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We Got Patches, Yo!


We Got Patches, Yo!

12166687_10103135138973390_194942255_nWelcome to everyone watching today's Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, We've got great news to announce today, we finally have patches! In honor of our third anniversary next month, we are about to put these on sale.  But, because there is only a limited supply available, we wanted to give you guys the chance to know first when they will go on sale.

To be one of the first to find out when these sweet new patches go on sale, simply send an email to and place "PATCHES" in the email subject setting.

You will then be notified several days before they go on sale to the public.

But if you're thinking about just waiting till they go on sale, just know that we only ordered a limited supply, so you'll want to act fast.

We can't wait to share these with you and keep an eye here for more word about our 3 year anniversary!



Around The Mat: Polaris Pro Special

SUPPORT THE STREAM: To order Polaris 2 this weekend, head to this link.

SUMMARY: In this installment, PAUL MORAN (Open Mat Radio), JOHN EVANS (Metamoris, BJJ Breakdown), and KEVIN PHILLIPS (Verbal Tap) review the events that took place at the very first POLARIS PRO jiu-jitsu competition. Using a set of clips and first-rate commentary, the team walks through their favorite parts of the event and even talk with Polaris organizers MATT BENYON (Scramble) and CALLUM MEDCRAFT (Jiu Jitsu Style) about some of the struggles they faced putting the event together (and even preview what we can expect from the upcoming Polaris 2).

Hosted and Executive Produced by RAF ESPARZA (Verbal Tap, Newaza Challenge).


Polaris Review Graphic



Thank You for a Successful #wwebjj week!


Thank You for a Successful #wwebjj week!


Kevin Taps OutWe just wanted to take a moment to thank all of our friends for helping us out with our very first #wwebjj week. We had such a great response, we thought we'd make a post where you could find all of the videos we featured throughout the last week.

I mean damn, even this happened.

11098663_244747329029013_1522450417_nSpecial thanks to everyone who either participated, made, appeared, directed or even liked our videos.  The response was so great, we've already decided we'll be doing this again (next year, if not earlier).  So start thinking about what move you might want to contribute or send in for next year's #wwebjj week!

So check out the videos below, or head on over to the Verbal Tap Podcast Facebook Fan Page and check out the higher resolution videos on our playlist here (for whatever reason our Instagram has been pixelating some of our videos, so sorry in advance for any disruption to your viewing friends).

Without further ado.

My Trademark Finisher

Where the #wwebjj Concept Originated


Just an Ordinary Roll During Open Mat


UFC Fighter Christos Giagos Shows Off his #wwebjj Skill


Everything I Learned, I Learned from Ken Shamrock

RFA's Terrion "Flash" Ware Shows Off a Sick Guillotine Transition

Our pals over at @systemstrainingcenter decided to up the ante (and the production value) in our latest #wwebjj video. @ufc fighter @cgiagos and @rfafighting's very own @flash_mma join in on the fun and show a unique transition from standing. But the real star of this show might be @vcachero who's @_manamade production shingle makes Jason Statham movies look dull by comparison. Btw, you can listen in to Terrion and Vince's last appearance on our podcast right here: #wwe #wwf #bjj #brazilianjiujitsu #bjj #jiujitsu #submission #wwebjjweek #grappling #submissionwrestling #catchwrestling #wrestlemaniaxxx #roadtowrestlemania #wm31 #guillotine #guillotinechoke #teamsystems A video posted by Verbal Tap Cast (@verbaltapcast) on


BJJ Breakdown's John Evans Demonstrates His Favorite High Mount Escape

Douglas James Pays Tribute to Daniel Bryan


Karl Penn Shows Channels Sting  

I Hate My Training Partners Sometimes


Bubba McDaniel Gets His Inner-Mick Foley On


Brandon McCaghren Breaks the Walls Down

How Jimmy Quinlan Rolls

For my friends @verbaltapcast training with @strikedash #wwebjj #roadtobjjmania Video credit: @pqmma   A video posted by Jimmy Quinlan (@jqcrash25) on



Vulkan Pro Eco Training GI - Verbal Tap Review

Welcome to Verbal Tap's version of a gi review. Today I take a closer look at my Vulkan gi. It's less than 2 minutes, it recaps how the gi has held up over 5 months, and it even has some production value! Please take a look, subscribe to VerbalTapCast on youtube, and thanks for watching!



World Jiu-Jitsu Expo - Interview with Keenan Cornelius

Keenan Cornelius is good people.  In the following video, he talks about how he ended up beating Lucas Leite via arm bar at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo.

Annnnd... if that's not enough.  He also demonstrates a brand new choke (we've dubbed "The Mic Choke") on Kevin.  That, my friends, is worth watching.  Just look at the fear on Kevin's face.  It's real.  It's damn real.

For more on our coverage of this year's World Jiu-Jitsu Expo, check out our podcast about the event right here!



27 Things We Learned from UFC Fight Night 27

UFC Fight Nights come and go so fast you miss the story behind the story.  Don’t worry, Raf’s got you covered. In honor of this being the 27th installment of UFC Fight Night, please enjoy the 27 things that we learned from last night's card.

1.  Sometimes a weigh in photo op is indicative of the kind of fight you will see on a UFC card.

2.  Sometimes not.

3.  Sometimes Brad Tavares just can't choose which hand gesture he wants to pose with.

4.  We're pretty sure we discovered the real identity of Rey Mysterio Jr.

5.  According to Dana White, this is not an illegal knee.

Not an Illegal Knee

6.  According to Jon Anik, Ref Gary Copeland refers to himself as "Mini-Brock." We prefer to think he looks more like a retired and suburbanized Duke Nukem.

7.  Ben Alloway seriously named his son after Chael P. Sonnen. 

8.  And while he didn't come up with a victory, at least he can tell his son he was beaten by a guy who was trained by the man he was named after.

9.  Try as we might, a fighter has yet to tap to a figure four leg lock while inside the octagon (yet).

10.  This kind of knock out never gets old.

11.  During a post-fight interview, it's ok to grab hold of a strand of hair from your mullet to help you maintain your composure.

12.  There's no way around it, Dylan Andrews always looks confused when he's fighting.

13.  Brad Tavares and Bubba McDaniel totally made out during their fight.

14.  Bubba might have gotten distracted when he saw his own reflection on one of the monitors.

15.  Takeya Mizugaki is either really happy about his split decision win or really adamant about doing the Pledge of Allegiance.

16.  Do NOT give Kelvin Gastelum a second to take your back. EVER.

17.  Gastelum does a pretty good Robert DeNiro impression.



18.  Court McGee and Robert Whittaker hit each other so hard during their fight they ended up looking like two drunk people trying to help each other walk home from the bar.

19.  Rafael Dos Anjos really distrusts the people sitting in the cheap seats.

20.  Before every fight, Carlos Condit likes to pretend he just kicked a game-winning field goal.

21.  Carlos Condit is famous for having some of the bloodiest matches in the UFC.

22.  And last night was no different.

23.  Naturally, when my Verbal Tap Podcast co-host, Kevin T. Phillips, heard Condit started bleeding in his match against Kampmann he was all like...

24.  And just in case some of you aren't sure if Kevin is serious about his Carlos Condit man-crush (and that it's just a running gag we do on the podcast), please allow me to submit Exhibit A:








25.  Yes.  Those are all Kevin's real tweets.  No, he has absolutely no idea I just did that (#SorryImNotSorry, Kev).

26.  Condit continues to pray his restraining order against Kev will go through.

27.  Meanwhile, Kampmann's just kinda bummed Kev has no love for him!

That'll do it for our "analysis" of UFC Fight Night 27.  If you guys see photos after an event that you feel teach us a lesson, be sure to send 'em are way so we can write some shitty jokes at their expense.

Thanks for sticking around, we'll see you again after UFC 164!  If you like our jokes here, don't forget to check out our podcasts right here at!



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.



Things We Learned from the UFC 163 Weigh Ins

1.  Try as he might, Ednaldo Oliveira cannot hold his breath for "infinity."

2.  Rani Yahya's favorite joke is "Guess who's got two thumbs and just made weight?"

3.  Ian McCall answers the age old question, "but what if Salvador Dali was a UFC fighter?"

4.  Iliarde Santos can grow a mustache faster than any man in the world.

5.  "Uncle Creepy" should always pose like an old-timey boxer.

6.  Sergio Moraes just discovered he has a tattoo.

Moraes: "Very funny guys. You fall asleep for one minute at a party and next thing you know you have a tattoo.  Least it's not a penis!"

7.  Sergio Moraes and Neil Magny may not like each other, but they have a mutual appreciation for backwards caps.

8.  Vinny Magalhães gets distracted very easily.

Magalhães: "Wait, there's a sale on hot wings going where?"

9.  Joe Silva never passes up an opportunity to get a peek at "the merchandise."

10.  John Lineker and Jose Maria apparently had no clue they'd both pick the exact same day to pay tribute to Jean Claude Van Damme.

11.  Tom Watson had no problem telling Goldie what he thought about Joe Rogan not being there.

12.  Tom Watson also apparently finds Thales Leites' culture to be hysterical.

Watson: "You guys spell combat with an 'e'!"

13.  Thiago Santos has a tattoo of The Ultimate Fighter on him just in case he ever forgets what season he was on.

14.  Lyoto Machida doesn't have brothers, just clones who silently judge you when you least expect it.

15.  Phil Davis can always find a TV monitor whenever he needs to look at himself.

Davis: "Yup, I'm still awesome."

16.  Brian Stann can take or leave Jose Aldo's showboating.

Aldo: "Aww, shit son, guess whose got some protein shake to drink in this bitch?!"

17.  Korea just barely got the 1968 Olympics.

18.  The Korean Zombie was really into one of Aldo's sponsors.

Korean Zombie: "I think I may have to go visit after all."

That'll do it for us.  Check out @VerbalTapCast on Twitter for coverage ALL DAY!



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.



Tomorrow Night: David "The Caveman" Rickels Major props out to TABLEAUX MULTIMEDIA for this awesome video highlighting David "The Caveman" Rickels. Verbal Tap fans should remember The Caveman when he stopped by to add some much needed strip club dialogue to the show (episode below). He is also a fellow Kansas native (Kevin is obviously writing this) and is not to be fucked with inside the cage! Make sure to tune in tomorrow night on Spike, when David "The Caveman" Rickels takes on Michael "(Either) No Nickname or Kevin Can't Do Research" Chandler for the Bellator lightweight championship!

Visit for more information!

[buzzsprout episode='96046' player='true']



Burr v. Hamilton 2! Missed the live Pay-per-view airing of histories famous duel? Catch the replay right here as Verbal Tap's own co-host Kevin takes to the stage (ring?) in an epic clash of historical titans! See here as Aaron Burr defeats Alexander Hamilton after a brutal first round bout.

Thanks to Verbal Taps friends over at The Encyclopedia Show DC for the video.



UFC 162 Jealously Calls Raf has some fun with Kevin because Raf is sitting at a pool in Vegas right now, and Kevin is a place with the same first letter as Vegas but its not Vegas (please have read this passage like an 8th grade girl, thats the manner in which it was written because this is Kevin and he's, I'm, super angry).

Thanks Raf and John.



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?


1 Comment

Metamoris 2: Match Breakdown and Commentary

John Evans

Raf's Edit | The world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be a tricky beast.  Because there are so many intricate movements and strategies involved in the game that can go unnoticed to the casual observer (a.k.a. me), we thought it best to bring along a BJJ technician to Metamoris to help us decipher the high-level techniques utilized by the athletes on the card.  Which is why we're asking you to give a big welcome to our go-to BJJ technician, Mr. John Evans (and from this photo of him on the right, you can see he thinks A LOT about BJJ).  John is a BJJ practitioner and competitor who also teaches and has a website ( dedicated to the educational deconstruction of Jiu-Jitsu and grappling matches.  So be a pal and welcome him to the Verbal Tap family as he takes you through this year's Metamoris event.

For more with John, check out his guest appearance on our Metamoris themed podcast here.

Metamoris 2: Breakdown

Victor Estima vs. JT Torres - gi


With his switch to atos, it's questionable if JT has had enough time to settle into his new team.  Estima has been on a tear, and should be the favorite.

Match Summary

Victor comes out and immediately starts attacking JT’s feet.  This continues throughout the match, with Victor allowing himself to be swept often, seemingly only interested in leg locks.  Victor strongly favors the knee-reap position—which is interesting to see, as that position is illegal in almost all gi tournaments.

JT does doing an excellent job of avoiding Victor’s submission attempts, while also sweeping and maintaining top position.  The end of the match has Victor switching to 50/50 with a lapel grip around JT’s trapped leg, allowing him to sweep and finally attack a belly down foot lock.  This attempt looks deep, but JT’s face never shows signs of worry.

Despite JT maintaining top position and sweeping with relative ease (even attacking a few leg locks of his own), it felt that he was defending the attacks from Victor for the majority of the match and I give him the slight edge in this fight.  The Judges see it as a slightly closer fight than I did, calling it a draw (a call I’m not very upset with).

Mackenzie Dern Vs. Michelle Nicolini - gi


These two have been on a collision course ever since Dern received her black belt. Having matched up previously at the Abu Dhabi World Pro, with Nicolini playing a smart game of pulling guard and sweeping toward the end of the match to secure the win, I give the edge to Nicolini going into this match.

Match Summary

Dern comes out extremely aggressive.  I am surprised to see such a relentless offense and even wonder if Nicolini will be able to handle such an onslaught.  Dern has a tight toe-hold early on, but Michelle is able to escape.  The fight goes to double guard, both athletes trading sweeps.  Both competitors going for berimbolo attempts until Nicolini attacks a toe-hold with one hand.

Dern softens the attack by holding onto one of Nicolini’s sleeves, making the toe-hold one handed, though it somehow still looks tight.  The excitement continues as Dern strings together a triangle choke to armbar transition.  Nicolini avoids Dern’s attacks, then counters with a kneebar of her own.  Time ticks down as Nicolini visibly puts everything into finishing the kneebar.  Dern, however, is able to escape as the clock expires for this match.  The most exciting match of the night and a draw in the truest sense of the word.  The judges agree with this assessment and also declare the match a draw.

Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu vs. Brendan Schaub - nogi


Cyborg is a seasoned grappler, a big , strong guy that moves like a featherweight.  On top of this, he is a very good competitor.  Brendan Schaub is an MMA fighter and not one particularly known for his grappling.  The clear advantage goes to Cyborg.

Match Summary

Cyborg shoots for a takedown, Brendan sprawls and grabs a front head-and-arm.  Cyborg is able to pull guard off this failed takedown attempt.  Schaub avoids playing in Cyborg's guard and pulls back.

The majority of this match plays out like this: Schaub avoiding takedown attempts, Cyborg sitting to guard, Schaub not engaging Cyborg in his guard, and Schaub running from Cyborg (both figuratively and literally).

Cyborg does get Schaub into his famous half guard a few times, but is unable to pull off a tornado sweep or knee bar during the fleeting seconds that Schaub actually stays in the pocket.  In the last 30 seconds of the fight, a frustrated Cyborg shoots in.  Schaub sprawls once again and attacks a guillotine.  Cyborg is able to counter the choke attempt and ends up on top, after transitioning to side control and going for mount.  The match ends and the fans boo Schaub when he explains it is a victory for him to have avoided submission. The judges declare Cyborg the winner.  An incredibly boring match that has sense spawned many hilarious photoshop masterpieces (like this and this).

Andre Galvao vs. Rafael Lovato Jr. - gi


Galvao is the favorite for this match, but with Lovato’s exceptional performance in this rule-set last year (coupled with some impressive footage of him rolling with Marcelo Garcia recently), Lavato is not to be counted out.

Match Summary

This match is back and forth, with a lot of standup.  Neither athlete wanting to give up the top position, Galvao eventually pulls guard and tries for an immediate sweep.  Lovato is not interested in Galvao’s tricks, though apparently surprised by the guard pull and the fight scrambles back to the feet.

At one point, Galvao attempts a flying triangle, which Lovato is able to shake off despite looking valid initially.  Galvao keeps going back to his strategy of takedown attempts mixed with hasty guard pulls that flow directly into attacks.  This strategy appears to be wearing on Lovato, and Galvao is successful with a few sweeps and guard passes.

Galvao’s passing looks sharp and dominant even against a waning Lovato, who refuses to accept defeat.  Lovato shows a lot of heart and some excellent guard retention, as he continually recovers from bad positions until the fight is over.  Judges’ decision goes unanimously to Galvao.

Braulio Estima vs. Rodolfo Vieira - gi


Not really sure if there is a favorite in this match.  One of the greatest passers of all time vs. one of the greatest guards.  Rodolfo is extremely dominant, but looked almost human against Buchecha at the Worlds one week prior.  Braulio is a top 5 grappler at any weight, but has not been as active as he once was.

Match Summary

This and the Nicolini vs. Dern match are my two personal favorites, both very exciting.  Braulio comes out and goes right to his guard. Rodolfo is vicious in his passing, but Braulio thwarts the attempts every time with a peculiar foot-in-lapel guard.  I ask Braulio about this guard later in the press conference and he refers to it as the "galaxy guard."

After a grueling 10 minutes, Rodolfo is finally successful in his passing, but is once again put back into guard when he attempts moving to north/south.  Rodolfo will not give up trying to pass, and is tiring just to watch.  Braulio’s galaxy guard is giving Rodolfo fits, as Rodolfo is continually milliseconds away from securing pass after pass, only to be lifted up and placed back into Braulio’s guard.

This is exhausting for both men, one applying grinding pressure, the other having to leg-press the former with each pass attempt.  With 30 seconds left, Rodolfo passes, albeit with Braulio’s foot still in his lapel, then jumps on an opportunity at a 180 armlock.  Rodolfo goes belly down to finish Braulio, but Braulio pulls his arm out and starts to attack Rodolfo’s back as the final seconds tick away.  The fight finishes with both practitioners in guard.  Rodolfo looks extremely depleted.

Rodolfo gets the decision 2 to 1, which I agree with, due to Braulio defending nearly the whole match, even though his guard retention was unbelievable.  Braulio later reveals that his goal was to use the galaxy guard because he hurt one of his fingers in his victory over Galvao at the worlds previously.

Kron Gracie vs. Shinya Aoki – nogi


Kron Gracie is an incredible grappler and—though he’s never won any world titles at the black belt level—he submitted the current gi world champion in the 1st Metamoris, arguably making him one of the greatest in his weight class.  Shinya Aoki, on the other hand, is a submission specialist from the MMA world.  Very rarely can a grappler be successful coming from MMA into a pure grappling environment against world class opposition for the first time.  The favorite is unquestionably Kron Gracie.

Match Summary

Kron and Aoki take the center of the mat, grip fighting and trading foot sweeps unsuccessfully for the first 4 minutes.  Kron jumps to closed guard and threatens a guillotine.  Aoki exits the closed guard of Kron and positions his body slightly toward the cross-side of the choke, while stapling Kron’s legs together on the ground with his own.

They scramble to the feet, where Kron attempts another guillotine as Aoki rolls again to defend, landing himself on the receiving end of a mounted guillotine.  This time Aoki is falling off the side of the platform as a bystander holds Aoki’s body up with his back(?).  The ref steps in to reset the match back in the center (or so it seems) stands both competitors up and declares Kron the winner.

According to the ref, Kron had finished the guillotine while Aoki was falling off the mat.  This is really confusing to most fans at the venue, and really surprising to me, personally.  I 100% did not expect a different outcome as far as which competitor would emerge victorious, but it only stands to put a damper on the finale by allowing the event to end with even a modicum of controversy.

In the press conference I ask Aoki (famous for his submissions from guard), what his game plan was.  His response is to “to maintain the top at all times”.  He also states that the choke was complete and it would’ve ended the same way even if they hadn’t rolled off the mat.  Whether or not that is the humility of the Japanese culture speaking, or the actuality of the events that unfolded, only Aoki truly knows.

Overall Event Impressions

I love the idea behind Metamoris 2.  I know some of the fights will look boring to the casual viewer who may not have the depth of knowledge in grappling needed to truly appreciate the exact athleticism on display, but, as a whole, the fights were exciting.

With that said, the Brendan Schaub fight was just ill-conceived and played out accordingly.  In this particular match, the 20 minute time limit, coupled with the addition of judges, really changed the tone of this event for the worse.  And, in some ways, may have unintentionally drew more parallels to a traditional tournament than intended.

I also was disappointed in the commentary.  After watching the event live with no commentary I went home to hear what the broadcast sounded like.  Sadly, I was not as thrilled with the play-by-play as I expected to be.  Maybe I’m being too harsh because I commentate matches frequently on my own youtube page and have put in a fair amount of time trying to hone that skill.  Or maybe I expected more out of Ed O'Neill, unfairly and subconsciously requiring him to live up to the greatness of the rest of his career during his first attempt at commentating a BJJ event?  Nonetheless, I felt there was room for improvement there.

Despite those missteps, there were a lot of positive sides to this event.  One of the main upsides being the production value and the treatment of the athletes.  BJJ is still an emerging sport, popularity wise, and it’s not often that even the top competitors are treated as well as they were at Metamoris, let alone paid accordingly for their time and efforts.  So this is a great step forward for the entire sport.  Clearly there are problems with the current format of all jiu-jitsu tournaments and Metamoris is a direct response to that criticism.  And while they were not 100% successful in this particular event, it is difficult to look past the care and desire to put on a spectacle that's worthy of consideration.

The truth of the matter is, no one has come up with an effective solution to this competition conundrum.  The closest we’ve come is to have no time-limit, submission-only matches, but tournaments utilizing this format could never hope to predict the length of their event.  The only way to figure out the correct combination of ingredients in order to produce a tournament that balances excitement with reasonable scheduling, all while preserving the essence of jiu-jitsu, is to try new formats.

Metamoris may not have gotten it perfect this time, but they are arguably the  tournament that pushes the envelope to recapture the essence of the sport and, for that, they should be praised.

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Quinton "Rampage" Jackson signs with Bellator MMA


Quinton "Rampage" Jackson signs with Bellator MMA


If you're like me the only thing that upsets you about Quinton “Rampage” Jackson signing with Bellator MMA ( is that there is 0 mention of him reprising his role as Sergeant Bosco Albert (B.A.) Baracus! While there is no mention of A-Team 2, the deal with Bellator is rumored to open the door for Rampage to appear on TNA Impact Wrestling! Since Spike programs both the hope is we’ll not only see Rampage step back into the Octagon, but also into a cage wearing spanx and doing what he’s always really excelled at, acting! Rampage, the 34 year old Mixed Martial Arts veteran, has officially signed a deal with Bellator MMA! From a fight fan perspective, this is a no brainer, we’re always happy to see Rampage fight. His last 5 or so fights have been a very dramatic departure from his Pride fighting days when he was an action pushing bad boy. Now, he appears to be more of a semi-interested boxer. Ya never know though, people change, maybe he needs the money and will be hungry again, either way i’ll be watching. Congrats to Bellator and Rampage, and VerbalTapCast is stoked he’s back in the game.

Don't know what this one is.  He loves animals?

With the chain and fist of destiny.

Here he is mean mugging the camera like a champion!

Rampage with his "I am ready to wrestle...kind of...." face.



I'm Just Here To Pay My Dues: The BJJ Notebook

ABJJ Notebooks some of you may know, the podcast and website are more than just hobbies for Kevin and me.  We both train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu recreationally and are big proponents of the "gentle art."  So even when we're not toiling away editing articles or the podcast, we're always trying to learn more about the craft. Over the years, I've seen this book pop up more than a number of times in my social media news feeds, but was never motivated to actually purchase it (and if not this one in particular, others like it).  Ultimately, I figured I could just make my own version of this book if I really wanted to.

And I did!  I tend to use a lot of moleskin notebooks a lot to jot down notes, jokes and observations and decided about a year ago to dedicate one such notebook solely to my BJJ training regimen.

It worked... for awhile.  I made a regular routine of writing down the lessons each day and figuring out what parts of my training I needed to concentrate on.  But, over time, I stopped writing in it on a regular basis.  I'd constantly lose it or forget to go over the day's featured technique.  Pretty soon, I found that lessons of the day would go by the wayside—leaving all that knowledge I was working so hard to build to just rot away in my brain (which, itself, is a fragile thing).  And, lo and behold, that happened to be exact moment when I felt parts of my training recall and execution were becoming stagnant.

It bugged me.  I'd occasionally pick up the book and try to start the routine over again, but, for whatever reason, it never seemed to stick.  Eventually I just figured it was gonna take something pretty big to motivate me to get back on track.

Enter our interview with Rafael Lovato Jr.

The night of that interview something just snapped.  Here we were interviewing a guy who didn't have the luxury of a nearby Black Belt teaching him how to improve his game when he was coming through the ranks.  He had to travel thousands of miles out of his way just to learn more about the process.  It wasn't just about wanting to be better, it was about making the commitment to be better.

Suddenly the "tough" challenge of writing in a journal didn't seem like such a difficult task by comparison.  Try as I might, I just couldn't justify my own excuses for skipping out on the BJJ journaling process—especially as a guy who likes to consider himself a writer.

Promptly after the interview, I saw a link for the book again that praised it's usefulness.  At this point I said to myself, "screw it, if I'm going to do this, my money should go to someone who took the time to make this and who appreciates the craft of BJJ like I do."

Moreover, I wanted the accountability.  The safest way to ever force yourself to do something is to make it an investment.  Suddenly I wasn't just forgetting to write in a training journal, it was now "hey dummy, you're wasting money if you don't keep this up."

So keep it up, I shall.

I'm happy to report that it landed on my desk two days after I put in the order and, as of this moment, I've already filled out two days worth of entries on a heavy training week.

Additionally, now that Kev and I have the luxury of the extended family that is the community, I feel it entirely appropriate to occasionally wax poetic on my own BJJ struggles to an audience who can either appreciate my perspective or have been there themselves.

I hope you all will keep me accountable on this and, in return, I'll try to bring the same eye for fun, nonsense and humor about my trials and tribulations with training in the same light I do for all things MMA, BJJ, and UFC posted on this website.  I'll let you know how my progress comes along (or doesn't).  It'll be a great time.

Sound good?  Deal!

Thanks in advance and I'll see you on the mats.