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VERBAL TAP (Episode 98) with Mac Danzig


VERBAL TAP (Episode 98) with Mac Danzig

[buzzsprout episode='222389' player='true'] MacDanzig_HeadshotRaf'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

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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VERBAL TAP (Episode 97) with Garry Tonon


VERBAL TAP (Episode 97) with Garry Tonon

[buzzsprout episode='219848' player='true'] garytononRaf's Recollection | We all know Garry Tonon [46:54] as one of the most exciting grapplers on the planet.  With an aggressive style on the mats that relentlessly goes after submissions, Garry has made a huge name for himself in the world of competitive jiu-jitsu as one of the most reliable "sure bets" for an exciting match.

Even when if it means putting himself in terrible positions.  And that's just part of what makes his matches so unpredictably exciting.

The guy has a gas tank that puts a great number of us to shame (despite a number of well-documented accounts of how much fast-food the kid ingests).  But, as I came to find out last week, even interviewing Garry Tonon can be a workout.

Not because the guy is a difficult interview (our conversation is a lot of fun), but because he just has so much energy, you have to match his level of intensity during the interview.  Even in the moments we spent talking with Garry off-air, before our interview officially began, Kev and I found ourselves having a great time comparing notes and jokes.  As I overheard the rapid-fire cadence in his voice, it began to make complete sense:

Garry Tonon doesn't do anything slow.

Garry Tonon

With that in mind, I encourage you all to give a listen to a dynamic interview we do with Garry, as we touch upon all the bases: his match at Metamoris 5, what his expectations of his opponent Zak Maxwell, if his eating habits are truly as terrible as some Metamoris preview videos lead us to believe, what it's like to train with Rory MacDonald, and what he really thought of my interpretation of his BJJ game at Metamoris 5.

Yep.  This one.

It should be noted that a running joke at my gym has been how when I played Garry, my jiu-jitsu was way better than normal.  Leaps and bounds better.  So while I'd love to base my game entirely on Garry's movement, I will remind you that too is an exhausting endeavor (the guy never quits moving).

Be sure to give Garry's episode a listen and then let us know what you think!

Peace Out, JEvans

Last week, we said goodbye to our pal, John Evans who is forging ahead with his journey to open out his own jiu-jitsu school.  Mind you, he'll still be here in the Valley, but he's going to be opening up his own place for BJJ instruction very soon.

As one of the most influential people in my BJJ career, I can't thank John enough for his patience and his help with my game.  Any gains I've made over the past few years are due in part to his superb coaching abilities.

And because no goodbye is without it's hardships, allow me to post the video of the way we closed out John's experience here at VMAC.


Be sure to follow him on Twitter at @BJJBreakdown and look out for more updates about his school at

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