Snacks and Chats.
A serious podcast, with a silly name.
Lani and Ben begin each episode by asking creative New Zealanders how they tackle that loaded question, “Where are you from?” and the stories go from there.
Episode 20: Israel Adesanya
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.
Episode 19: Dan "Hangman" Hooker
“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.
Episode 18: Genah Fabian
“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.
Episode 17: Kai Kara-France
“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.
Episode 16: Eugene Bareman
“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.
Episode 15: Chelsea Jade
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.
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Top Shelf Podcast 💚
Love love love !
I love this podcast. Lani & Ben do a great job at bringing great conversations out of interesting people. It’s thought provoking & is so relatable in terms of its identity chats. I love it - please make more! x
Yeah good Mate
Sophisticated yet street