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VERBAL TAP (Episode 126) with Garry Tonon


VERBAL TAP (Episode 126) with Garry Tonon

[buzzsprout episode='291364' player='true'] Garry and EddieRaf's Recollection | I'll give you a full write up later, but all you need to know right now is Garry Tonon returns and gives us an interview for the ages.

Let us know what you guys think of it!




VERBAL TAP (Episode 124) with Edwin Najmi and Joey Hauss


VERBAL TAP (Episode 124) with Edwin Najmi and Joey Hauss


[buzzsprout episode='287661' player='true'] 10623889_658533720930913_6176385149871435034_oRaf's Recollection | We've got a lot of great guests this week (Edwin Najmi, Gabriel Arges, Joey Hauss), but I suppose the biggest question we ask ourselves in this episode is:

Am I a kleptomaniac?

More on that later.

First up, we somehow manage to keep Edwin on the ground long enough to get him to chat with us about his upcoming match at this weekend's Submission Series Pro.

For those not in the know, Edwin is famous for his flying triangles, as his name has become synonymous with the attack.  A regular staple in the world of competition, we get the chance to pick his brain about competition mindset, studying under Romulo Barral, training at the infamous Church Boys Wrestling facility, and even get to hear a little bit about his experience at this year's Copa Podio.

And if that's not enough, Edwin drops a bit of a surprise on us when he offers us a chance to talk with Gabriel Arges, another spectacular BJJ competitor who (up until last Sunday), we had yet to have the pleasure of meeting.  If you've yet to see Arges in action, just check out a few of his highlights here:

10348864_715875601788048_3003088629943003015_oAnd just because there are some last minute changes to a UFC card doesn't mean we forget about Over/Under Kevin.  This week, we bring on Joey Hauss from The LA Jiu-Jitsu Club who challenges Kevin's ability to think under pressure (and even, somehow, manages to get under the skin of a future UFC Hall of Famer, who makes his return to the podcast after a long hiatus).

Because, as we all know, something crazy is likely to happen this Saturday.  My money is on this happening.


Oh yeah, about that klepto thing, I tell a story this week about something I did after a seminar that I'm not proud of.  I attended a bad-ass seminar of Brian Peterson's over at the LA Jiu-JItsu Club this weekend, made a new friend, and then... Well...

Look, basically, I ask you Verbal Tap fans, if what I did wrong.  I await your judgement on our social media.

Thanks much for tuning in this week, folks!


VERBAL TAP (Episode 123) with Tom DeBlass


VERBAL TAP (Episode 123) with Tom DeBlass

[buzzsprout episode='285758' player='true'] Raf's Recollection | This week, we meet MMA and Jiu-Jitsu bad ass Tom DeBlass.

We begin this week by addressing the Yoel-sized elephant in the room.

But first, I want to start with this: You know how much Kev and I love post-fight interviews.  They're usually conducted at a time when fighters are exhausted, out-of-breath, and may not exactly be of sound mind.

In short, they give us instant quotables to work with.  Sometimes a flash into the brains of our favorite athletes.

This week Jon Anik got deep into the mind of Yoel Romero when he merely presented him with a microphone and an opportunity to speak his mind.  This is what happened.

So it's a little difficult to figure out who or what Yoel is exactly talking about here--which is why I printed out a transcript and had Kevin do his best cold read possible.  And, by cold read, I mean Kevin had absolutely no context for any of this.  He didn't watch the fights and this was the first time he had seen or read the comments Yoel made.

It's one of my favorite moments from this week's show.

Now, that's not to say, we didn't have a little fun with Yoel's comments.

Also on the podcast, we get to know a little bit more about Tom DeBlass.  We've long been fans of DeBlass' cool jiu-jitsu style (and we're friends with a couple of his students), but this was our first chance to really pick his brain to get insight about his fighters' mindset, the types of things that motivate him in jiu-jitsu, and the competitive nature of the guys at Orange County Jiu-Jitsu (even getting to have some good-natured fun at the expense of his protege Garry Tonon and new killer-in-the-making Gordon Ryan).

It's a great look into the competitive championship mindset and one that's definitely worth your time, as DeBlass even recounts for us some of the moments from the only 15 points that have ever been scored on him during competition (yes, he knows the exact number).

Listen in folks and be sure to drop us a line of what you think!


VERBAL TAP (Episode 122) with Jorge Oliveira and Mike Hofer


VERBAL TAP (Episode 122) with Jorge Oliveira and Mike Hofer

JorgeRaf's Recollection | Been a bit of a whirlwind past few weeks, but happy to report that we're back up and operational for all of you good folks.  This week we welcome our new friend Jorge Oliveira (from North South clothing) and our good friend Mike Hofer from Jiu-Jitsu in the Park returns. But first, let's take a moment to chat Kimbo vs. Shamrock, shall we. There are a good number of you out there who wondered if that fight was a work (or in professional wrestling terms, "staged.")  We discuss that on this week's podcast in depth, but I thought I'd treat you all to my favorite take on the fight right here.

  STREET FIGHTER   A video posted by 💥 (@azxd) on

  Absolutely one of the funniest things I've seen about it. But some of that pales in comparison to some of the comments you sent in for us to read on the show.  Listen in, because we might have read some of your comments (just as the video below seems to indicate).

After we chat about that, we welcome Jorge to talk to us about his awesome clothing line, his MMA career, and what he feels about the current state of jiu-jitsu.

To close out the show, we find out what's coming up for our favorite jiu-jitsu in the park guys, as The Hof tells us a little but about what we might come to expect on  out here at Griffith Park.



VERBAL TAP (Episode 117) with Albert Morales and Joe Gilpin

[buzzsprout episode='273958' player='true'] Kevin has the keys to the write up.....(apologies to all). Here's the thing, Raf got married, Raf got a job, and Raf needs at least 24 hours to mourn Letterman ending.  But Kevin? Kevin has literally nothing going on. So.....

Kev's Recollection: Albert Morales is too skinny to do jiujitsu or fighting, but no one told him that. He stops by just in time for me to announce him winning a different fight.  Albert laughs off my moronic behavior because well....he's met me. Then he explains how he put John Yoo down with punches to win at Bellator 137.  Humble in victory he also gives us some seriously funny exclusives about his post fight interactions with the doctor.  Albert is also a gluten for punishment, and is preparing for the IBJJF World's competition.  What a warrior right? Wrong, because he believes when you wear gi pants and a rash guard you SHOULDN'T grab the pants (when Raf reads this he is going to be pissed).  Albert was great, and look how attractive he is in this photo I might have added correctly:

Photo courtesy of Albert's Facebook profile.

Its going okay on this whole episode write-up thing (at least I think so).  Next up is Comedian and Jiujtisu Purple Belt Joe Gilpin.  I'm going to be honest with you guys, its possible Raf might replace me with Joe. I'm going to be more honest, I get that.  Joe joins us for Over / Under Kevin for UFC 187 featuring Rumble vs. DC!  Lets all take a second with the original poster to remember why its important not to use drugs while driving:

Photo courtesy of: Dailymail.Co.Ok via UFC.

Joe is awesome, this podcast is awesome, you all should listen to it because that would make you all... really cool.   Here is a fun photo of Joe I got from his Facebook post so you can imagine the many visual jokes that were made:

Joe G.

Feels like writing this will ensure Raf never lets me do this again.  Cheers Verbal Tap Cast community, you all are the best (no seriously, fans of this show are unlike any other!)


-Kevin T Phillips


VERBAL TAP (Episode 113) with Drew Dober


VERBAL TAP (Episode 113) with Drew Dober

[buzzsprout episode='266051' player='true'] DrewDober_HeadshotRaf's Recollection | Admit it, you kinda missed us.

Don't worry, we missed you, too.  Turns out when we take a four week hiatus, the fight and jiu-jitsu world goes completely nuts.

But more on that later.  This week, we return from our month-long hiatus with a killer episode.

Not only do we recap what took place at UFC 185 with our pal John Evans (who makes a record-breaking 11th appearance on the show), but we also take a look at what happens at this week's UFC 186 show with our pal Dan Hubler, who puts Kevin's picks through the ringer.However, on our first episode back, we get to the bottom of one of the worst calls in UFC history when we speak to UFC Fighter Drew Dober.No seriously.Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 11.28.29 AM

Google, UFC Worst Call of All Time and his name pops up.

The first three entries when you do come up with the fight that took place in Rio between Drew Dober and Leandro Silva, where a ref pulled a Judge Dredd and decided to take the law into his own hands.

Or maybe he wanted to give the fight to his friend.

Either way, fans of our show may remember my reaction when I was watching the fight live.

If not, here's a refresher.

We get the entire story behind Dober's "loss," including his own reactions, what happened when he met with Dana White after the fight, and the even more insane aftermath that took place afterwards.

Plus, we talk about Drew's next fight and get some insight as to what we can expect when we see him next in the Octagon.I knew I wanted to book Drew the minute I saw this bull shit call happen on TV.  But Kev and I are stoked to call the guy a friend of the podcast.

Despite the unprofessional nature of the incident, Drew handles it in a way that's indicative of a true professional.  We will definitely have him back on the show.

Last Time on Verbal Tap



We also talk a little bit about how John opened up the doors to his new academy, Breakdown Academy, for me and a few of the folks who flew in for my wedding to come train at.  We have the honor of being the first folks to ever train at the academy and we couldn't be more thrilled.

In addition to that, Kev and I talk a little bit about the groomsmen gift I got him.  A few months back our pal Jon Greek at Kauai Kimonos graciously offered to make a pair of customized gis for both me and Kevin.  Not only was I astounded someone would actually do that for us, but I was beyond thrilled with how it came out.



The photo here is one I snagged when I picked up the gi from Jon hours before going to give it to Kevin.  On the podcast, Kev describes how surprised he was and I tell him a little bit about the background of how it all came together.  Needless to say, a big thanks to our friend Jon Greek as we've gotten so many compliments for the new gis.11049229_1416080365363338_1832905784_n

Afterwards, John Evans tells us a little bit about his interpretation of the events that took place at UFC 185 and we discover who won that installments' Over/Under Kevin.

Be sure to check out John's new academy over in North Hollywood, CA.

If you're interested in trying out a class, you can email John at

UFC 186: Over/Under Kevin

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 12.29.39 PMBut we don't stop there.  A new PPV means there are more predictions to be had.

This time, noted compulsive gambler (and Dream Jiu-Jitsu tournament director/Newaza Apparel marketing guru) Dan Hubler comes to set Kevin straight.

We go through the entire card and try to figure out why exactly people might want to order this PPV (especially a week out from Mayweather/Pacquiao).

Plus, Dan clues us into the latest from Newaza and Dream Jiu-JItsu.


I didn't get to talk about this as much as I would have liked to, but I also wanted to take a moment to thank everyone over at this weekend's Grapplethon: Victory for Victoria for such a great event.

Once again, our pal, Montay Wiley organized a great event for people to come together for a great cause. You may know Montay Wiley from this #wwebjj gem.

[video width="1920" height="1080" m4v=""][/video]


As always, Montay helped put on a great event.  This time we all came together to raise money for Victoria (Tori), a young girl who was found to have a brain tumor at only three months old.  If you guys get the chance, please stay updated on all the latest about Victoria's fight on their facebook page right here.

Watching Victoria's father, Brad, get out there and do twenty rolls with the community was truly awesome.  He mentioned how participating in the event lifted his and his family's spirits.  It's a great reminder of the good our community does when we all pull together.

Brad and his family will be in our thoughts, and now, we hope all of yours as well.



That'll do it for this week, folks.  Be sure to listen in and tell us what you thought about this week's episode!


VERBAL TAP (Episode 99) Metamoris 5 Extravaganza


VERBAL TAP (Episode 99) Metamoris 5 Extravaganza

[buzzsprout episode='224400' player='true'] Metamoris 5Raf's Recollection | Metamoris recap shows are always my favorite episodes.


Not only do we dedicate an entire episode to breaking down the techniques, production value, and implications of the big event, but we also get a chance to catch up with some of our favorite friends (new and old), as they help us analyze these matches from every possible angle.

Following in the tradition of our previous Metamoris recaps (Metamoris 4 and Metamoris 3), we enlist a team of six to help us take a look at the card and break down each match.

Joining us this go round...

kit daleKit Dale - Leading us off on this podcast is our good pal Kit Dale.  When looking to analyze the explosive match-up between Garry Tonon and Zak Maxwell, we figured: who better to speak on the match than a guy who not only had some of the best seats in the house, but also happened to commentate on the match as it was going on (not to mention: who knows a thing or two about competing against Tonon at Metamoris).  In addition to his observations about the match, Kit also hooks us up with some great details about the behind the scenes nature of the show, reveals what Kenny Florian was too scared to do, and Kit and I discover where our jiu-jitsu venn diagrams intersect.

Ruben Avila Ruben- As one of of the more prolific BJJ writer/bloggers on the circuit, we decided to turn to the guy behind, Ruben Avila, to help us try to make sense of the lengthy (and ultimately underwhelming) game show that was "Submit Vinny Mahalhaes for $10,000!"  More importantly, we ask if this is a format that Metamoris should continue to use in future installments going forward.  That and he gets Kevin to inadvertently support the use of WWE-esque rules in order to make a match like this more interesting (slick move, Ruben. He never even saw it coming!).

Jim LawsonJim Lawson - It only makes sense that we enlist the help of our friend Jim Lawson of The Warrior's Club to help us break down the epic rematch between two exciting BJJ warriors.  Jim makes his second appearance on the show detailing the finer points of Keenan Cornelius' and Yuri Simoes' respective games and attacks.  As the lone gi match of the card, Jim tells us how the match stacked up against the five other bouts (and even describes how the fight looked like in person at the Long Beach Convention Center that night).


Travis Newaza - Very few people can refer to themselves as the "sweetheart" of Brazilian Jiu-JItsu and get away with it.  Yet somehow the distinction doesn't seem too far off when you get around to talking about Travis Newaza.  As one the owner of one of the coolest BJJ brands out on the circuit (Newaza Apparel) Travis has made a name for himself as a brand owner who doesn't just make clothes for the BJJ community, but who also takes a great deal of pride in being immersed in the culture of the sport.  On this podcast, Travis helps us measure the shock value of the Metamoris "secret match," it's overall impact, and even discusses the finer points of Ed O'Neil's head.

JT TorresJT Torres - In order to get the most objective account of the match-up between JT Torres and Rory MacDonald we decided to ask JT himself to take an objective look at his match against Rory MacDonald.  Just kidding.  No part of our conversation is objective in the least.  Instead, JT gives us the inside scoop on what it was like to compete against an opponent who outweighed him by close to 40+ pounds, outlines the game plan he used during the match (and describes the adjustments he had to make), and even takes a minute to respond to the comment that Rory was prepared to let his arm get broken on the Metamoris mats.

Rob Acree Rob Acree- And finally, closing out the podcast, is one of Kevin's training awesome partners from BJJ and MMA Training Center out in Chantilly, Virgina, Rob Acree.  Rob uses his black belt acumen to properly contextualize the match between Renzo Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba, navigating us through not only the historical significance of this highly-anticipated rematch, but also giving us a detailed breakdown of the techniques and strategies utilized by both Renzo and Sakuraba.  Additionally, he helps me get in some great digs at Kevin's expense, so I seriously can't complain about that.

A damn good podcast from start to finish.  Thanks to everyone who participated and helped us breakdown this monumental event.  And keep an eye out real soon for episodes of Around the Mat to start popping up all around.

And get ready guys.  Kevin touches down in LA in just a few days and we've already got big plans for our 100th episode!  Get ready folks!

If you want to send us a message on our social media, merely hastag #VerbalTapTurns100 with a twitter message, Instagram meme, video or Vine to send us a message (we might just talk about it on air)!

Oh Yeah, Check This Out

I got the chance to shoot the shit with Garry Tonon this week.  Good times were had.

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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 91) with Steven Briggs


VERBAL TAP (Episode 91) with Steven Briggs

[buzzsprout episode='207144' player='true'] BriggsRaf's Recollection | I first met Steven Briggs when I was working for The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.

Steve had a goofball sense of humor even back then.  But whenever there was some down time while working the show, we'd shoot the shit about MMA and wrestling.

At the time I had no idea Steve had any stand-up comic aspirations (but to be completely fair I'm not even sure he was aware that I was a comedy performer myself).

In the years since, Steve has blown up and has made a great name for himself touring across the country doing a truly unique brand of stand-up comedy.

He's even been on my talk show (Early Late Night) multiple times and remains a crowd favorite for the really funny stories he shares during our sit down interviews (for the record, he is the only person who I actually tolerate who beat boxes, it's quite impressive).

Steve has always been quick with an opinion on all things MMA which is why I thought he'd make a great opponent for Kevin on this week's installment of Over/Under Kevin.

IMAG2589This week we preview the stacked card that is UFC 178 and go over all the major scenarios.  And from the tremble you hear in Kevin's voice, he is truly scared that we brought someone who is not only knowledgeable about MMA, but can actually spit out funnier jokes than Kev.

It makes for a fantastic segment and I think y'all will dig it this week.

But beyond giving Kev a run for his money on the podcast and being and all-around funny guy, Briggs also happens to have a pretty solid wrestling background and has trained with me a few times over the past  five years.

As one of the guys who was there for my humble beginnings in jiu-jitsu years ago, Steve's always been a great guy to train with.

I like to refer to him as a pace-setting training partner: a partner who you don't train with all that often, but who will push you to get even better each time.  He's one of the few people I allow myself to talk shit to about BJJ because I know he'll bring it on the mats the next time we train (and that he'll talk shit right back at me).

And every time we've rolled, Steve's always been helpful identifying a cool wrestling trick or complimenting any improvements in my game.  He recently came up to train with us at Valley Martial Arts Center a couple months ago and he hasn't lost a step.

Not to say I haven't taught him a thing or two myself.

IMG_20140722_180405 Steve has one Achilles heel.  He's literally defenseless against a sharpshooter.

But I felt bad for him and decided to teach him a finisher he could use to defend himself. It still needs work.

IMAG2598When we took the picture he wanted to make sure everyone knew he was not only applying a Boston Crab, but that he was also flipping off the camera with two middle fingers.

Layers this kid has.

Nonetheless, give it a listen and let us know what you think of this one folks and hit us up on our social media to let us know what you think!

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Oh, and also, don't forget to check out our Metamoris 4 recap here.  On our latest, we review Keenan vs. Vinny.  Let us know what you think, folks!