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Cody Bollinger

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 81) with Cody Bollinger

[buzzsprout episode='189759' player='true'] Cody Bollinger

Raf's Recollection |"If anybody else would have called me and asked me to do an interview tonight I woulda told them to go fuck themselves."

Kind words from our pal Cody Bollinger who returns to guest on the podcast this week.

You don't get much better than that folks.

It's been a crazy past couple of weeks here at the podcast: We've had over a dozen of the people who have dropped in as guests fight on cards all throughout the world of MMA.  We're happy to say a number of our friends walked away with major victories.

One of those victories happened to come from Cody Bollinger who won with a truly sick rear naked choke a couple weekends ago at the World Series of Fighting 11.

Cody Bollinger 2Naturally we wanted to hear all about the technique, the drama building up to the fight, the aftermath.  All that good stuff.

We also wanted to hear straight from the horses' mouth why he missed weight and if the rumors of him going up to fight at 145 were true (he answers plainly and honestly).

But what we didn't expect was to hear is what he's been up to in his spare time.

No seriously, it's amazing.  And we're stoked Cody chose our podcast to share it with.

Be sure to listen in to his segment of the podcast and follow him over on his Twitter and his Instagram.  Let him know what you think of his appearance on our show!

I've Been Everywhere

Last week was a busy one.  I hit up three different gyms and was stoked I finally got to train with some of our friends here at the podcast (including our buddies Jaime Gonzalves from BJJ Rants and Brandon Mccaghren). 

I talk about what it was like to visit at Higher Ground Jiu-JItsu in Rowland Heights, 10th Planet Headquarters (TapOut Gym, LA) under Eddie Bravo, and Cobrinha's in Hollywood.

I've been pretty fortunate the past few weeks to get to train with a series of folks who have given me some great tips.  All of these gyms have been really kind and friendly, and it's been a blast to even chat with some of the folks at these gyms who are fans of our show (it's insane)!

As the summer winds down to a close, I'm open to the suggestions any of you might have for me to drop in here in Southern California.

Thank of it as a free way to beat me up.

So have at, suggest away folks.

But for now, please enjoy this funny (/silly) video I shot with our pals over at Higher Ground Jiu Jitsu.

Later on for now, folks.

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 56) with Cody Bollinger, Marcus Kowal, and Dmitiry Gerasimov

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Cody Bollinger

Raf's Recollection | It's always a good time when our friends drop by to say hello.

This week, we were joined by two Verbal Tap favorites (Cody Bollinger and Marcus Kowal) and a dude who promises to be a welcome addition to the Verbal Tap family (Dmitry Gerasimov).

Cody Bollinger

Just hours after picking up the win in his debut match at the World Series of Fighting 8, Cody stops by the podcast to give us an EXCLUSIVE interview about his win and the crazy couple of weeks he had leading into his fight against Tyson Nam.

What I always like about talking with Cody Bollinger is that he doesn't try to hide anything.  He doesn't give us any spin or PR speaking points, this is a fighter who speaks clearly and honestly about his training regimen, the difficulties he faces, and even what was really going through his head just moments before the judges rendered their decision last Saturday night.

More than anything, we're happy to hear the hard work and perseverance paid off.  To some, Cody may only be known as the guy who missed weight on The Ultimate Fighter.

But around here, he's known as a friend of the podcast who never that set back get him down.  We were stoked to see him pick up the win, especially when you hear the kind of mental endurance the guy had to channel to make it to the fight AND THEN go three grueling rounds with a widely respected opponent like Nam.

Don't Sleep on the Beasts at Systems Training Center

Verbal Tap faithful will know Marcus Kowal as a correspondent for our show.  But there's much more to the guy than just a strange Swedish accent and subversive videos where he interviews himself (he's been called the "Eddie Murphy of MMA" by absolutely no one).

Not only is he the owner of a fantastic gym out in Hawthorne, California (Systems Training Center), but he also happens to be a pretty solid MMA fighter in his own right.  He fights against Zac Chavez at this Friday night's Resurrection Fighting Alliance 12 in Los Angeles.

And he's not the only Systems Training Center fighter to step into the cage, he'll be joined by teammate Dmitry Gerasimov—a Taekwondo black belt with some serious power and rage—who will take on Jordan Isordia on the RFA 12 pre-card.

I mean, just look at the guy.  Everything about Dmitry screams "this. is. SPARTA!!!"

I've had the pleasure (/misfortune) of being friends with these guys for some time and can vouch for their talent and dedication.  The stuff that they're doing over at Systems is truly incredible.

I'd wish them luck in their respective fights, but they each possess a great work ethic that's not the type that really needs the wish of luck.  Rather, I wish them the full opportunity they deserve to display the crazy skills they have in the cage this Friday night.

On the podcast, we talk about their training, their close relationship, and even why the hell these two jokers would even remotely want to do stand up comedy when punching people in the face is so much cooler!!!

I'll be covering the events live this Friday night, so keep it locked down to and our Twitter for updates all night long!

But Wait, There's More

Kev also debuts his new movie reviewing segment called 'Nuff Said.

- I update my ongoing feud with BJJ Podcast Nemesis, Paul Moran, after Paul double booked one of our guests from last week on his "podcast," Open Mat Radio.  And with full journalistic integrity, I provide a thoroughly comparative analysis between our interview with Matt and Paul's interview with him.  You can head to the following link here to listen to Paul's podcast and quickly realize how right I am about the whole ordeal.

- While you're at it, don't forget to contribute to Matt Kirtley's IndieGogo campaign to help fund a kick ass Reverse Omoplata Instructional.

Also, be on the look out for my BJJ Training Journal blog later this week, as I attempt to give you all an honest look at my training, as we embark upon the never-ending journey that is trying to discover why I continue being so terrible at the sport of jiu-jitsu. 

You can find me on the online directory of at Raf Esparza.



VERBAL TAP (Episode 46) with Cody Bollinger and Sarah Moras

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Raf's Recollection | One of my favorite things about watching people tweet during The Ultimate Fighter is the amount of vitriol that’s spewed at a fighters’ direction.  Certainly, we are no strangers to having fun at the expense of the cast members, but you won’t often find me or Kevin telling the fighters how much better we are than them.

Or how we, ourselves, would have acted so much better in a given situation.

For the record, these are my favorite kinds of tweets, #Humblebrags at the expense of a fighter’s success or misfortune.

Hindsight is a wonderful gift, and I’m sure only a handful cast members ever really know the pressure that comes with living in a house like that for six weeks.

Which is why when Cody Bollinger agreed to come on the podcast, I thought it might be a good idea to read some of the tweets the internet wrote about him (hope one of them was yours, you might have to listen in!)

If you haven’t seen the episode yet (and are patiently waiting for the “One Minute Review” to catch you up to speed), let’s just say things didn’t go well for Cody on last week’s episode.

In fact, they kind went “Dana Meeting” bad.

To his credit, Cody showed up, listened in on our “One Minute Review,” made some comments about the episode, Coach Miesha Tate, and, yes, even responded to some the interesting tweets written about him.

Right after our interview with Cody, Sarah Moras stops by.  Sarah’s been one of my favorites on the TUF because of her awesome talking head segments.

She has a very honest speaking style that never pulls any punches (even when talking about herself).

Sarah describes her history with some of the other TUF cast members, talks a little bit about her trademark arm bar, details where her fighting travels have taken her, the types of guys she trains with and even speaks a little bit about her interactions with the winner of TUF:18’s Best Cameo award, Tim Gorman.

And, in my favorite part of the podcast, Sarah tells us an extended (and much better version) of how she got into MMA and reveals how the very funny "Peggy Morgan is a 'giraffe'" comment happened.

If you get the chance, go support her and our friends over at  You can pick up one of her fighter t-shirts right here!

Gentleman’s Agreement

One thing that amazes me about the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the amount of respect displayed between teammates.  It’s one of the reasons I like the sport so much.  I’ve always been the type of person who thrives in team environments and I love that while gyms do a great job at refining an individual’s abilities, it's typically done through a strong team dynamic.

Having said that.  I’m still really confused about the part where you let a teammate win via gentleman’s agreement.

For those not in the know: There is a practice in competitive BJJ where two members of the same team will settle final matches in a jiu-jitsu tournament through a prearranged agreement (where the two fighters do not have to fight).

Yes, you can win a tournament this way.  Yes, it happened at worlds this weekend.

Granted, I recognize what a terrible human being I am.  And, believe me, I’m no authority when it comes to any matter competitive BJJ.  Additionally, I completely understand not wanting to create a rift between teammates—and I even kind of get that it’s the “right thing” to do—but it’s still kinda weird to me.

However, the gentleman’s agreement thing got me and Kev to wonder how a black belt finals match at Worlds between us would look like (I’ll pause for your laughter).  Aside from hilarious and highly improbable, I’d still love to hear what you all think about this BJJ practice.

But Wait, There's More!

We also play another installment of Over/Under Kevin about this week's UFC's Fight for the Troops 3.

Give a listen and let us know what you think of Kevin's picks!