Viewing entries tagged
Marcus Kowal

VERBAL TAP (Episode 96) with JT Torres


VERBAL TAP (Episode 96) with JT Torres

[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.


RevGear LogoRevGear and Marcus Kowal

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.

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 4.20.52 AMSubmission Fight Co.

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!

Social Media Plug

Follow us and stuff.

Facebook: /VerbalTapCast

Twitter: @VerbalTapCast

Instagram: @VerbalTapCast

Vine: @VerbalTapCast



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.



VERBAL TAP (Episode 40) with Joe Schilling

[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 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!