The Snacks and Chats team reunite with the UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya. Adesanya talks about his “bizarre” fight with Yoel Romero, why he’s looking forward to the Paulo Costa fight, snobbery at the Halberg Awards and his speech that night, the humility needed to be a good fighter, how fleeting the joy of winning can seem, seeing a psychologist, realising the importance of protecting his own space and learning to love his younger self.
“I drive myself insane with this sport. I think about it every minute, of every day. I obsess over it. To be this successful at something, you actually have to obsess over it.”
Dan “Hangman” Hooker came into the fight game with the express purpose of exciting crowds. He talks to Lani and Ben about his intensity in the cage, what makes a good coach and how things have changed since his 2014 UFC debut to becoming the headline fight in his hometown in 2020. Dan also discusses why the Barbosa loss became the reason for his future success, and how he intends to rip Dustin Poirier’s head off to take him one step closer on his quest for the championship belt.
“I won the fight, and I said to all my friends, ‘I’m never doing that again.’ It was terrifying. The anxiety before the fight, the uncertainty, the unknown, it was a totally different feeling to what I’ve experienced before. And then, I took another fight, took another fight.”
World champion Muay Thai fighter and mixed martial artist Genah Fabian has been a competitive athlete since she was six years old.
She talks to Lani and Ben about how injuries that halted her track career as a teenager not only led her to pursue fighting as a profession, but also taught her valuable lessons about mental toughness, running towards fear and how to persevere when she might once have given up.
“It definitely is a thinking man’s sport. Because if you’re tough - everyone is tough in this sport. If that’s all you have as your strength, you’re not gonna make it.”
Flyweight mixed martial artist Kai Kara-France sits down with Lani and Ben and shares his life story - from being badly bullied at high school, to taking up martial arts and leaving university to live in Thailand to pursue his dream of being a fighter. He reflects on his early career, travelling all over Asia to take whatever fights he could get, and how he overcame losses to finally realise his goal of fighting in the UFC. He’s now set to represent his country on home turf and hopes to inspire the younger generation.
“For every story like mine, and in New Zealand there’s not many, trust me there’s a thousand fighters that have been before me whose names aren’t in the record books.”
In the first Snacks and Chats of 2020 Lani and Ben sit down with City Kickboxing co-founder and head coach Eugene Bareman. Bareman is fresh off an epic 2019 in which he was named MMA Coach of the Year by multiple news outlets thanks to his and his team’s work with UFC champions Israel Adesanya and Alex Volkanovski, as well as top-tier fighters Dan Hooker, Kai Kara-France and Brad Riddell.
He talks about why he left rugby for fighting, how difficult it was in the early years of starting up the gym, how passion got them through the hard times and defending home soil at the upcoming UFC Auckland.
We’re back with a one-off episode to end the year, with our favourite musician of 2018 - Chelsea Jade. She talks to us about how she almost quit being an artist when she moved to LA, learning not to torture herself and others when writing, overcoming the toxic nature of jealousy, and all the good tears she’s shed after working with a roomful of women engineers, producers and songwriters - and how nurturing and needed that kind of experience is for other women in the music industry.
Australian-Malaysian poet, writer, rapper and screenwriter Omar bin Musa is our first international guest.
He talks about the experience of growing up brown, Asian and Muslim in Australia and how learning about Muhammad Ali changed the entire course of his life, from learning to love his brown skin to being introduced to hip hop. We also talk about how he transferred the feelings of fury and frustration into his debut novel Here Come the Dogs, and the pain he poured into into his latest album, Since Ali Died.
We spoke with Jahra 'Rager' Wasasala shortly after she'd performed her solo 'a world, with your wound in it' and the group show ORCHIDS at the Tempo Dance Festival. She spoke about the come-down after performing such works following years of prep, the conflicting tension that comes with the question 'where are you from'?, the problem with terms like Polynesian and Melanesian, not being afraid as an artist, the challenges of training institutions for young creatives, her mantra ‘The world as a woman’s body’, the creative influence of her mother and much, much more.
"I went back for the first time in December to Kenya... I got there, and people stare at me even more than they do here, because I’m mixed. Probably that was the biggest learning. There’s probably never gonna be somewhere I fit completely so I’m just gonna have to make my own lane. Or just be comfortable in the fact that I am mixed. I’m me. I’m whole, and I am who I am."