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Reprint: The Ghost of UFC 151

A commentary article I wrote for Studio MMA about the first cancelled UFC under the Zuffa banner.  Interesting to see how much has changed in just a short time--especially the redemption of Jon Jones since rejecting a fight that would essentially collapse an entire UFC event.

STUDIO MMA – NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA – If you’re anything like me, you are going into this Saturday’s UFC 152 with a bit of an odd feeling. Almost as if something’s… missing.

About this time last month, we learned that Dan Henderson had been sidelined from his title fight against UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones. And while injuries have been known to send previous cards into disarray, this was the first time the UFC publicly admitted that a suitable replacement could not be agreed upon.

In fact, even the attempts to find a replacement for Jones at UFC 151 are now the thing of legend: Jon Jones has an opponent, Jon Jones loses opponent, Jon Jones comes under scrutiny for rejecting a fight on eight days notice and becomes a scapegoat for the cancellation of UFC 151 (which, as it turns out, is a pretty big deal).

Not only does this weekend mark the longest hiatus between UFC events for the calendar year, but this event also now comes with a ton of baggage (of which, only a fraction will be settled by the conclusion of Saturday’s PPV). For a closer examination of the ripple effect of the UFC 151 cancellation, one need only look at the title branding for this Saturday’s promotional poster.

Upon cancelling the September 1st event last month, the UFC announced plans to refer to this Saturday’s event as UFC 151. However, those plans were quickly scrapped and the UFC decided the September 22nd card would remain labeled as UFC 152—meaning the event once referred to as UFC 151 would now be disavowed and referred to as a “lost event.”

Yep, a “lost event.” Just take a moment to think about that. Would the NFL ever jump from Super Bowl 46 to 48 if Super Bowl 47 were never played? Apples and oranges, I know. But there’s something about the sequencing and, more specifically, the UFC’s knee-jerk reaction to the branding that suggests a pivotal moment in the organization’s history.

For one, it’s the first time under the Zuffa banner that the UFC was forced to outright cancel an entire event. While debate over the past four weeks has ranged from accusing the UFC of oversaturation to vilifying Jones as a full-fledged “heel,” there are a few questions based on this alternate timeline that I think merit consideration:

1) Can Vitor Belfort really pull this off?

2) What about the other fighters from the UFC 151 card?

3) Was Chael Sonnen merely a genius ahead of his time?

I’ve got thoughts on all of these, but allow me to start with the later of the three.

Chael Sonnen: Genius or Ingenious?

Earlier this year, Sonnen made his way into a UFC press conference wearing Anderson Silva’s “championship belt,” saying he had stolen it from middleweight champion “like a gangster in the night.” The action, which was taken in jest and chalked up to Sonnen’s borderline WWE-persona, may have helped to hype the fight, but ultimately fell flat when the two-time middleweight contender failed to beat the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter on the planet.

But that’s Anderson Silva and he’s practically a jedi, right?

Now imagine, if you would, if Sonnen had pulled this same stunt with Jon Jones?

After volunteering to step in as Henderson’s replacement for the September 1st event, Sonnen was able to reframe his reputation as a trash-talking contender to a hero acting in the best interest of the fans. But, as per Greg Jackson, Jones apparently wanted nothing to do with that.

Never mind the fight making absolutely no sense for Jones or the fact that Sonnen would arguably be an easier fight than Henderson, the mere act of offering to step in provided a win-win situation for Sonnen after a year of public and personal tribulations. And if the public could be persuaded to forgive him for trying to save the day, just imagine what a free pass like a “lost event” would have given Sonnen?

Justification to show up with a “stolen” light heavyweight championship belt? Completely. Reason to make appearances on TV and sports radio calling out Jon Jones at every turn over the next six months? Yep. And (most valuable to Sonnen) the ability to rewrite the history of UFC 151 however he deemed fit? You betcha!

He still might. Time will tell. But if he does, I’m going to demand a HUGE royalty.

Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Undercard?

As for the other fighters, the disruption is one that’s especially heart breaking given the amount of time and training allocated for these kinds of fights. I, however, applaud the UFC’s stance of reallocating all of the fights to other cards and publicly stating that fighters on the undercard will be compensated.

While what exactly is meant by “compensation” is still shrouded under the UFC veil of secrecy, it’s my great hope that UFC President Dana White does the right thing here and gives the fighters ample pay for their efforts.

And, finally, I believe that the UFC and Jon Jones now have something in common going into this Saturday’s PPV. Despite all of the hoopla and bad PR surrounding the UFC and Jones during the past six weeks, UFC 152 offers a unique opportunity for the pair: a chance for them to show how they respond to pressure.

Walking into this fight, Jones has stood firm, almost defiant, in the way that he has carried himself throughout this debacle. And although turning down the Sonnen fight may be unpopular to fans now, it will likely be perceived as the right decision (for him) in due time.

At today’s press conference, Jones seemed slightly irritated that he has to actually defend himself. He even claimed that he didn’t know at the time UFC 151 would be cancelled if he didn’t agree to a fight against Sonnen. But sadly, with only hours before his matchup against Belfort, whether that statement is true or not is almost irrelevant right now and certainly not the fight the light heavyweight champ needs to be concerned about.

After this weekend, Jones will have plenty of time to reassess his response, the way that he communicated that message, and the manner in which he allowed others to reframe the argument (which really is the reason Jones is taking the brunt of the criticism here).

Jones, like the UFC, can counter all of this bad publicity simply with a great fight. Something I think Belfort and Jones are capable of.

But Seriously, Can Belfort Really Pull This Off?

Stylistically, Jones has a significant advantage in this fight. His elusive fighting style and athleticism easily put him as a favorite. I see him needing to stay away from Belfort’s punching rage, but given the champion’s reach advantage and experience avoiding other opponents in the Octagon, I don’t see it as something Belfort can overcome lightly. Overall, I favor the incumbent based purely on the amount of weapons he has in his arsenal.

And while it may not be the fight we were all clamoring to see, I think at it’s one that’s worthy of your time on a Saturday night. But, maybe that’s just me. What do I know?

What about you: Will you be willing to forgive the UFC and/or Jon Jones this weekend?

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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 VerbalTapCast.com!

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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.

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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.

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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 MMA.com August 3, 2012.

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Is Anderson Silva the Black Dana White?

Now we weren't joking when we said it's been a slow news week for all things MMA, but I can't tell if this video further exemplifies that idea or is legitimately interesting in its own right.

Anderson Silva must know that fans are so bored with the MMA news cycle they'll take any headline that helps get them through the drought of any legitimate news (he truly is a Jedi who sees through the MMA matrix).

Anyway, for whatever reason,  "The Spider" decided to give us something to talk about today. And that something is that he is completely fine with referring to himself as the "Black" Dana White (because apparently that's what the world needed).

Maybe Anderson Silva should start referring to himself as Dana Black (missed opportunity?)?

We know Silva is a fan of Spider-Man, maybe he can be the Venom to Dana White's Spider-Man?  And in this world, Venom is the good guy to...  you know what... yep, it's a slow news week, I've started trying to make this connect to comic books.

Ok, I'm done for now.  What do you think, gang?

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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.

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NEXT TIME on VERBAL TAP: Adam Cella

We couldn't be happier to announce that on the next installment of VERBAL TAP, we will be speaking to Ultimate Fighter cast member Adam Cella (@AdamCellaMMA). Despite getting eliminated early in the competition by a well-documented kick from Uriah Hall, Cella proved to be quite the house and fan favorite with his honest, mid-west wit and impressions of other cast-members (which we will be asking him about).

Some of you may also have seen Cella take the UFC Light Heavyweight champ to the limit in this Ultimate Fighter digital extra.

Additionally, Cella, being ever the great sport that he is, also allowed us to have some fun at his expense with this face.

adam cellasFaithful Ultimate Fighter fans may recall this as the face that Cella made moments after his friend and teammate Bubba McDaniel (@BubbaTheMenace) lost a preliminary fight to eventual Ultimate Fighter champion Kelvin Gastelum (@KelvinGastelum).

But what we'd like to ask you fight fans is: What's going on here? 

Give us your best captioned joke on it and we'll throw it at Mr. Cella himself to select a winner.

So drop us a line in the comment section below and do your best (worst)!

And if you've got a question for Mr. Cella, let us know.  We'll be happy to ask!

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FAN CAM: Brawl at UFC 159

EDIT | Surprise, surprise. The UFC took down the original YouTube video invoking copyright infringement (they must be fans of the site, obviously, so we're taking credit for that one). So get in on this while you can folks.

Listen, I want to take more pleasure in the juxtaposition that is two drunk Jersey fans fighting to the sounds of “Born in the USA” at UFC 159. I really do. But I’m not in that mood today. For whatever reason, this fight in the stands is not sitting right with me this evening.

Let’s start with the obvious.

This isn’t the first ironic rodeo for one of the Bruce’s signature songs (and I doubt it’ll be the last). Yes, he deserves better. He’s the goddamn Boss. Surely this fact shouldn’t be lost upon Jersey.

Then there’s the fact that security takes its sweet time to get involved in the situation. I honestly wasn’t sure if they were there or not for a great deal of the video. At one point I convinced myself a cop actually said, “Nah, let ‘em work this out.”

And sure, as perennial target for laughs, we should be able to make fun of Jersey. It’s part of what makes them great. They can take it; they’ve got hundreds of other things wrong with their state anyway (see what I did there?).

While you can try to make a larger argument about this being an isolated event, perpetuated by some cheap beer and a number of misunderstandings, the fact of that matter is this: for a sport that continuously has to assure the masses that it’s a crazy exhibition of mindless violence, this makes us all look bad.

We could try to sweep it all under the rug and pretend it never happened, but I’d prefer to make an example of it. If you go to a UFC, don’t be this person. If you know of a person like this, stop them immediately—either from attending or going out in public to watch the UFC.

There are far too many good people who have a great respect for the honor, defense, and respect aspects of mixed martial arts to let this kind of nonsense go down. So today, I don’t run from this, I say let it be the example. We’re better than this.

Certainly, this extends further than Jersey. Same goes for any other state or territory and it’s not to say that any of our hometowns are without blemish.  I think any rationale person would argue this is kind of nonsense has no place at an event and in the stands.

And, honestly, I’m a little sad to see this happen here after the an audience made headlines only about 10 miles removed and a couple weeks prior at a post-Wrestlemania Monday Night Raw.

You can skip the formalities and jump right in about the one minute mark. The crowd literally stole the show from the performers and the result added something ridiculously entertaining to the proceedings, dare I say… even smart?

Say what you will about pro wrestling, that crowd was so cohesive in their message of being stupid and having fun, it actually makes for a refreshing change of pace. So much so, that the WWE itself produced that video to show how much fun the crowd was having—and even made me believe Jersey might be a good crowd for UFC 159 for whatever reason.  Sadly, the beat down video proves otherwise.

Although, I suppose they might have been drinking because the card was "cursed."  Still not a valid excuse.

So congrats, WWE Universe, you win this round; Drunken UFC guy, you’re on notice.

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Sonnen to Stay at 205, Not Retiring

I think at this point and time there are two people in the world: Chael Sonnen fans and liars.

Well, maybe that's not true, but doesn't that sound like something he'd say.

We've had lengthy arguments about the West Linn gangster for some time now.  But even his biggest critics have to admit in moments of defeat, Sonnen makes a lot more sense than we'd like to admit.

While I'm giving a free pass to Ken Flo for standing by his UFC Tonight partner-in-crime (who seemingly is just happy to see his co-host alive and makes no attempt to hide how much he wants to gush about it), this interview could have really turned into a self-congratulatory PR stint.

Instead, we get some real admissions from Chael: Jon Jones is better than him, there are a few fights left worth pursuing for him, and even a sound reasoning as to why Jones could be the one to beat Anderson Silva (assuming Chris Weidman doesn't do the job first).

I don't know many fighters who can come out of a loss like that and sound this... dare I say... optimistic about the proceedings.  Admitting there were several fronts he was never going to beat Jones at.

This may not erase the multitude of gaffes, illegal wrong-doings or general insults to other human beings and countries that have "crossed the line," but let's be real: there's no denying the bad guy still has a spark in the eye for talking all things UFC.  And I still think he's got some things to contribute to the game.

But what do I know?  Feel free to sound off in the comment section below.  I'll welcome a discussion or even your thoughts on if the decision for Chael to stay at 205 even makes sense.

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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 (VerbalTapCast.com).

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.

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Mike Goldberg's Preparation

So... you're telling me is that Goldie just doesn't show up on game day and say stuff?  Coulda fooled me.

Completely embarrassed to find that Goldberg does 100x the preparation than Kev or I do for this podcast. Yay us!

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