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Now that I'm on deadline constantly, I don't have as much time to write up these episodes. Hopefully that'll change in a few weeks.
But we've got a kick-ass episode for you this week.
Our pal Christos Giagos from Systems Training Center stops in to tell us about his upcoming UFC fight, who the worst person currently is over at Systems, and even give us the insight on what it's like to refuse bottle service when up in the strip club (because you're too busy prepping for your next fight). Also, he tells us why he's crazy enough to pull stunts like this:
No disrespect to @cgiagos or @flash_mma, but I'm starting to get the impression I could take these guys in a #wwebjj match. Granted, they'd still kill me in a heartbeat in an mma or bjj setting. But I like my odds for a #wwebjj match up. Awesome flip, tho. Here's another awesome video they put together, compliments our friends at @_manamade and @vcachero.
And that's not all, we find out the gripping conclusion to the battle between purple belts guessing UFC 187, as comedian Joe Gilpin helps us recap all of of the wonder that was this weekend's fights.
If you get the chance, be sure to check out my articles I'm writing over at First Slice. Turns out, I also make UFC picks on occasion over there.
All right that'll do it for now. Let us know what you guys think of this week's episode!
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[buzzsprout episode='273958' player='true'] Kevin has the keys to the write up.....(apologies to all). Here's the thing, Raf got married, Raf got a job, and Raf needs at least 24 hours to mourn Letterman ending. But Kevin? Kevin has literally nothing going on. So.....
Kev's Recollection: Albert Morales is too skinny to do jiujitsu or fighting, but no one told him that. He stops by just in time for me to announce him winning a different fight. Albert laughs off my moronic behavior because well....he's met me. Then he explains how he put John Yoo down with punches to win at Bellator 137. Humble in victory he also gives us some seriously funny exclusives about his post fight interactions with the doctor. Albert is also a gluten for punishment, and is preparing for the IBJJF World's competition. What a warrior right? Wrong, because he believes when you wear gi pants and a rash guard you SHOULDN'T grab the pants (when Raf reads this he is going to be pissed). Albert was great, and look how attractive he is in this photo I might have added correctly:
Its going okay on this whole episode write-up thing (at least I think so). Next up is Comedian and Jiujtisu Purple Belt Joe Gilpin. I'm going to be honest with you guys, its possible Raf might replace me with Joe. I'm going to be more honest, I get that. Joe joins us for Over / Under Kevin for UFC 187 featuring Rumble vs. DC! Lets all take a second with the original poster to remember why its important not to use drugs while driving:
Joe is awesome, this podcast is awesome, you all should listen to it because that would make you all... really cool. Here is a fun photo of Joe I got from his Facebook post so you can imagine the many visual jokes that were made:
Feels like writing this will ensure Raf never lets me do this again. Cheers Verbal Tap Cast community, you all are the best (no seriously, fans of this show are unlike any other!)
-Kevin T Phillips
Our good friend—and certified killer— Joe Schilling (16:30) drops back into the podcast to talk a little bit about the following.
- Bellator 136
- Phil Baroni
- Shilling for Spike TV (see what I did there?)
- Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather (even taking the time to thoroughly address some of your craziest fan-submitted scenarios for the fight)
- Talking about when we can expect to see him fight next (and maybe even a clue as to what organization will be lucky enough to get him to fight next)
Let's take a moment to address that Phil Baroni thing. The background on this one is as follows. Joe Schilling goes to fight at Bellator 136. Joe Schilling gets mad after he loses a close fight at Bellator 136. Shortly after Bellator 136, Phil Baroni takes a jab at Schilling with the following tweet.
What takes place afterward is a glorious conversation for the MMA twitter ages, as Joe went on to respond to Baroni's tweets in glorious fashion, ultimately ending with this:
— Michael Stets (@Michael_Stets) April 15, 2015
Leading us to this following meme.
Our thanks to Joe and to all of you who submitted scenarios for what was gonna happen at Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. It made for quite a lively discussion.
You may remember this from last week, when Dan Hubler came on the show to take on Kevin's UFC 186 predictions.
You know, the episode where Kevin and Dan outlined a set of fights that only a handful of you ended up watching.
On this episode we not only find out the results, but sort out some of the aftermath.
About that Jon Jones thing...
So naturally, right after we finish recording this episode, the UFC decided to take action on the Jon Jones situation. We start off this weeks episode talking about how we both came to find out about it and the potential implications for the (now) former light heavyweight champ.
Listen in and let us know what you thinks, folks!
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[buzzsprout episode='222389' player='true'] Raf's Recollection | I'll never forget the time I discovered Mac Danzig and I had a mutual set of friends. Years ago I discovered that Mac and I were only a couple degrees of separation away from each other all thanks to my best friend Bobby.
And when you're in good with my long-time best friend (and future best man at my wedding) and his family, in my book, it means you've already been vetted and that you're good people.
Before I had a podcast, or even really knew I'd take up jiu-jitsu, I was just a UFC fan who enjoyed Mac's work in the Octagon. Perhaps it's my knowledge of how reality shows work and get spliced together, but even when I sat at home watching his time on The Ultimate Fighter I always thought he got a bum wrap on the way he was depicted. It's not entirely surprising, it's just the nature of the beast known as reality TV.
But as someone who doesn't tend to get caught up in that sort of thing (even then), I just knew I liked his fighting style and thought he had a promising future (in retrospect, I can see that I have a long history of rooting for the jiu-jitsu guys). Naturally, I was stoked to see him go on to win the show and have a solid run in the UFC.
After years of hearing great things about him and the way he teaches from our mutual friends, I was pleasantly surprised a few months ago when I heard he was holding a Striking for Submissions seminar down here in LA. I packed up the gym bag and made it down.
Before the seminar, I got the chance to meet and exchange pleasantries. We talked about our mutual connections and BS-ed about a number of MMA and BJJ topics, all the while Mac lived up to all of the great qualities our mutual friends had come to say about him.
By the time we got around to the seminar and I saw him demonstrate his first BJJ transition, I realized something I had long since forgotten: Mac was one of the first people I watched and learned how to do jiu-jitsu technique from.
While I had watched a number of fights before his tenure on The Ultimate Fighter, I never really paid attention to the science of it all. For whatever reason, his style just clicked with me and, while I may not have understood the exact reasoning behind every grip or underhook, I remember finding myself interested in the craft and wanting to learn how to break it all down.
And on this day, on these mats, there he was telling me to stop doing the technique so wrong and try to get it right for a change.
He didn't actually say that, but you're all familiar with how I roll by now.
Nonetheless, it was just a cool moment in my training journey and all the more reason his appearance on the show was so cool for me personally.
On the podcast this week, Mac (37:20) drops in to provide a little more insight about the actual production of The Ultimate Fighter, the awesome connection he has to the world of animation, his interest in photography, what its like to transition out of fighting, and even describes what it's like to be on the other side of the cage as a referee.
It's a fantastic first conversation with a guy who's been a friend of podcast long before we even had him on. We look forward to having him back on some time soon.
In the meantime, check out his work at http://www.macdanzigphoto.net/.
As an avid photography fan, I'm not one to put over work if I don't find it really good. But his stuff is awesome and I strong encourage you all to give it a gander.
But Wait, There's More!
Our pal, Alex Perez returns on this week's podcast to find out if he beat Kevin in our UFC 180 edition of Over/Under Kevin.
In addition to finding out the results, Alex helps us recap all of the awesome (that sick main event), the disgusting (Ultimate Fighters taking a #2 in the cage), and the really disgusting (the worst PSA for Cauliflower ears ever) things that made one of the shortest UFC PPV's in recent memory a fun and unpredictable night of fights.
Metamoris 5: The Game Show
Because no Metamoris card is complete without at least three match-up changes, we had to get creative with our latest Around the Mat preview series. We always like to record these things a week out of the show as to try and get you a preview that's the most up-to-date possible, but when the news hit that Kevin "KO" Casey was out of his match-up (prompting the BJJ equivalent of American Idol to take place) as I was editing the latest installment of our Metamoris Preview Series, I had to do something.
This was that something.
The following is a sneak preview of our show that's coming out a little later tonight. Hope you all enjoy it!
EDIT: And here's the entire full length episode for your viewing pleasure:
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[buzzsprout episode='216302' player='true'] Raf's Recollection | Man, oh man, did we pack an episode worth of great content for you this week. We've got interviews with JT Torres (28:52) and Shakib from Submission Fight Co. (1:01:31) and we also recap who won on the UFC 179 installment of Over/Under Kevin with our pal Marcus Kowal.
But let's start with our friend JT Torres.
It's harder to find a nicer more terrifying human being on our guest list.
I had the pleasure of meeting JT back at an Metamoris 2 afterparty and was completely impressed with his polite and friendly demeanor. Despite being a killer on the mats, JT is of of the nicest BJJ competitors I've had the pleasure of running into. That night, he was kind enough to talk with me about his match, exchange some fun jiu-jitsu stories, and even give me some words of encouragement about my own BJJ practices (at one point saying my jiu-jitsu couldn't possibly be as bad as I was describing... that's when you truly know someone is nice).
On the podcast this week, we get JT to talk a little bit about his prep for Metamoris 5, his time training at ATOS, his love of video games, why he decided to attack Andre Galvao on the beach of that one Metamoris preview video thing, and even get him to participate in the very first podcast version of our trademark 2 Minute Drill of rapid fire questions at the end of his interview.
Looking forward to seeing this (polite) killer back on the Metamoris mats in the coming weeks in his upcoming match with UFC fighter Rory MacDonald. This may be one of the few times an American will out-polite a Canadian post-match.
One of the things I like about Marcus Kowal is how random he can be. For example, while it's not uncommon to see him at an event like the RevGear BJJ League Tournament, it's another thing to just happen to see him coach and then immediately compete right thereafter.
But that's Marcus for ya.
My compliments to RevGear for attracting some of the coolest folks I know on the BJJ circuit to compete this week.
It's always a blast running into so many of these awesome BJJ competitors and many of their fights did not disappoint. I'm hoping we'll see them with another tournament here in SoCal soon enough!
We talk a little bit about Marcus' competition at the tournament (as well as what it was like competing against one of Josh Barnett's beastly wrestling students) and then we find out who won this week's installment of Over/Under Kevin: UFC 179.
We then close out this stacked episode with an interview of the owner of Submission Fight Co.
Over the past few months, a lot has been printed about the brand. And rightfully so.
Earlier this year Submission Fight Co. discovered that products that they believed to be hemp-based were discovered to contain no trace of hemp. Discussion threads were dedicated to it, blog posts written, videos conducted with many customers expressing frustration with the company.
Rather than speculating on the issue, we decided to go straight to the source to ask him what events transpired, how the company discovered the problem, and what practices Submission Fight Co. intends to partake going forward.
We invite you to give the interview a listen and decide for yourself.
More World Jiu-Jitsu Expo Videos This Week
Trying to edit these as fast as possible, but here's a few more interviews for ya to take a look at. Hope you enjoy 'em!
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[buzzsprout episode='214622' player='true']
Raf's Recollection | Considering all of the videos and writing I have to get done this week, I'll keep this short. We had a huge week on the podcast, previewing this weekend's UFC 179 with our pal Marcus Kowal and discussing all things World Jiu-JItsu Expo.
Marcus (pictured here in a new headshot compliments of our good friend Blanca Marisa Garcia) joins us this week to take on Kevin on our latest installment of Over/Under Kevin.
Some of you know Marcus as our pal from Systems Training Center down in Hawthorne, while others of you may somewhat recognize this guy as the host of his own podcast the MMA Roundtable.
Yep, since we last left Marcus, he has now grown up and started a podcast of his own. So we decided to give him some well deserved shit to start the show and then get into our picks for this weekends fights.
Let's just say this weekend was another mad capped weekend of insane jiu-jitsu coverage.
Accompanied by my two awesome photogs (Alex Perez and Octavio Villanueva), we hit up the World Jiu-JItsu Expo for a second year of crazy coverage.
On the podcast, Kevin spends the first twenty minutes asking me all about it and I talk a little bit about some of our favorite experiences and observations from an event that is something akin to what we call "Jiu-Jitsu Christmas."
I got to talk with this guy.
Keep an eye out on our YouTube page as we'll be posting as many videos as we can from this weekend's World Jiu-Jitsu Expo.
Hope you enjoy it, folks!
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[buzzsprout episode='210565' player='true'] Raf's Recollection | BJJ friends, we really come through for you on this one. This episode not only features the awesome guys from White Belt BJJ (Todd Shaffer and Tony Peranio), but we also do some of the best investigative journalism we've ever done on this episode of the podcast.
When I saw the headline "Wrestler Challenges Jiu Jitsu Instructor at 10th Planet Decatur AL- Security Cam Footage," it didn't take long for me to realize it would likely somehow involve our pal Brandon McCaghren.
Yes. This goofball.
Chances are, you've likely seen the video we're talking about here. If you haven't, take the following five minutes of your time to laugh your ass off as you watch Brandon make short work of a guy who interrupted his jiu-jitsu class and challenged him to a match (mid-way through said class, mind you).
In the time span of a week, the video has gone viral (right now hovering around the neighborhood of 500k views) and attracted the attention of just about every major BJJ publication and Facebook page (and even a few non-BJJ sites), making Brandon a bit of an overnight BJJ celebrity.
So to get to the bottom of this whole ordeal, we decided to reach out to our pal and get him to tell his side of the story. In our EXCLUSIVE interview, Brandon walks us through the match and all of the events that lead up to the challenge.
As usual, Brandon brings his brand of whimsy to the show and we couldn't be happier to see him get so many compliments on his jiu-jitsu skills (I've rolled with the guy, the dude's BJJ is nothing short of awesome). Give it a listen and let Brandon know what you thought on the Twitter at @Brandon_mc.
Here's hoping even more people head to his classes as participants, not mid-class challengers.
White Belt BJJ
Man, are these guys funny.
I can't tell you how many times I've scrolled through my Instagram feed and laughed out loud at the work the very funny guys from White Belt BJJ do.
Instead of talking about it, I'll just let a few of these speak for themselves.
What makes so many of the memes they do work so well is the ability to combine a crazy subversive sense of humor with a series of observations that are grounded in many of the frustrations so many BJJ practitioners experience in their training sessions.
I've been a real fan of the fantastic work ethic these guys have and they were a blast to talk with on the podcast. On our show, they talk about how White Belt BJJ came into existence, what it's felt like to watch so many new BJJ meme artists come out of the woodwork, and we even find out how much Tony and Todd really know about one another.
Give it a view and go support them on all of their channels.
But Wait, There's More
Oh and while you're checking out social media pages, be sure to add us and check out while you're at it.
And then also check out the latest installment of our BJJ talk show panel, Around the Mat. In our latest episode, we break down the match between Saulo Ribeiro and Rodrigo "Comprido" Medeiros. Let us know what you think about it with the hashtag #AroundTheMat!
Steve had a goofball sense of humor even back then. But whenever there was some down time while working the show, we'd shoot the shit about MMA and wrestling.
At the time I had no idea Steve had any stand-up comic aspirations (but to be completely fair I'm not even sure he was aware that I was a comedy performer myself).
In the years since, Steve has blown up and has made a great name for himself touring across the country doing a truly unique brand of stand-up comedy.
He's even been on my talk show (Early Late Night) multiple times and remains a crowd favorite for the really funny stories he shares during our sit down interviews (for the record, he is the only person who I actually tolerate who beat boxes, it's quite impressive).
Steve has always been quick with an opinion on all things MMA which is why I thought he'd make a great opponent for Kevin on this week's installment of Over/Under Kevin.
This week we preview the stacked card that is UFC 178 and go over all the major scenarios. And from the tremble you hear in Kevin's voice, he is truly scared that we brought someone who is not only knowledgeable about MMA, but can actually spit out funnier jokes than Kev.
It makes for a fantastic segment and I think y'all will dig it this week.
But beyond giving Kev a run for his money on the podcast and being and all-around funny guy, Briggs also happens to have a pretty solid wrestling background and has trained with me a few times over the past five years.
As one of the guys who was there for my humble beginnings in jiu-jitsu years ago, Steve's always been a great guy to train with.
I like to refer to him as a pace-setting training partner: a partner who you don't train with all that often, but who will push you to get even better each time. He's one of the few people I allow myself to talk shit to about BJJ because I know he'll bring it on the mats the next time we train (and that he'll talk shit right back at me).
And every time we've rolled, Steve's always been helpful identifying a cool wrestling trick or complimenting any improvements in my game. He recently came up to train with us at Valley Martial Arts Center a couple months ago and he hasn't lost a step.
Not to say I haven't taught him a thing or two myself.
But I felt bad for him and decided to teach him a finisher he could use to defend himself. It still needs work.
Layers this kid has.
Nonetheless, give it a listen and let us know what you think of this one folks and hit us up on our social media to let us know what you think!
Oh, and also, don't forget to check out our Metamoris 4 recap here. On our latest, we review Keenan vs. Vinny. Let us know what you think, folks!
Raf's Recollection | We always seem to catch Rafael Lovato Jr. [28:06] at incredible junctures in his career.
Our first conversation with Lovato took place a little over a year ago (Episode 24; yeesh, time really flies), just shortly after he became the first non-Brazilian to win the Absolute division at the Brasileiro. Since then, we've had the good fortune of running into him several times around the jiu-jitsu circuit and were even granted the opportunity to cover one of his awesome seminars out in Vegas a couple of months ago.
Always polite, willing to give us a few moments of his time, and extremely supportive of our crazy dog and pony show we call a podcast, Lovato has been one of the biggest champions of our show (and a good friend to us both on-and-off air).
Which is why when we heard a rumor that our pal would be making his way into the world of Mixed Martial Arts, we knew we needed to hear directly from the source about this new major milestone in his fighting career.
On September 26th, we get the opportunity to see Rafael compete in the Legacy FC cage (alongside his supremely talented BJJ phenom, Justin Rader, who will also be fighting at the Hard Rock Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma that night). For some, this is a chance to see how a storied BJJ competitor, known for his aggression and exciting finishes, fares in the world of MMA.
But for Rafael this fight isn't just the culmination of a six week training camp. It's the chance to test a lifetime's worth of work as a martial artist in an entirely different way.
Just because Rafael is best known for his incredible work as a BJJ competitor, doesn't mean he's ignored other fighting disciplines all these years. Unlike other BJJ practitioners who make the transition to MMA, the integration of other disciplines is something that was instilled into him at an early age (and has been maintained in-between BJJ sessions at his own gym for some time). Now Lovato has an avenue to show us another dimension or two of his MMA game.
And it's a challenge that is reinvigorating him.
On this week's podcast, Rafael speaks candidly about his training regimen, his expectations, and the difficulty of putting away the gi to concentrate on his stand up game. We hear more about the impressive array of talent coming to help him get ready for his fight and even get to hear Rafael's thoughts about the most recent Metamoris card.
Two weeks out from fight night, there are certainly more questions than there are certainties on how it will all go down (how will Lovato transition to the cage? what kind of game will he bring to the table on fight night? what if the fight never goes to the ground?). And yet, despite the uncertainty, there is one thing you can take to the bank:
Win or lose, we got his back.
With far and few athletes really carrying the banner of jiu-jitsu in the world of MMA, we root for a guy who has consistently given his all on the mats. Who has inspired others to play an aggressive game and make history every time they go out to compete. And, perhaps most importantly, we root for the guy who has a conviction to represent the jiu-jitsu community when he enters that cage.
For all those reasons (and so much more), we are eagerly anticipating this fight.
Check his appearance out on the podcast and hit us up on our social media to let us know what you think!
But Wait, There's More!
Oh yeah, in case you haven't been keeping up with us on the YouTube, check out our latest installment of our BJJ panel talk show, Around the Mat. On our latest episode we breakdown the match between Kit Dale and Garry Tonon (complete with exclusive footage from the event). Let us know what you think!
Also, if for some reason you don't see our Buzzsprout player embedded up above, you can also listen to this week's episode of our podcast right here on Stitcher.