Decision, but Esguerra was genuinely throwing HUGE bows till the very end.  Impressive fight from both guys, easily fight of the night.

Fight 12: Daniel Roberts vs. Justin Baseman.  Close fight that went to Baseman in a 2-1 decision.  Not a great fight, but a close one.

That does it for WAR MMA, a Nick Diaz Promotion (they must have said this tagline 75 times).  All in all, I recommend this event if you're in Stockton, CA (they’ve even talked about the idea of moving to a new location on Twitter, more on that as it becomes available).  The announcer was okay, the commentary guys were great, and the fights were still fights, which means they were exciting.

Now lets see if Nick Diaz can keep it together for the inevitable sequel: “ WAR 2: What Is It Good For (Absolutely Nothing).”

For a link to MMA Fighting's excellent twenty two minute documentary on the behind the scenes making of WAR MMA, Presented by Nick Diaz, check out the following link.  Believe us when we say, you won't want to miss it!



Reprint: Strikeforce’s Roger Gracie Responds to Tim Kennedy’s Challenge

As we get closer and closer to the fight between Roger Gracie and Tim Kennedy at UFC 162, let's not forget the role I played in orchestrating this match up. And, by that, I mean this interview I conducted with Roger Gracie back in August during the UFC on FOX 4 open workout.  Gracie was nice enough to take some time out to talk with me about the comments Tim Kennedy made on twitter and BOOM, ten months later, now they're fighting each other.

See how quickly I made things happen, people.

I recently ran into Roger at Metamoris II and thanked him for being my first article back at Studio MMA.  He couldn't have been nicer about it.  I'm really looking forward to the match up between him and (the always entertaining) Tim Kennedy -- and, frankly, can't wait to see it in person next week in Vegas.

Since the Studio MMA website is temporarily down, the guys over there were nice enough to let me reprint the article here at Verbal Tap (sadly, you're missing the accompanying picture of me interviewing him, but I think you'll live).  So here, for your reading pleasure, was my quick interview with Roger Gracie.

Strikeforce’s Roger Gracie Responds to Tim Kennedy’s Challenge By Raf Esparza

While the focus of the open work out for this Saturday’s UFC on FOX 4 may have been on his Black House teammate Lyoto Machida, Strikeforce middleweight Roger Gracie was on hand to talk with StudioMMA about a recent challenge issued by Tim Kennedy.

“What happened was Strikeforce President Scott Coker mentioned that I was the best grappler in Strikeforce and then Tim Kennedy said on Twitter that he’d like to prove him wrong,” said Gracie.

When asked if a future match up against Kennedy is in the works, Gracie expressed interest in the idea and said the fight is certainly a possibility, while also making a case on how his fighting style might prove difficult for Kennedy to overcome.

“I mean, I think my jiu-jitsu is better than his… and I think, of course, the ground game is in my favor, and I have a better reach [than him]. But you cannot predict, you just plan for the best.”

Gracie, however, was complimentary of Kennedy’s recent split decision loss to Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, Luke Rockhold.

“I think he did well, but in the end he lost—even though he looked better by the end of the fight. I think [Rockhold] kept him under pressure a lot more and that’s what lead to the loss.”

So how would a fight against Kennedy or another competitive middleweight contender play into the Brazilian’s long-term fighting aspirations?

“I think in MMA, for me, my plan now is a very long goal: Trying to become the best fighter you can. But before that a lot of people say, ‘Oh who do you want to fight next?’ and I think that is a very short goal. Because if you do fight that person, then, when it’s gone, what do you do next? For me, as long as I keep winning, I’m just going to keep fighting better people.”

Originally published on Studio August 3, 2012.



Raf Watches: Fight Master (Episode 1)

Welcome to my "Best Of" recap of last night's The Ultimate Fi, I mean The VoiceI mean, Spike TV's original fighting reality show concept, Fight Master!  If you didn't watch it, don't worry, I do all the heavy lifting.  And if you did watch it, I hope you enjoy these shitty jokes I wrote about it.   Without further ado...



































Check back next week to see what dumb jokes I have in store for all of you. Peace!

Oh, by the way, if you like this, check out my jokes for the Bellator MMA fights that preceded the premiere of Fight Master here.



Raf Watches: Bellator MMA

We know sometimes things get lost in the Twitter-sphere during fight nights, that's why we here at VERBAL TAP are proud to present a collection of the notes and observations we occasionally make during fight nights.  Here, just in case you missed it, for your viewing pleasure is Raf's take on last night's Bellator MMA fights.
































You're welcome, @SeanWheelock.

That'll conclude my recap of last night's Bellator.  For my jokes on Fight Master go to this page



Professional Road Rage Drivers Sadly Try to Fight "MMA"

This one happened right in my own backyard, so I feel I gotta do this.  This story took place a whopping 3 minutes away from my hood, so there's already a sense of "what'd the valley do this time?"

Oddly, I thought a saw a promo for this on our local ABC affiliate, but ultimately thought it was another case of my brain having #UFC/#MMA on the mind.  Turns out, I didn't make up anything.  It really was two "professional business dudes, throwing down" and the news was reporting on it.

Before I go any further, a few notes:

  1. Road rage is a real thing in LA.  It makes you do and say crazy things.
  2. The Valley is one of the weirdest places on earth.  To help put that in context, it's the intersection of a portion of the entertainment industry, the porn industry, the meth industry, the gang industry, that also shares a border with upscale rich types who you'd casually see on The Real Housewives franchises and other various reality show contestants.  A real slice of life you might call it.

Anyway, according to the footage, one guy gets out, decks another dude.  They whine about their BMWs or something and then the guy who got decked decides, "hey, that wasn't cool" and applies a rear naked choke.  Cue shock and awe from the mass media.

Some girl, in turn, video records all of this and BAM, you've got eye-witness news.

To be fair, they're right near the 405 -- which is the absolute worst Freeway/Highway known to man -- so heightened tensions are always expected.  But I guess it serves as a nice cautionary tale that even when you least expect it, always be prepared.  I know I'll be working extra hard in my own self-defense classes just to be ready, as I encounter dozens of terrible drivers on a daily basis.

Obviously these guys are idiots and you shouldn't do this, etc. etc. etc.  But if pressed to judge, I'd score the round 10-9 for the guy in the white shirt.

Internet, what did this video teach us today?



UnimPRESSed RELEASE: Fox Sports Juan

UnimPRESSed RELEASE: A new COLUMN that sifts through MMA PRESS RELEASES so you don’t have to.  We hope you enjoy it: FoxSportsJuan

Dana White wants you to save the date: Saturday, August 17th.  On that day, he and seven-and-a-half consecutive hours of UFC action are coming your way to help launch the brand spanking new Fox Sports 1 Network.

Yep, you heard me right.

Not Fox Sports West.  Or Fox Sports Northeast.  Or Fox Sports Due East.  We’re talking the Fox Sports 1 Network, here, people (sorry former fans of the SPEED Network)!

So say good bye to Fuel TV and waking up after a mid-afternoon airings of “Iron Man 2” on FX to wait for some preliminary UFC action.  It also means we all better call our local cable provider and ask them where we can find this tragically named sports network (is the Spanish version of this new network Fox Sports Juan?).

Dana White, doing his part to help the FOX conglomerate beat the living crap out of the ABC/ESPN synergy machine, has promised that the Aug. 17th fights will be “the strongest fight card the company has ever put on television.”  So take that Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, Rashad Evans, Nate Diaz, Benson Henderson, Alexander Gustafsson, BJ Penn, Jim Miller, Johny Hendricks, Josh Koscheck, Demetrious Johnson, and Rampage Jackson (just to name a few).

So far, only a match between Thiago Alves vs. Matt Brown has been announced for the fight night that will take place from the Boston T.D. Garden.  But that doesn’t mean Chael Sonnen isn’t doing his part to bring some star power to the proceedings.

And if we’ve learned one thing from Dana White, it’s that if the guy says it’s gonna be the biggest card ever presented on live TV… then he’s gonna throw moderate amounts of money at fighters to put on a set of fights that will definitely (maybe) last longer than a minute and four seconds!

Here’s the best part: The company is getting away from their habit of adding insignificant numbers to the end of their television event names (“Wait, was this UFC on FOX 5?  Or is it UFC 157, I’m confused!”).

There will be no Fox Sports 1:1.  Instead, pre cards will be called FOX UFC Saturday Prelims and FOX UFC Saturday (which still makes it sound like they’re appearing on the FOX Broadcast Network, but I’ll take the dropped numbers as a minor victory here).  There's also still the question of how they brand cards that don't take place on a Saturday, but hell even NBC tells you to watch Sunday Night Football on an occasional Thursday or Saturday night once and again, so I suppose we'll get there when we get there.

Now even if you’re annoyed with the thought of having to find a new network, you better get used to it.  That is, if you want any part of the Ronda Rousey/Cat Ziagano Ultimate Fighter series this fall (Wednesdays at 10pm).

But that’s not all!  The UFC is also kicking in a set of live fights to air in prime time on August 28th and September 4th, just to try and sweeten the deal.  The Sept. 4th date is especially important as that card will lead into the 18th season premiere of The Ultimate Fighter.

AND, because you were all wondering what this move from FOX scripted Broadcast affiliates might mean for UFC Tonight, don’t fret.  Your favorite show (that you catch only via clips on YouTube) will now be expanded to an hour format (and will remain a weekly fixture). Which is great news for Kenny Florian's hair stylist and Chael Sonnen’s fireside chats!

I know that was a lot of information to sift through, but that’s why I’m here.  To read through all the press releases you don’t want to read in the first place.  And if you somehow fall out of love with the UFC by then, then don’t worry you can get excited about Regis Philbin’s new Fox Sports 1 chat show.

Yep.  This network knows how to pull out all the stops.

Until next time, fight fans.



What Does it Take to Corner Nick Diaz?

I'm not going to reveal how many times I've watched this, I'm just going to let it speak for itself. The video here was brought to our attention via the good folks over at Middle Easy.

As they mention on their website, I'd get on this immediately before someone smartens up over at the UFC and takes it down.  But, for now, please enjoy that magic that was Nick Diaz's corner during his fight against Carlos Condit.

Oh, but that's not all, act now and you'll get Diaz's fight against BJ Penn as well.  Click the link and start laughing now.

And, yes, because of this video, we are officially adding a 209 category to our website to catalog all things Diaz bros.



Welcome to Verbal Tap Cast

Verbal Tap Logo Final - WebsiteHear ye, hear ye, everyone.  Quiet down for just a sec, your friends at VERBAL TAP have a quick announcement we'd like to make. At the risk of aliening those used to our normal goofball nature, we hope you'll allow us a moment to get serious on you guys.

What you see before your eyes today is the fruition of our creative efforts. After six months of tinkering with the podcast and accumulating a devoted set of listeners, Kev and I have decided it was time to up the ante.  Which is why we are proud to welcome you today to the official website for the VERBAL TAP podcast (

That's right.  We are now more than just a Twitter page.  A lifeless Buzzsprout website.  Or a Facebook status letting you know how badly you need to listen to our latest installment.  We finally a space to call our own where you can comment, snicker, jeer, cheer, and yell at us.  And, to be quite honest, we couldn't be more excited about it.

With the new website, we now have a permanent online presence that allows us to continue conversations about a sport that we all know and love so much.  Which means: more jokes, more content, and maybe even an occasional video or two.  It’s really gonna depend on all of you and the community we create here.

It's a big day for us and the moment is not lost upon either one of us, as we've had dozens of people who have helped to bring us to this moment.

First and foremost, we’d like to thank all of the VERBAL TAP fans.  Many of you have brought such passion and enthusiasm to our podcast, it’s become infectious and has helped bring an energy to the show that we never knew could exist.

I mean, for damn sure, Kev and I never thought legitimate MMA fighters and personalities would get such a kick out of the show.  But we'd like to thank all of those who have appeared on the podcast or have sent well wishes for being such good sports about the roast-like nature of the show and getting exactly what it is we're trying to do.

Because at our core, the two of us are MMA enthusiasts who share many of the same highs and lows that come with being avid MMA fans.

We spend our hard earned cash month in and month out to go to bars and watch these PPVs.  We both have extremely patient significant others, family members, and friends we regularly put on hold to put this together or live comment during events.  We are not full-time journalists who use the podcast as an extension of their articles or make a living reporting on MMA (as it stands Kev and I balance several non-MMA related jobs with our other creative pursuits on the side).

We dedicate our free time and efforts to this podcast because we love the sport, we love the fans, and we've always felt the genre, frankly, lacks the type of voice that we provide.

Our philosophy has always been: if the kind of show that you wish doesn’t exist, you have go out there and make it.  There are thousands of podcasts out there.  Some good, others not so much.  We’ve put in our time and listened to other MMA and sports podcasts only to realize: there isn’t a single one that speaks the same unique language that we do.  It’s that can-do philosophy that has wonderfully guided our little show and helped us to build a growing audience.

We’re not gonna bore you with exhaustive recaps of every single punch or takedown, or regurgitate the same news stories and analysis that you can read from literally every other form of social media before your eyes.

We’re gonna make things lively.  We’re gonna make stupid jokes.  We’re occasionally going to be silly.  Most importantly, we're gonna make it our own.   Chances are, if you like us (and most people do), you'll probably like a great deal of the podcast—even if MMA isn't exactly your cup of tea.  And as long as you guys continue to be passionate about it and spread the word, then  we will continue striving to give you the best podcast in existence(tm).

We are keenly aware that there are tons of other things you can be doing, podcasts you can be listening to in your free time, but we will do our damnedest to make sure the podcast feels like a blast—as we are committed to doing this thing as long as it feels fun to all parties involved.

So why not make us a regular fixture on your website viewing habits, won’t you?

Ok, that'll do it for the serious stuff.  Back to the normal stuff:  Raf's awesome and Kevin's awful.  Thanks much, everyone, nothing else to see here, people.



New Toy of the Week: Brute Wrestling Knee Pads

Knee PadsIt's a pretty good day when you open up the mailbox to find two of these waiting for you. I've been looking to replace my old knee pads for some time and found a fairly decent deal through BJJHQ bout a week ago.  Decided it was time for the upgrade.

I've heard nothing but good things about these Brute Wrestling Torq knee pads, so expect a full report after I try these out at jiu-jitsu this week!

Is there a favorite brand of knee pad or equipment that you like using?  Let us know in the comment section below!