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[buzzsprout episode='134707' player='true'] Raf's Reflection | I don’t think you could have scripted a better 50th episode. This may go down as one of our finest shows.
Granted, I’m still equal parts amazed and baffled that we’ve made it to 50 episodes (I’m amazed how the time has flown by; baffled at how I haven’t killed Kevin yet).
But when you consider that this time last year, Kevin and I started this podcast talking about a Carlos Condit fight (where Kevin debuted his now long-documented love affair with all things Carlos Condit), it’s truly remarkable that the man himself would grant us some time to talk with him just days before his upcoming fight against Matt Brown.
And really, our interview is a testament to Carlos Condit’s fearlessness.
While most people tend to keep a distance from their stalkers, Carlos actually indulges Kevin’s love affair. Perhaps it’s because Kevin isn’t exactly a threat to him in the slightest. Perhaps it’s the way one typically carries themself when they are nicknamed a “Natural Born Killer.” Perhaps it’s because he’s a badass muay thai skills that could render the both of us extinct in a single strike.
Who can say?
Nonetheless, Carlos proved to be a great sport, answered a series of questions from our very own obsessed fan-boy, and managed to give us one of our best interviews ever in the process.
But That’s Not All...
What better way to end our coverage of all things Ultimate Fighter than to bring on BOTH newly crowned winners from Season 18? That’s right, we’ve got both Chris Holdsworth and Julianna Pena.
We ask both Chris and Julianna about their fights, their celebrations, and get some great insight into what it actually feels like to win the Ultimate Fighter.
But what’s impressive about Chris and Julianna is the fact that they were both willing to squeeze us in just hours after winning their respective fights.
Holdsworth manages to find the time to talk with us moments before catching a flight at the airport, while Julianna fends off “dying” to call in to the podcast.
As two people whose UFC careers are about to take-off, we couldn’t be more grateful they carved out the time to talk with us (again) during what must be one of the craziest (and most significant) weeks of their lives.
We’re truly honored to share in their celebration and cannot wait for what lies in store next for these two very talented fighters.
No Verbal Tap milestone would be complete without a visit from our good friend Bubba McDaniel.
Here at Verbal Tap, Bubba is family. Not only is he an engaging UFC fighter with a great sense of humor, but he’s fiercely loyal and has always made time for us. When the three of us get on a call together, it’s like listening to three longtime friends gather round to drink some beers and shoot the shit.
And while we are now the show that’s lucky enough to book great guests like Carlos, Chris, and Julianna, Bubba was actually the first guest to come on the show. Last season, Bubba caught wind of our Ultimate Fighter mockery, thought it was funny, and actually offered to be on our podcast.
At the time, we weren’t really doing interviews on the show (mostly because we weren’t entirely sure we had the capability of doing so). And really, up until that time, we were complacent having me do impressions of all the fighters. However, a real fighter provided even more comic possibilities—especially if they proved a good sport with being made fun of.
But we did some research, changed some audio settings, and boom, the rest is history. After Bubba came on, the game changed for us. Suddenly other fighters became interested in coming on our show as well.
So when you talk "gold standard" here at the show, there’s a reason Bubba is the first person that always comes to mind—and why he’s always welcome on our show.
While our guest booking for this episode turned out to be pretty spectacular, one of the things that makes this episode so unique is the mix of well-wishes and trash talk we received from some of our favorite guests over the past year.
Kev and I had long been considering the idea of opening up a voice mailbox where we could get some friends of the podcast to leave us messages. When it came time to put the 50th episode together, we figured we’d put out a note to some of our former guests and see what happened.
The result is magical.
It really ties the episode together in a way we couldn’t have expected. When we reached out to folks, we didn’t really provide them with any guidelines; we just asked if they wouldn’t mind leaving us a message for our 50th episode—fully expecting them to go all Comedy Central Roast on us.
And there is plenty of fun at our expense. But there was a surprising amount of sincere congrats and appreciation for the show that we do—which is really awesome to hear. We’re humbled by our friends’ support and we thank each and every one of the guys who called in to leave us a message.
[Now, don’t get too used to me saying nice things. I’m going back to being the same asshole you’ve all come to know and put up with shortly.]
Although, I will close with this.
I didn’t get to hear this podcast until late Wednesday night (after a marathon weekend of playing host to family guests and writing/producing another installment of my own Late Night talk show) right before going to sleep.
As I put in my headphones to listen to the podcast, I actually found myself getting lost in the very show I had helped to produce and create. Between all of the great interviews, the fantastic messages from our friends, and even a solid performance from both me and Kevin this week, I realized that we truly are making the podcast we always imagined possible.
And to those of you who are new: Welcome, we’re just getting started.
[buzzsprout episode='117188' player='true']
Raf's Recollection |There's nothing worse than missing a UFC card. If you know me, you know I absolutely hate missing a UFC card.
I have a set of calenders in my house and at work that meticulously map out UFC cards, Fight Nights, and Ultimate Fighter episodes months in advance. But, every so often, you hit a weekend where you have a set of plans you just can't get out of. That was the case for Saturday Night's UFC 165. Not just for me, but also for my co-host.
Of course, it had to be on a night when a potential Fight of the Year took place.
But fear not Verbal Tap Cast fans, because Kev and I are committed to giving you the very best coverage, we wouldn't just talk blindly about a set of fights we didn't get the chance to watch. That's why we brought in a panel of folks to help us ring in our 40th episode AND piece together exactly what took place during the fight between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson this weekend.
We start with our pal, Ben Unanaowo(a sports enthusiast/couch potato who's never short on opinions about sports) giving us a play-by-play account of the UFC 165 main event. But we wouldn't be doing our job if we just left it at that. Given the controversial nature of the fight—with a public outcry among MMA fans who were angry with the judge's decision and the multiple interpretations from spectators on how the fight went down—we decided to bring in two experts to give this epic battle the attention it deserves.
Enter our experts: Making the case for the Jones, training partner and podcast favorite Bubba McDaniel drops by tell us why the judges were right to score the fight for the champ, while Swedish MMA Fighter Marcus Kowal (and owner of SystemsTrainingCenter.com) makes the case for Gustafsson. Bubba and Marcus walk us through every angle of the fight and even tell us the implications for the Light Heavyweight division. And our conversation DOES. NOT. DISAPPOINT.
And if you guys are fans of having experts drop by to talk about the fights, we're more than happy to bring it back and (maybe) even hold a full on debate between panelists on the next go-round for controversial fights like this. Let us know what you think.
BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE: That's not all fight fans! In addition to our signature World Famous "One Minute Review" of this week's The Ultimate Fighter, we also talk with Kickboxer Joe Schilling who fights this Saturday at GLORY Kickboxing in Ontario, California. In our EXCLUSIVE interview Joe, he talks about how he got the name "Stitch 'Em Up," his gym in Los Angeles (The Yard), his clothing line (Can't Stop Crazy), and we discuss if he's really a bad guy or not (spoiler alert: he's not).
So do us a solid, check it out and let us know what you think!
[buzzsprout episode='112408' player='true']
Raf's Recollection | If you practice Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the meme over on the right hand side here pretty much says it all.
As much as we want to go around and spread to the gospel of BJJ to our friends and family, there are some who—despite our best efforts—will never care about the "gentle art."
I know it hurts to hear. I know that it's a lot to take in all at once. But it's better that it comes from someone who cares.
The realization that some people will never care about a sport that you and I love so much is a fact of life that stings and sometimes causes us great emotional strife (stay with me here, it's going to get better. Promise).
Our guests on Episode 37 of Verbal Tap know this struggle all-too-well. Marshal D. Carper and Darryl Cozza are two BJJ practitioners who wrote an uproarious eBook entitled, Don't Wear Your Gi to the Bar, that teaches you how to survive everyday social settings while still preserving your inner BJJ nerd.
And in Verbal Tap first, I'm gonna go ahead and put this as the very first book to receive MUST READ status from our podcast (calm down, we're not starting a book club yet or anything).
Aside from an obvious love of sport, there's a real wit in this eBook that accurately describes the losing battle that is explaining the culture, beauty, and art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu to people who just can't get past why you like dressing up in pajamas and choking your friends.
Wanna know the most insane part?
These guys aren't even charging you a single dollar to read it? Simply follow this link and download it from their website. All for Free.99.
All the guys ask in return is that you share the book with your training partners and other BJJ enthusiasts (and maybe even drop a five star review on sites like Amazon if you dig it). Also, for you non-cheapskates who like to promote authors on the independent circuit (like a real American), there's also an option to buy a version of their book.
While the book is a great display of subversive humor, there's more to Marshal and Darryl than well-written jokes and Game of Thrones/BJJ metaphors.
They're not just funny, their BJJ knowledge is legit.
As we discover in the podcast, the eBook is only the first in a long line of instructional BJJ videos and articles from the pair. Recently, the duo have launched their own online venture entitled, ArtechokeMedia.com, a website that's designed to promote "the organic growth of jiu-jitsu thought, theory, and technique." The guys were nice enough to send a preview of their next project to Kev and I during the podcast--and all we can say is that you all are in for a treat when they launch it in the coming months.
It's truly spectacular.
And, for me, that's what made this booking so great. While we do our fair share of talking with pro fighters and MMA personalities, at our core Kev and I are major BJJ enthusiasts. When you hear these two explain the rationale behind the website (they want to shine a light on the unsung heroes of BJJ such as coaches, instructors, and mentors who may not necessarily be on the covers of magazines, but who make significant contributions to the sport), it's hard not to do the same and give a voice to two individuals who, themselves, are doing exactly that through their humorous writing and insightful videos.
Maybe that's why we like the sport so much. There's a camaraderie in jiu-jitsu that extends beyond the walls of a gym or a dojo, independent of affiliation and ranks, that consistently introduces us to people like this. Even though we have never physically met Marshal or Darryl, our overall hope of growing and sharing the sport is one and the same and Kev and I would be down to roll with them when/if the opportunity presented itself.*
Of course, cool people like us already know the caliber of folks who train BJJ. Even that smug, appropriately cast "Gatsby" Leo DiCaprio meme knows the deal.
So check 'em out on our podcast and while you wait for the episode to download, enjoy Marshal and Darryl at their finest.
*However, if when I actually meet them they're a couple of d-bags, I reserve the right to take all of this back
[buzzsprout episode='109710' player='true']
Raf's Recollection | More to come later about Bubba McDaniel and Fox Sports 1.
NOTE: For whatever reason the Skype/Podcast Editing Gods were against us this week, so be sure to listen to this Podcast on your headphones. And be forewarned the transitions may be a little loud.
Kevin's Description: Raf and Kevin celebrate Cinco De Mayo with Professional Fighter Adam Cella from The Ultimate Fighter Season 17! They also talk a little Jon Jones, UFC 159 Payouts, Tito Ortiz vs. Jon Jones, Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones, and finally end with your questions from twitter! Visit VerbalTapCast.com right now and get daily MMA coverage!
Raf’s Recollection : The first thing that strikes you about Adam Cella (aside from those dashing baby blues) is the fact that the man tells a mean story.
There's an inherent politeness to the timber of his voice that makes the punchlines to his stories both hilarious and friendly at the same time.
That's a rare gift. So that even when he's having a little bit of fun at the expense of his close friends from the show, it's never mean spirited. It's similar to that of a little brother playfully ribbing their older brothers—and really makes it easy to see why he was so popular within the house.
On the latest podcast, we get Cella to open up about some of the lighter moments in The Ultimate Fighter—including a few choice gems about roommates, cut scenes from the house, and maybe even an impression of a certain fellow cast member who may or may not have celebrated their 30th birthday this weekend (we apologize in advance Mr. The Menace; Happy Birthday!).
Among some of the other topics we touch upon with Mr. Cella in this interview: which current UFC fighter is afraid of spiders, what the future holds in store for the TUF vet, and what does Cella have to say to all of those who thought Jon Jones let him tap him out with this guillotine.
We hope you'll join us for some fun on the podcast and then drop us a note in our comment section. And after that shoot our friend Mr. Cella a nice note over on his Twitter at (@AdamCellaMMA) to let him know what you thought!
Kevin's Description: Bubba stops by and talks the guys through his last fight, his future with The UFC, and his post fight interview! Stop in, give a listen to the best comedy MMA podcast on the market.
Kevin's Description: Title says it all folks! Raf Esparza's one minute review of The Ultimate Fighter has Bubba "the Menace" McDaniel and Luke "BIgSlow" Barnatt stopping by for some great perspective on Mike Tyson's most recent visit to the house, the crazy round of quarterfinal fights, and so much more! Tune in, you won't want to miss out on this one!