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4/2/13 7:44 PM
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Sydney, Australia's VT1 Academy Owner owner Liam Resnekov (Lemons on the UG) is in Kansas City for Invicta FC 5, and in this UG guest blog offers his further impressions of America.

 photo Alexkaratekid_zps5d7340f8.png

Killing time in Kansas City - Astro Girl and VT1 Team wait for the big night.

The fight day draws nearer, only two days till the weigh in. We sneak a quick workout in the Marriot “Gym”, which consists of half a dozen machines, and receive half a dozen odd looks as Alex punches, kicks and chokes me. It’s always fun trying to sneak workouts in for the fighters when you are interstate or overseas. You learn to be resourceful; a dozen yoga mats taped together, take a painting down here and there and you have a mini-dojo.


Note: Also remember to use Glen’s credit card when checking in.

Apparently the residents of KC aren’t into our joke when I tell Alex she can’t eat because she is fat. They usually tend to refuse service when I ask her which cookie she wants and then thank her and tell her I’m going to buy it for Glen. They thought I was joking at the cheesecake factory when I said she’s having a salad. In fact a young gentleman told me off from behind the counter.

The great thing about fight week is that you get to relax. It’s not often that in your own turbulent life you can take 3-4 days off and actually be bored. It’s an odd feeling; we almost have to force ourselves to relax.

Kansas City is probably not the best tourist destination for travelling Ozzies, but if you scratch the surface a bit you can find plenty of fun stuff to do.

Right up the road from us is an Alamo Drafthouse. For those who don’t know what it is; imagine being able to see Evil Dead 2, Princess Bride etc on the big screen while eating good food and being given props at the door to make it more interesting. Apparently on the showing of Wayne’s World they gave out wigs, trucker hats and had subtitles for the audience to sing/talk along with. Princess Bride saw the audience being given mock swords and voting for audience members to enact their favorite fight scenes up front…. INCONCIEVABLE. Tonight we are going to see the late screening of American Werewolf in London, one of my favorite movies ever.

Just crazy goodness we just don’t get in Australia!

Another thing we also don’t see that often at the cinema is this:

 photo DSC00379_zps2e96fdd1.jpg

Normally it says “No mobile phones.”. We’re not in Oz anymore Toto. Nobody has handguns except Police in Australia.

The international fighters all arrived today, everyone is looking worse for wear, no one more than the other Ozzies, Bec and Fiona. We were possibly a little too cheery for them as we have already been here a few days, but it’s good to see familiar faces anyway. Jet lag sucks.

Tomorrow all the big names get here. I’ve told Glen I’ll help him make Michele Waterson (Karate Hottie) his wife, but I did say I couldn’t promise anything. I told him to do some pushups and wear his old spice…you never know…maybe he’s her type.

I am sure not a gambling man. 

It’s a funny thing being a fighter/coach, we are pretty excited to meet all the celebrities, but it makes me wonder if people always feel like this, that they are in a different category from the “real” fighters.  When do celebrities start feeling like celebrities? Like they belong. I intend to ask Tito, etc when they get here. I kind of hope the answer is “never."

Speaking of fighters, Alex’s opponent is going to be here soon too.  A professional Boxer and undefeated in MMA, Jodie Esquibel is a formidable sight. She has muscles on top of her muscles and is the fiancé of Kieth Jardine. Check her out:

She’s no joke. I’ve asked her not to kick Alex in the spine if she doesn’t mind…

And I also asked her to punch John Dodson a couple more times for me.

Alex herself is a very different breed of fighter in todays MMA. Starting at age 5 she knew straight away she wanted to be a martial artist for life. Her parents brought her to karate after weeks of begging and throwing ballet shoes through the window. She got her degree in astrophysics before realizing she wanted to be an MMA fighter/coach.

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Can you spot her? (I’ll give you a clue she’s still the same size) …Second from the right, bottom row. Her coach on the left also has a neck you wish you could get your hands on.

Decades later she fought in the world championships before joining VT1 Academy just by chance in around 2007. It all happened in such a funny way, as we sit in the USA waiting for her to make her mark, I kind of laugh at how bizarre life can be.

She was jogging past our first gym (in a matted scout hall) when she came up and enquired. I looked at this 14 year old girl that must have been 90 lbs soaking wet and asked her if she had trained before. She told me she was a professional fighter. I almost spat my acai on her (back then I thought I may have been Brazilian, calling her “my fren”) but indulged her anyway. I invited her to train the next day and watched her kick one of my students asses…or face specifically. He looked at me and mouthed “WTF." I looked at her waiver to discover she was actually 2 years older than me. To say I took her a little more seriously after that was an understatement.

She’s always been the smallest fighter in her division, the move from 115 to 105 has been a bit of a blessing, although she still looks funny next to all the “real fighters”. Although she just Ko’d Japanese superstar Mika Nagano in under a minute (after dispatching Australia’s best 115 fighters), she still struggles with simply being a fan that doesn’t feel she belongs in the limelight. She keeps telling me she got lucky…time after time… I suppose that’s why fans like her, because she’s one of them. 


Most importantly she has always championed the cause of women’s martial arts in Australia (which has recently blossomed) from as far back as a decade ago. Her dream is for a male to walk into her own academy one day and look at her (like he would a jacked, cauliflower eared guy’s gym) and ask her to teach him, without even noticing she’s a female.

Anyhow, enough about the Karate Midget and more about the travels.


This is a true Aussie Toilet, complete with minimized water-free zone and sports magazine.

Everyone who watches the Simpsons knows that Australia’s toilets run the opposite way of the American ones.  What we didn’t know is that you guys have what I would call the “platter” style toilet. Its shallow, long and barely has enough water to even cover the bottom. In Australia we have real men and we require the deep drop! Deep, water-filled and narrow! No one in Australia wants to examine yesterdays lunch as it’s stranded on the beach. How much porcelain do you guys really need? Perhaps it’s due to the larger posteriors you possess? Either way, ours are designed for quick, efficient disposal where we don’t have to deal with the mess.

Kind of like Texas Death Row.

 photo americanairporttoilet_zps121444e0.jpg

And don’t get me started on the airport bathrooms! Firstly does any public toilet door in America lock? Secondly I’m not sure why they bother even putting doors up around them with the size of the gaps they have. The guy waiting for me was reading the newspaper in my hands as I went….through the crack. Privacy is a problem here and it starts in the sacred place…

Well, at least you guys have Tyler Perry. We don’t. (I know, I know, how do we go on?) I’ve told Glen he’s the Truffaut of the this generation so he’d come see his latest abortion with me tomorrow. He was curious as to where all the families were flocking to on Sunday afternoon as we went to see the new Oz movie. Turns out Tyler Perry is the Pied Piper for African American people in Kansas. Should be quite the experience.

The saving grace of America so far seems to be the service industry. We don’t have one back home. Australian service is on par with mainland China's. Buy or die. It’s not that Aussies are rude; it’s just that they are generally not aware that service actually makes the experience more pleasant, no matter what industry! We are yet to have a bad experience here. Sure we pay for it, making my sandwich service akin to prostitution, but I like it. The doorman, the waitresses, the check out personel, they all go the extra mile and honestly…I like it. I walk out with a smile on my face and my wallet a little bit lighter.

A little tip for visitors; as soon as you arrive change some money for a pile of ones, you’re going to need it. Keep it in a separate pocket!

Americans are generally more helpful and friendly than any people we’ve met on our travels, even the regular Joe on the street. I haven’t asked for directions from the young guy dealing crack on the street corner yet, but our experiences have been very positive so far, even more so than positive, they have simply been great. 


And don’t get me started on the food….Delicious.

Part 3 will be:
1.     American fighters arrive and behind the scenes stuff.
2.     Weigh ins, the one time you can tell a girl she needs to lose weight.
3.     Will Glen survive Tyler Perry’s Temptations.
4.     5 Kinds of BBQ. Which one is KC’s best?
5.      Invicta isn’t like the UFC. Here are 5 reasons why.
6.     Strip Mall Karate weirdness.
7.     Much more.

4/2/13 8:58 PM
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Ill take a smile for a dollar though! IMO it's a worthwhile exchange ...how many times in oz does the waitress give a damn? Phone Post 3.0
4/2/13 10:40 PM
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scaredy cat
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The US has a much lower minimum wage than here in Australia so workers are forced to rely on tips. Even compared to the UK though, Australian customer service is pretty bad.
4/2/13 10:46 PM
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Phil Cornelius
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Be nice if there was video of this looks interesting.
4/2/13 11:25 PM
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We are videoing everything will pop something up next week. After the fight we are going to gym tour NYC so will put that on it as well. Phone Post 3.0
4/2/13 11:36 PM
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Remember, if you happen to go to Maine, EAT ALL THE LOBSTER. ALL OF IT. WITH BUTTER SAUCE.

Damn, I wanna go traveling now :(

4/3/13 9:04 AM
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Never been to Maine but I love lobster.

Roadside Vietnam Cooked in a steel garbage bin and eaten on kids chairs with beer. They take the lobster out of the shell, smear a sticky sauce of garlic, ginger, chilli and tamarind (I'm guessing) then put it the lobster back in. Phone Post 3.0
4/3/13 5:23 PM
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Ttt Phone Post 3.0

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