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VERBAL TAP (Episode 72) with Kit Dale

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Raf's Recollection | When we heard that Kit Dale was going to start a podcast, we wasted no time in bringing him on our show to ask him directly why he hates us so much.

Because, as someone who wins the BJJ internet on a regular basis, he has absolutely no reason to make the rest of us look so bad in podcast form as well (I know, dick move, right?).

Nonetheless, despite our plead for him to do otherwise, it looks like we will soon be privy to a podcast by the man the the undisputed best beard in jiu-jitsu.

On our show this week, Kit gives us a rough outline of what we can expect on his own show and assures us there is plenty of room for people who tell dumb jokes in the sport (we'll see about that).

We also chat a little bit about what exactly went down at Pans (ya know, that time where he was in the states to compete but "forgot to register"), we give him time explain what hell his thing is against drilling, and allow him the opportunity to address his internet beef with #HeSoHotRightNow, Keenan Cornelius (if you ask me, their internet beef takes me back to the days of the East Coast/West Coast rap wars... ya know, just minus the massive drive by shootings and whatnot).

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 1.15.44 AMAdditionally, Kit Dale talks about his new school, how his silly videos come together, and he tries to convince us that he's trying to pave a new way for the lazy jiu-jitsu practitioner (again, not buying it, if you listen to him, you'll find he's not that lazy).

What I've always liked about Kit is this: When you're around comics or people who are funny on a regular basis, you find they don't tend to laugh at other comedians' jokes.  Be it insecurity or competitiveness, there's often a game of one-up's-manship that prevents some funny people from laughing at other people's stuff.  When you're around Kit, not only does he know how to tell a mean joke, but he's also the first to laugh at someone else's.  You see it on the internet when he interacts with people on threads (or even when he heartily laughs at whatever photoshopped creations his fans have left at his virtual doorstep), the guy's got a great sense of humor and has contributed some much needed comic relief to the jiu-jitsu community.

And, as advertised, what you see is what you get: Kit's more than happy to talk nonsense, but he's also not afraid to get serious when it comes to talking about jiu-jitsu.  Hearing a long-form explanation of his take on drilling and hearing what a class of his feels like sounds like a cool alternative.  I, for one, would definitely be interested to take one of his classes just to see what it's like in action.

So yeah, we'd love to get your feedback on this episode, gang.  And be sure to let us know what you think of the enigma that is Kit Dale.

But Wait, There's More

On this episode, we've also got another installment of our One Minute Review of The Ultimate Fighter.  AND we did something we've never done before.

ZacAs a means of celebrating our 200th Facebook like, we invited "Mr. 200" himself, our pal Zac Calhoun, to have 200 seconds of uninterrupted airtime.

That's right, thems the kinds of perks we offer to our major milestones, kids.  And we think we might be doing it again.

So be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram (@VerbalTapCast, for all of them) for your chance to get some airtime on our show.

And what did Mr. Calhoun use his 200 seconds to speak about?  Well, I don't want to give anything away, but the photo above might be a good hint.

All we got for now.  Smoke 'em, if you got 'em, folks.

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 70) with James Koh and Brandon McCaghren

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 70) with James Koh and Brandon McCaghren

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Raf's Recollection | A day after appearing on our podcast and hearing the show, Brandon McCaghren, sent me a text saying, "don't ever try to sing my song ever again."

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I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've laughed at that text this evening.

The song Brandon claims we butchered is new hit single, "I Dominated Eddie (The Gracie Filter)"--a gripping acoustic ode to the epic Metamoris 3 match between Royler Gracie and Eddie Bravo.  It's a playful tribute to the epic match that took place at Metamoris, as well as some choice words said after the event.  Most impressively, the breezy vocals and relaxed vibe could easily slip their way into a Jack Johnson discography.

Fans of our show, however, know from time to time Kev and I like to occasionally leave an Easter egg to close out the podcast.  On this go round, we thought it might be fun to try and harmonize Brandon's single over Skype (which is surprisingly hard to do).  It left such an impression, Brandon felt the need to channel his inner GSP and let us know he was not impressed with the caliber of our voices.

And he's right, there is no way we could ever do his song justice.  I mean, just listen to it (and pay special close attention to the bridge).

Brandon 1.jpgThe man has some serious pipes.  Which is why we were stoked when he agreed to come on the podcast.

In addition to getting some great insight behind the song and the accompanying video that was produced for him, we talk a little bit with Brandon about his experience getting into jiu-jitsu, what Eddie Bravo thinks of the song, and talk about his great 10th Planet affiliate he has out in Decatur, AL.

Give his page a look and like and if you make it to the Alabama area, be sure to visit his gym.

Just don't sing the song to him as bad as we did :-)

Over/Under Kevin: UFC 172: Judgement Day

James D. Koh returns to the podcast to find out who last week's installment of Over/Under Kevin.  And while I don't want to give anything away, the following photo might give you an idea of how the end result turned out.

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Yep.

It was pretty rough.

But James sticks around to help us recap all the fights that took place at UFC 172 and then Kev and I discuss some of the #TakeAways from last Saturday night's #UFC card.

What's That? You miss the One Minute Review?

A new season of The Ultimate Fighter means it's time for the return of the 1 Minute Review.  Yes, we hear you loud and clear folks.  And boy do I have some impressions in store for you this season.

Let us know what you think of the review on Twitter (@VerbalTapCast) this week and immediately start following us on our new social media.  That's right, bitches, we're on Instagram and Vine now.  So feel free to follow along all of our hijinks.

Until next time, fight fans.

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

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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 VerbalTapCast.com 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 BJJTrainingJournal.com at Raf Esparza.

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 51) with Chris Leben

VERBAL TAP (Episode 51) with Chris Leben

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verbal tapRaf’s Recollection | When I had the chance to interview Chris Leben about a year ago, I was prepared for just about anything.

And I mean, anything.

At the time, I didn’t know where the conversation would organically go or what kinds of topics he would be open to talking about.

As one of the longest tenured employees of the UFC (and one of the last original members of the Ultimate Fighter cast still actively fighting), we’ve been privy to the many ups and downs in Leben’s life. Like any of us, Chris has his demons.  However, unlike most of us, he’s had to battle a great deal of them in the public eye.

We’ve all seen the incredible fights.  We’ve witnessed the confrontations from the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. And we’ve read about the changes in training camps and heard about the struggles in his personal life.  It’s all part of the Chris Leben narrative, and all very well-documented.

verbal tapAnd yet, through it all, Chris has remained a fan favorite all of these years for his ability to walk into an octagon as both a showman and enigmatic fighter.

So when I talked with Chris Leben for the first time last year, I found myself pleasantly surprised by his willingness to talk about his past.  Chris doesn’t hide behind it or cleverly find ways to get around questions revolving around it.  He tells you like it is: good, bad, and all that’s in between.

On our latest podcast, we find that Leben is the same candid speaker who reveals how he could have improved the performance of his last fight and what you can expect in his fight against Uriah Hall at UFC 168.  It’s a refreshing kind of honesty in a sport that can often be filled with excuses disguised as explanations.

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But, like any of our interviews, we get to bring out the funny in the fighter.  Chris gets some opportunities with us to joke about Frank Trigg, missed merchandise opportunities, and even former nicknames.

Aside from getting the chance to joke around more this time with Chris, I found the conversation a strong indication of an individual working to make good in their life.

You can hear how happy he is to be part of a new training team.  You can hear the optimism.  You can hear the hunger he has to be a stronger and smarter fighter.

It’s a story we can get behind here at the podcast, as we will definitely be rooting for him come December 28th.

verbal tapBigfoot Silva vs. Hunt

So who thought this was going to be such a great fight?

Be honest.

On the podcast, we discuss our surprise.  And while Kevin tragically works his limited capacity for metaphorical language (he struggles several times during the podcast to come up with different ways of calling these guys “fat”), I think we do a decent job at capturing our relative surprise at how good this fight  actually ended up being.

We’re not really sure what this means for the division (or, frankly, even if we’d want to ruin what we saw by seeing it again in rematch form), but we elaborate some of our favorite observations from the now classic Heavyweight match-up.

verbal tapPaul Walker

Kev and I take a few moments during the podcast to lament the loss of Paul Walker, specifically on behalf of the BJJ community.

It’s been a story that’s bummed out folks for good reason, and the tributes that have poured in for him from fellow BJJ practitioners and enthusiasts alike have been great to read.  We also slightly discuss the need for there to be new ambassadors of the sport who will pick up where he left off.

VERBAL TAP

But Wait, There’s More…

Also on the podcast, we talk to “GSP” about his upcoming press conference that he’s holding on Friday afternoon.  That’s right, Verbal Tap EXCLUSIVE.  GSP reveals what the hell is going on.

Is it a mall opening?  Is he just signing autographs like Dana White said?  Does he have some kind of marketing scheme up his sleeve?

Tune in to find out!

verbal tapOh… and…

Seriously, don’t forget to leave us a review and rating (5 stars!) on our iTunes page. Just look for Verbal Tap Cast

We’ve really been gaining some momentum the past few months and want to start making an even bigger presence on our iTunes page.

So be a pal, click the link HERE, press find in iTunes and then leave us a cool rating and review.  We love the feedback, as it helps us make an even better Verbal Tap podcast for you all.  Thanks much in advance!

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 48) goes to UFC 167

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verbaltap on itunesRaf's Recollection | It's hard to believe, but It was exactly one year ago that we posted the very first installment of Verbal Tap on the interwebs.

I'd love to say that Kev and I had some grand scheme we had mapped out about how this whole podcasting thing would all play out.  But the rationale behind the creation of this show was pretty simple: We like talking about fights, we thought it might be fun to record a conversation about it.

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When we started this thing, we honestly didn't have a website or t-shirts in mind.  We never thought we'd get the opportunity to interact with some of our favorite athletes—let alone cover events or have them tell us they're fans of our work.

Hell, we weren't even sure people would even want to listen to what we had to say.  But, we've consistently been floored the number of you tune in week in and week out to our show—and who, by extension, have become a part of the Verbal Tap family.

And I'm happy to tell you all that one year later that making the podcast is every bit as fun to me and Kev as it was on day one (you could even say we're more excited to make these episodes now).

That's why we decided to do a throwback episode.  No guests, me doing some shitty impressions, and having a spirited debate about yet another Georges St. Pierre decision win (hint, he appears on the show around the 40 minute mark).

Before we go on to the important things, we just want to thank all of you for tuning in over the past year and for giving us a forum that allows us to combine two of our biggest passions: comedy and MMA.  Without question, our lives have greatly benefited as a result of this podcast.

So thank you to all who have listened in, helped us out, come on as a guest or even just told your friends about our stupid little show.  It's been a blast and we have no intention of slowing down any time soon.

It's your support that allows me to say (without hyperbole) that the best of Verbal Tap has truly yet to come.

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Enough of that Crap, I Went to UFC 167

Turns out, we weren't the only people celebrating an anniversary.  While we turned one, the UFC turned 20 this weekend.   And I was lucky enough to see it all.

On the podcast, I present a Top 10 List of the Most Memorable Things from UFC 167 and give you all the exclusive behind the scenes details from the event.

I also describe what it was like to watch the GSP/Hendricks fight live and then talk about the weirdest press conference I have ever seen in person.

Don't Worry, We Haven't Forgotten About "The Ultimate Fighter"

On this jam-packed episode, we still find the time to review the last two episodes of TUF.  I do two "1 Minute Reviews" and then we talk about the finer parts of Cain Velasquez: Harley Davidson Spokesman, Ronda Rousey: Ultimate Slumber Party Host, and Miesha Tate: The Person Ronda Rousey Still Hates No Matter How Many People She Sends to the Finale.

All this and much more on this week's podcast!

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 46) with Cody Bollinger and Sarah Moras

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Raf's Recollection | One of my favorite things about watching people tweet during The Ultimate Fighter is the amount of vitriol that’s spewed at a fighters’ direction.  Certainly, we are no strangers to having fun at the expense of the cast members, but you won’t often find me or Kevin telling the fighters how much better we are than them.

Or how we, ourselves, would have acted so much better in a given situation.

For the record, these are my favorite kinds of tweets, #Humblebrags at the expense of a fighter’s success or misfortune.

Hindsight is a wonderful gift, and I’m sure only a handful cast members ever really know the pressure that comes with living in a house like that for six weeks.

Which is why when Cody Bollinger agreed to come on the podcast, I thought it might be a good idea to read some of the tweets the internet wrote about him (hope one of them was yours, you might have to listen in!)

If you haven’t seen the episode yet (and are patiently waiting for the “One Minute Review” to catch you up to speed), let’s just say things didn’t go well for Cody on last week’s episode.

In fact, they kind went “Dana Meeting” bad.

To his credit, Cody showed up, listened in on our “One Minute Review,” made some comments about the episode, Coach Miesha Tate, and, yes, even responded to some the interesting tweets written about him.

Right after our interview with Cody, Sarah Moras stops by.  Sarah’s been one of my favorites on the TUF because of her awesome talking head segments.

She has a very honest speaking style that never pulls any punches (even when talking about herself).

Sarah describes her history with some of the other TUF cast members, talks a little bit about her trademark arm bar, details where her fighting travels have taken her, the types of guys she trains with and even speaks a little bit about her interactions with the winner of TUF:18’s Best Cameo award, Tim Gorman.

And, in my favorite part of the podcast, Sarah tells us an extended (and much better version) of how she got into MMA and reveals how the very funny "Peggy Morgan is a 'giraffe'" comment happened.

If you get the chance, go support her and our friends over at FightForSomething.ca.  You can pick up one of her fighter t-shirts right here!

Gentleman’s Agreement

One thing that amazes me about the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the amount of respect displayed between teammates.  It’s one of the reasons I like the sport so much.  I’ve always been the type of person who thrives in team environments and I love that while gyms do a great job at refining an individual’s abilities, it's typically done through a strong team dynamic.

Having said that.  I’m still really confused about the part where you let a teammate win via gentleman’s agreement.

For those not in the know: There is a practice in competitive BJJ where two members of the same team will settle final matches in a jiu-jitsu tournament through a prearranged agreement (where the two fighters do not have to fight).

Yes, you can win a tournament this way.  Yes, it happened at worlds this weekend.

Granted, I recognize what a terrible human being I am.  And, believe me, I’m no authority when it comes to any matter competitive BJJ.  Additionally, I completely understand not wanting to create a rift between teammates—and I even kind of get that it’s the “right thing” to do—but it’s still kinda weird to me.

However, the gentleman’s agreement thing got me and Kev to wonder how a black belt finals match at Worlds between us would look like (I’ll pause for your laughter).  Aside from hilarious and highly improbable, I’d still love to hear what you all think about this BJJ practice.

But Wait, There's More!

We also play another installment of Over/Under Kevin about this week's UFC's Fight for the Troops 3.

Give a listen and let us know what you think of Kevin's picks!

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 45) with Josh Hill and Julianna Pena

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 45) with Josh Hill and Julianna Pena

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Raf's Recollection | Take it easy on Kev this week, gang.  It's been a rough couple of days.

When we finished recording the podcast on Sunday, Kev and I had what we considered to be one of our best episodes.  In fact, Kevin was so pleased with the way things were turning out during the editing phase, he actually sent me several texts just to say how awesome the episode was.

Of course, we didn't know this at the time, but that euphoric sentiment would turn out to be the kiss of death.

Just moments after putting the final touches on the podcast (and right as he was uploading it to our site), Kevin happened to notice that his audio went missing.  Something happened during the conversation process that eliminated a significant portion of Kevin's vocal track.

Now, while the thought of having a Kevin-less podcast is something that sounds fantastic in theory, just think about how crazy I would have come off.  Oh sure, my voice would make it seem like I was in the middle of a conversation with someone else, but the large chunks of radio silence from Kevin would have made me sound downright insane.

Just to give you an idea of how the podcast would have sounded without Kevin, please consider the following visual metaphor on the right hand side here.

Anyway, Kev took the day to get his head together and we (somehow) managed to slab together a podcast for your listening pleasure.

In fact, I don't know if it's a testament to his talent or a slight on the production value we normally carry on this dog and pony show, but you can hardly tell there were any major audio problems in this podcast (and if you do, keep it to yourself, please. No one likes a show-off).

Nonetheless, should you feel so inclined, send Kev a nice message (@PhillipsKevin1 on the Twitter) to let him know his efforts are appreciated.  We'll go back to treating him like shit next week.

The Gentleman

While I don't have the kind of extreme beef that Dana White does with "The Gentleman," Josh Hill, I do give him a little bit of grief on the podcast.  It has nothing to do with his (ironically stated) struggle of growing up "really, really ridiculously good looking" or even the fact that he has a truly impressive grappling record of 36-1 (North American Grappling Association).

It has more to do with the fact that he's so damn polite.

It's almost upsetting.

While Dana's spared no expense telling us what a "one trick pony" Josh Hill is throughout the season, I wasn't very surprised when the extremely well-mannered Canadian did the extremely well-mannered Canadian thing of not talking shit about Dana White (the nerve of this guy!).

But that doesn't stop me from trying to prod.  And I'd even like to think we got him to have a couple moments of (dare I say?) "edge" during our interview, where we also ask about his MMA journey, his family's roots in pro wrestling, and his fight against former-opponent-turned pal, Mike Wootten.

We even issue a challenge for the next time he comes on the podcast.  Let's see if he's got the stuff to prove us wrong.

The Vixen

I suppose we could have subtitled this podcast "The Gentleman and The Vixen" (I swear this wasn't by design, I'm only stupidly realizing this now), but we also get the chance to talk with the "Venezuelan Vixen," Julianna Pena.

As one of the first TUF cast members to fight (and therefore share their narrative), we've arguably gotten to know more about Julianna than most of her fellow cast members this season.  We certainly touch on topics like the letters she wrote to her teammates, how it felt to be portrayed as the underdog, and even got to ask if she felt her housemate makeovers paid off.

However, I'll put this out there right here and now:  One of our questions brings out one of the most unexpected stories Kev and I have ever heard on the podcast.  It's a story that not only helps identify what makes Julianna so mentally and physically tough, but also gives you an idea of why she fights.  It's an awesome story and, frankly, I'm happy she was willing to share it with us.

Additionally, if you happen to be in the Spokane, Washington area, be sure to support Julianna's team at Northern Quest Resort and Casino's "Conquest of the Cage," as both her brother-in-law and her training partner Elizabeth Phillips will be fighting in the co-main event.  Tickets for that fight can be found right here.

Machida and MunozOdds and Ends

Among some of the Odds and Ends topics that make it onto the podcast this go round include: Which UFC Fighter would make a great WWE Superstar, how good of a public speaker is Dana White, and why we can't stop talking about Lyoto Machida's scarf.

All this and more on this week's podcast!

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 43) with Jessamyn Duke and Chris Holdsworth

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Raf's Recollection | Sometimes the UFC hype machine jumps the gun and overuses the phrase "must see" fight.

We get it, promoting fights is a tough business. And when you promote hundreds of fights a year, you sometimes run out of ways to get people to tune in, sometimes saying the same things over and over again.

For example, fans of The Ultimate Fighter are no strangers to the phrase "you won't want to miss the _______ fight of the season."

Most intense.  Craziest.  Most controversial.  You name the cliche, they've done it.  Thousands of times.

74216_637149146309687_1633711405_nHowever, in the case of Jessamyn Duke and Raquel Pennington, you had a fight that was truly worthy of the UFC hype machine.  And we here at Verbal Tap were lucky enough to get Jessamyn to drop by the podcast to talk about the instant classic fight between her and Raquel.  But that's not all, Jessamyn shares some inside scoops about The Ultimate Fighter house, discusses if she has any regrets missing out on the pre-fight pool party, and listens in on the 1 Minute Review of her episode (letting us know exactly what she thinks of my impression of her).

The Ultimate Fighter Portraits - 2013Moments later, we backtrack and do the episode of The Ultimate Fighter (Episode 5) that Kev pathetically tried to review on the last podcast.  BJJ black belt and TUF cast member Chris Holdsworth drops in to listen to the second 1 Minute Review, describe his fight against Chris Beal, and even takes a moment to critique the season premiere of The Walking Dead(?).  And while you're listening to the podcast, do us a solid and check out the great stuff Holdsworth has over at his personal website ChrisHoldsworthMMA.com (otherwise he's going to beat me up a whole bunch).  The dude is very funny and has already promised to start putting up some awesome videos on his page (we've got some solid BJJ-themed video short ideas if you're up for 'em Holdsworth).

But What About Phil Harris?

UFC 142: Palhares v MassenzioCalm down.  It wouldn't be a true MMA podcast if we didn't cover the controversy surrounding Rousimar Palhares and the "screaming tap" heard all around the world.  Our resident go-to BJJ Expert, BJJ Breakdown's JOHN EVANS, drops by to weigh in on the controversy and tries to explain what the hell happened when when Toquinho caught Mike Pierce in a nasty looking heel hook.

I Trained at Some Guy Named Marcelo Garcia's Academy

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In our shout outs, I describe my training session over at Marcelo's in New York.  I can't say enough good things about the wonderful people over at Marcelo's and the patience they displayed in teaching me techniques that were far beyond my capabilities.  As a complete stranger, they truly treated me like one of their own and were committed to making sure I got the most out of my experience.  I just want to say "thank you" to all of them for being so cool.

It was a nice in a lifetime experience and I truly hope I can return back there some day when I'm somewhat less terrible at jiu-jitsu.

"The Goose"

IMAG1667While we crack wise about the gi I received from BJJHQ in the video above, I can't thank the good people over there enough for sending me the "The Goose" here after hearing me talk about the crack-like addiction I have to purchasing stuff from their website (it's taking in my being not to buy every thing going up on the rolling deals sale right now).  For the last year and a half, I've been rolling with the same (boring) white, judo gi.  And while I love this stupid gi, every time I train, I have to race home to immediately put it in the wash so that I can train again the next day.  And now, I am happy to report that I can now alternate gis and (finally) walk into my jiu-jitsu classes like one of the cool kids with this awesome looking gi.  Serious props to them and Kev and I are going to be filming a video in the near future to show our appreciation.

All I got for now.  Give the podcast a listen folks.  I don't think you'll be disappointed!!!

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 40) with Joe Schilling

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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 SystemsTrainingCenter.com) 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!

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 39) with Jimmy Quinlan

[buzzsprout episode='115494' player='true']

Raf's Recollection | Of all the Ultimate Fighter cast members I've done impressions of, perhaps no one has had a better sense of humor about it than  Jimmy "Crash" Quinlan.

On one particular installment of the show (Episode 14), Kev and I spent approximately 10 minutes worth of time discussing the finer points of a Jimmy Quinlan impression.

Which is why it was somewhat refreshing when I ran into Jimmy at the UFC Fan Expo earlier this year, I didn't get punched in the face (he had more than one opportunity to do so).  When you do impressions of folks with such a strong wrestling background, you almost expect to be on the receiving end of one of their patented overhead slam takedowns.  Fortunately for me, Jimmy's always just laughed off the impression and played along.

It also doesn't hurt that Jimmy identifies himself as a bit of a "smart ass."  So not only does that make him exactly the type of person we like talking to on the podcast, but it also makes him the kind of guy who is impervious to comments like "What is happening?" and "wtf am I watching" when he posts videos like this:

Jimmy Quinlan memeWe at Verbal Tap wish nothing but the best to Jimmy as he takes on Luc Bondole at New England Fights' "NEF X" this Saturday at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.  For more information about tickets, hit up this website and be sure to follow Jimmy on the Twitter at @JimmyCrashBJJ.

Also on the podcast, we do our World Famous "One Minute Review" of the second episode of The Ultimate Fighter, we play a game of "Over/Under Kevin" to figure out how to bet on this week's UFC 165, and we also chat about this video:

I must have watched this clip over 20 times in the past few days. Maybe it's because it bares a certain resemblance to a Pro Wrestling Hall of Famer's signature move: Rolles Gracie does the best Ric Flair fall I have ever seen in MMA.  Ever.

If you doubt me, simply watch the video above and compare it to the art that is the Ric Flair flop below.  #YoureWelcome

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