Viewing entries in
Over/Under Kevin

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

2 Comments

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

10623889_658533720930913_6176385149871435034_o.jpg

[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!

2 Comments

VERBAL TAP (Episode 118) with Christos Giagos and Joe Gilpin

Comment

VERBAL TAP (Episode 118) with Christos Giagos and Joe Gilpin

[buzzsprout episode='275630' player='true'] ChristosGiagos_HeadshotRaf's Recollection | Hey guys, sorry to leave you with Kevin last week.  I promise not to do it all that often.

Now that I'm on deadline constantly, I don't have as much time to write up these episodes.  Hopefully that'll change in a few weeks.

But we've got a kick-ass episode for you this week.

Our pal Christos Giagos from Systems Training Center stops in to tell us about his upcoming UFC fight, who the worst person currently is over at Systems, and even give us the insight on what it's like to refuse bottle service when up in the strip club (because you're too busy prepping for your next fight).  Also, he tells us why he's crazy enough to pull stunts like this:

And that's not all, we find out the gripping conclusion to the battle between purple belts guessing UFC 187, as comedian Joe Gilpin helps us recap all of of the wonder that was this weekend's fights.

If you get the chance, be sure to check out my articles I'm writing over at First Slice.  Turns out, I also make UFC picks on occasion over there.

All right that'll do it for now.  Let us know what you guys think of this week's episode!

Social Media Plug

Follow us and stuff.

Facebook: /VerbalTapCast

Twitter: @VerbalTapCast

Instagram: @VerbalTapCast

Vine: @VerbalTapCast

Comment

VERBAL TAP (Episode 113) with Drew Dober

Comment

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

[embed]https://instagram.com/p/0LwcvGD6pi/[/embed]

 

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.

[embed]https://instagram.com/p/11JjmWj6rO/?taken-by=verbaltapcast[/embed]

 

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 John@BJJBreakdown.com.

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.

Grapplethon

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="http://verbaltapcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Montay-Sharpshooter-HQ.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.

[embed]https://instagram.com/p/1prv7cD6p-/?taken-by=verbaltapcast[/embed]

 

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

Comment

VERBAL TAP (Episode 98) with Mac Danzig

Comment

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 http://www.macdanzigphoto.net/.

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.

batman-and-bane

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:

Social Media Plug

Follow us and stuff.

Facebook: /VerbalTapCast

Twitter: @VerbalTapCast

Instagram: @VerbalTapCast

Vine: @VerbalTapCast

Comment

VERBAL TAP (Episode 97) with Garry Tonon

Comment

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.

[embed]http://instagram.com/p/vE4UiBj6r5[/embed]

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

Speaking of Social Media

Follow us and stuff.

Facebook: /VerbalTapCast

Twitter: @VerbalTapCast

Instagram: @VerbalTapCast

Vine: @VerbalTapCast

Comment

VERBAL TAP (Episode 96) with JT Torres

Comment

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.

Maybe.

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

Comment

VERBAL TAP (Episode 95) goes to the 2014 World Jiu-Jitsu Expo

Comment

VERBAL TAP (Episode 95) goes to the 2014 World Jiu-Jitsu Expo

RafBraulio009.jpg

[buzzsprout episode='214622' player='true']

Raf's Recollection | Considering all of the videos and writing I have to get done this week, I'll keep this short.  We had a huge week on the podcast, previewing this weekend's UFC 179 with our pal Marcus Kowal and discussing all things World Jiu-JItsu Expo.

Marcus (pictured here in a new headshot compliments of our good friend Blanca Marisa Garcia) joins us this week to take on Kevin on our latest installment of Over/Under Kevin.

Some of you know Marcus as our pal from Systems Training Center down in Hawthorne, while others of you may somewhat recognize this guy as the host of his own podcast the MMA Roundtable.

Yep, since we last left Marcus, he has now grown up and started a podcast of his own.  So we decided to give him some well deserved shit to start the show and then get into our picks for this weekends fights.

FightersMarket016I Went to the World Jiu-JItsu Expo!

Let's just say this weekend was another mad capped weekend of insane jiu-jitsu coverage.

Accompanied by my two awesome photogs (Alex Perez and Octavio Villanueva), we hit up the World Jiu-JItsu Expo for a second year of crazy coverage.

On the podcast, Kevin spends the first twenty minutes asking me all about it and I talk a little bit about some of our favorite experiences and observations from an event that is something akin to what we call "Jiu-Jitsu Christmas."

I got to talk with this guy.

RafBraulio009And this guy.

Renato003And even catch up with this guy.

Keenan004I'm working to get out a video per day, but right now, here are two of the first videos we've edited from this weekend.

Keep an eye out on our YouTube page as we'll be posting as many videos as we can from this weekend's World Jiu-Jitsu Expo.

Hope you enjoy it, folks!

Social Media Plug

Follow us and stuff.

Facebook: /VerbalTapCast

Twitter: @VerbalTapCast

Instagram: @VerbalTapCast

Vine: @VerbalTapCast

Comment

VERBAL TAP (Episode 91) with Steven Briggs

Comment

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!

Facebook: /VerbalTapCast

Twitter: @VerbalTapCast

Instagram: @VerbalTapCast

Vine: @VerbalTapCast

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!

Comment

Comment

VERBAL TAP (Episode 79) with Eric Jackman

[buzzsprout episode='186278' player='true']

Raf's Recollection | I want everyone to look at the photo of Eric Jackman over on the right hand side of this page.

What look do you see?

Do you see the look of a stone cold killer, here to bring an end to the one win streak of Kevin's Over/Under Kevin miracle win?  Or do you see a deer-in-the-headlights realizing he's in way over his head?

Aside from being a phenomenal rorschach test, our pal Eric provides a true challenge to Kevin.  As the main prediction guy over at the MMA Hour, the guy knows a thing or two about being accountable when it comes to picking who will win or lose a fight.

Which is why it only made sense to bring him on our podcast to basically crush Kevin's dreams.

But the question is: does Eric go straight for the kill or does he let Kevin think he actually has a chance?

Only time will tell.

We outline the prospects for not only this weekend's huge UFC 175 card, but we also take a look at this weekend's mercy-killing finale to the "season of boring" Ultimate Fighter.

Speaking of, we've got not just one, but TWO "1 Minute Reviews" of the past two episodes of The Ultimate Fighter to bring you up to speed on a show you probably haven't been watching.

So quick, come get your fix of my BJ Penn impression before Dana White likely makes him try to retire this Sunday night!

Until then fight fans!

Comment