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Dmitry Gerasimov

VERBAL TAP (Episode 57): UFC 169 Preview with John Evans


VERBAL TAP (Episode 57): UFC 169 Preview with John Evans

[buzzsprout episode='146436' player='true'] John Evans

Raf's Recollection | It is always a good time when John Evans stops by the podcast. This week, I surprise my slow witted co-host in our latest installment of Over/Under Kevin with the return of John Evans to help us preview UFC 169.

It seems like it’s been forever and a day since we last had John on the podcast, but we get a chance to catch up on what the very busy jiu-jitsu badass and all-around-good-guy has been up to.

And man, has this guy been busy.

Last week, John hosted the very first BJJ Breakdown Blue Belt, Submission Only invitational.  It was a live event that John organized and streamed that featured some great match-ups among some of the most respected blue belts around our community (and ultimately won by the awesome Kyle Buena).

For those who missed the live stream, John just put up the first match from the event up on his YouTube page.  I’d highly encourage you to check it out and keep an eye out at BJJBreakdown YouTube page for even more awesome fights.

Verbal Tap Covers RFA 12

So, not only do we preview who will win UFC 169 with a game of Over/Under Kevin between Evans and Kevin, but we also talk about the awesome time we had covering Resurrection Fighting Alliance 12 last Friday.

The fights did not disappoint.  Not only did we get to see our friends from Systems Trianing Center pull off a hat trick’s worth of submissions at the event (Dmitry Gerasimov, Terrion Wear, and Pedro Munhoz), but the entire fight card from start to finish provided a set of spectacular finishes, knock outs, and battles inside that cage.  It’s no wonder this organization has sent 8 fighters to the UFC recently; the caliber of the fighters involved is nothing short of spectacular.

My eternal thanks to our pal Octavio Villanueva for his fantastic work helping put this all together.  In addition to being an awesome BJJ practitioner, Octavio also put together this fantastic RFA 12 highlight reel that deserves your attention and your likes.

Starting a Rukus

MikeyWe also speak with Fight Music producer Mikey Rukus about his upcoming music tour.  If you’re not familiar with Mikey just yet, chances are you’re already familiar with his work—as he’s provided the walk out entrances to some of your favorite MMA athletes.

Mikey’s about to embark upon a music tour that will be touring alongside the next series of UFC events across the country, so definitely go check him out if you get the chance!

Thank You, Readers (and BJJ Reddit)

BJJ redditWe also talk about the first entry about my BJJ Training Journal series (Shouldn’t You Be a Blue Belt by Now?) and describe how blown away we were by the community’s support (especially the great folks over at BJJ Reddit).

My mind's still blown that an introspective piece about my own experiences would resonate with so many people, but I'm humbled and encouraged by all of your kind words.  It's moments like this that remind me I am involved in the right support and prove why the jiu-jitsu community is the best in sports.  As such, I will continue to keep you updated on my progress through humorous essays and recaps.  Again, thank you all so much.  I can't wait for you to read the next one.

Also, feel free to throw topics and ideas at me.  I'll be happy to write essays and jokes about prompts that you guys throw at me, so feel free to do so over at @VerbalTapCast.

In Case You Missed It

Check out my interview with Ralek Gracie from RFA 12, where we talk about Metamoris 3, why it’s so hard to make money in jiu-jitsu, and why you should buy the live stream of Metamoris 3.

And, don’t sleep on my post-fight interview with recent Verbal Tap guest, Dmitry Gigapet.

Or is it Gerasimov? I can never remember.

That's all for now folks.  We'll see you back here next week with another thrilling installment of Verbal Tap.



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

[buzzsprout episode='144418' player='true']

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.