Author Mark Tullius speaks his mind and shares his writing: Horror, Sci-fi, Suspense, and nonfiction MMA.


My special guest is Johnny "Cupcakes" Campbell, an MMA fighter, bjj brown belt, and all-around awesome individual. Johnny's fight at Cage Titans 9 years ago was what turned me back into a fan of the sport. We had a great first interview a few days after that and another at Brown University a few years later.

It was great catching up with Johnny after his latest win at Bellator. We discussed:

  • His willingness to take fights on short notice.
  • Overcoming negative thinking and dark thoughts.
  • How at 34 he is in peak performance, physically and emotionally.
  • Loyalty to his gym South Shore Sportfighting in Rockland and his coach Bill Mahoney.
  • Why he fights and his plans after he retires.
  • If he worries about brain health.
  • What he gets out of playing video games.

Also includes the short dystopian story "Two Minutes to Midnight"

For more on Johnny: Follow him at:

IG @johnnyccmma

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What a fun conversation with Mat Santos, a lifelong martial artist, devoted family man, and co-author in the Try Not to Die series.

Mat, the owner of Team Santos Fighting Academy, is one of the brightest and funniest black belts I've had the pleasure of hanging out with.

In this episode we discuss:

Connections made through martial arts.

Skill acquisition.

Overcoming obstacles due to the pandemic.

Raising our sons and understanding our fathers.

The importance of participation trophies.

Why I no longer get drunk or high before recording podcasts, and why I'm rethinking that approach.

The highest compliment you can give a Rhode Islander and the quickest way to start a fight with one.

(1:34:50) The short story "Twenty-Twenty" from 25 Perfect Days and narrated by David Thompson.

For more on Mat and his academy check out:

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My special guest is Evan Scott, the drummer from the Boston-based death metal band Stone the Oracle.

I first met Evan 9 years ago when I interviewed him for Unlocking the Cage at Lauzon MMA and I've had the pleasure of training with him a few times since.

In this episode we talk about what he has gained from martial arts, what a positive gym culture they have at Lauzon's where he is a kickboxing instructor, how he developed a love for music and became part of Stone the Oracle.

You can pick up the band's new EP at 

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In this episode I share about my search for the right agent, what I’m currently doing for my brain, and the nonfiction reading list for my brain research.
I read the prologue to my traumatic brain injury book. (7:00)
My short horror story "Wrong Side Tavern" (17:00)

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In this episode I visit my friend, Casey Milliken, who owns Tribe Las Vegas with his wife Ashley. I speak with Casey, a bjj black belt, about jiu jitsu, what it teaches people, how to increase longevity, and what his gym is all about.

26:00 includes my bjj/MMA short story "Mutual Understanding" from my collection Somber Stroll.

For more info on the studio go to


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An update on where I'm at with my nonfiction brain book and why I've been hesitant to pursue it. As someone who has had a lot of trauma to the brain with boxing, MMA, college football, and motorcycle accidents, the subject of traumatic brain injuries and CTE is scary. But I have too many friends that either have or probably will develop brain issues for me not to investigate it a bit.
16:45 The short horror story "Twisted Memory" taken from my collection Twisted Reunion.

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In this week's episode Mark talks about wrapping up Ain't No Messiah, his new nonfiction project about concussions, and discusses chapter 4 and 5 of Unlocking the Cage where he visited FAA, NESF, ATT CT, Xtreme Couture and a few other schools.

(06:40) This episode he answers the question: How do you write about past events that you can no longer clearly remember?

(12:30) Mark breaks down chapters 4 and 5 of Unlocking the Cage.

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In this week's episode Mark shares the Unlocking the Cage prologue and discusses the first three chapters of the book where he visited Tri-Force MMA, Lauzon MMA, and South Shore Sportsfighting, competed in a NAGA event, and 

(07:40) This episode he answers the question: Do you try to be more original or deliver what the readers want?

(11:50) More on the release of the Thought Thief mind reading app.

(15:30) Mark shares the prologue from Unlocking the Cage which fans of MMA should appreciate.

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In this week's short story the narrator is a teenage girl about to witness her first live fight. Mark discusses how tough most males think they are, whether a trained female could eat an untrained male, why he's going to be watching Combat Jiu Jitsu Worlds, what jiu jitsu has given him and his family.

(07:40) This episode he answers the Goodreads question: "Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?" and goes into why he spent over five years creating Unlocking the Cage: Exploring the Motivations of MMA Fighters.

(17:40) Mark shares his story "Mutual Understanding" taken from his Somber Stroll audiobook which will appeal to fans of dark fiction, horror, jiu jitsu, and MMA.

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