WCMAC fight

November 12, 2010 by

An extract from an article written for the Vancouver Observer.

Olivia Bevan at the WCMACWith twenty-four hours to go before the big competition, I’d become an obsessive slave to the scales. I was teetering so close to my target weight that after every sip, munch or crunch of drink or food I’d desperately hop back on the balance to check out the damage.

Standing statuesque, I closed my eyes hoping that the digits would appear on the right side of 120lbs to keep me in my chosen weight category. I’d even gone down the desperate route of weighing myself in different outfits to determine which clothes I could compete in and which ones I couldn’t. With my chosen gear in hand and bags all packed up there was nothing left to do but head to the venue.


The most extreme way to banish cellulite

October 20, 2010 by

Women boxingAfter a recent sparring session, I gawked at the knotty, tangled mess that had once counted as a hair ‘style’ and reluctantly acknowledged that the luxury of looking good has been sadly absent from my life for the past few weeks. Even at the best of times it’s debatable whether I, with my amateur hair skills, can pull off trendy and tousled looks, but evidently I do dishevelment with ease.

Who needs a Halloween costume when you can go three rounds and get the look for free?

Read the full article, as published in the Vancouver Observer.

When training for combat sport means losing pounds, Thanksgiving may be toughest battle

October 12, 2010 by

Pumpkin PieThis is the start of an article I wrote recently for the Vancouver Observer. There’s a link below to the full piece. Has anyone else been through cutting weight? Did you make it? What were your secrets?

Cutting weight is never easy, especially when faced with temptations. Of which nothing is more teasingly tantalizing that a slice of home-cooked pumpkin pie. It takes all the willpower in the world to say no to all the best bits of Thanksgiving. Turkey: yes; veggies: absolutely; stuffing: well, maybe just a really small amount; pie: no; whipping cream: absolutely not. See how much that sucks? Especially when you look around the table and see everyone else’s plates are piled high with everything you wish was on yours.

When faced with this, there’s only one thing to do. Daydream.

Full article

Top 10 adventures for thrill-seeking women

October 9, 2010 by

Liv at the shooting rangeVancouver’s fun-loving lifestyle isn’t just limited to zenning out yoga-style or sweating your stuff jogging along the beach.

For ladies seeking a little more oomph from their local adventures here’s a piece I wrote for the Vancouver Observer about ten action-packed, adrenaline-fuelled activities to satisfy even the most hardcore thrill-seekers out there.

Have you tried any of these out? What adventures make your top 10?

Heart of a fighter = Jay

October 3, 2010 by

Look up “heart of a fighter” and you’ll see Jay’s name in the dictionary.

For the past four weeks we’ve watched him evolve from a guy we train with to a real fighter who we’re absolutely in awe of! Someone who actually said “I want to fight” and had the heart, courage and determination to see it through.

We couldn’t be more proud of him and a group of us from Universal screamed our hearts out last night supporting him at the Pinnacle Hotel’s IFC 9 in North Vancouver.

My dodgy camera work doesn’t do Jay justice but for three 2 minute rounds he fought his heart out and gave it his all.

Enjoy your well-deserved time off Jay and look after that nose!

Ps. You might want to watch this with the sound turned down to tune out my screaming!

What’s going on behind a black eye?

September 18, 2010 by

Wow, it’s been far too long since my last post! I’m almost at a loss as to where to start.

Hmm, so what’s been happening since June? Lots of training, of course…and a handful of injuries involving feet, wrists, xrays and black eyes (still sporting that last one). But it’s Muay Thai – injuries come as standard. Don’t they…?

The thing with a black eye though is that people stare. On the bus, down the street, in the supermarket. You name it. And when it’s a woman with a black eye they stare even more. Some double take; some slyly glance up over the top of their newspaper (just enough not to look too obvious);  and others just stare and stare, quickly glancing away in between gawps, worried you might catch them mid-fascination.

Only one person so far has actually been brave enough to ask what happened. Much to the bank teller’s relief I’m not a battered wife. Had I been one though, he would have been the only person who’d shown any kind of concern. I’d be out there on my own, dealing with it alone. Which is sort of scary and seriously worrying.

So much so that it’s making me think twice about how I support services that do such important work helping women. Services such as Women Against Violence Against Women are helping women feel safer out there and they really need our support. So that’s my promise to myself: To support these services more. I’m not entirely sure how just yet but I’ll keep you posted.

For women interested in learning how to handle themselves, my humble (unprofessional) advice is that Muay Thai is a great place to start.

And to Gabe: It was a great right hook. How could you not throw it? Just wait till next time!! Hahaaah

Fedor Emelianenko takes on Fabricio Werdum in a joint Strikeforce / M1 spectacular

June 23, 2010 by

Alexia(Huge thanks to Alexia Krause for this great article).

The Strikeforce event on June 26th is bound to be one for the books.

Strikeforce mixed martial arts has joined forces with M-1 Global to bring some of the toughest fighters in the world together in the cage.

This showcase has a huge title card as Fedor Emelianenko (who is actually a co-owner of M-1 Global) takes on Fabricio Werdum in a heavyweight bout that promises to entertain.

Fedor Emelianenko (also known as ‘The Last Emperor’) holds a record of 31-1. His only recorded loss comes from the fact that his fight with Tsuyoshi Kohsaka was stopped when Emelianenko suffered a gash in the opening seconds of the fight. Even though he has a loss to tarnish his undefeated streak, ‘The Last Emperor’ understands that numbers don’t mean anything when you’re inside the cage.

Fedor has been at the top as the best heavyweight in the world for the better part of the last decade. He has taken down Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipović, Mark Coleman, and Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira on his way there. On June 26th he goes up against Fabricio Werdum (the number nine heavyweight in the world) for a showdown that’s bound to define the two fighters and the event.

Even though Emelianenko is among the top heavyweights in the world, he will have a lot on his hands going up against the jiu-jitsu technician, Fabricio Werdum. Werdum is known as ‘Vai Cavalo’ or ‘Leading Horse’ which speaks to his wild and free nature in the ring. It looks like Emelianenko will be tasked with taming Werdum if he wants that victory.

Despite this exciting main card, the June 26th Strikeforce will feature much more heated action. In fact, many more people are looking forward to the top woman in the world, Cris “Cyborg” Santos taking on Jan Finney. Most feel that Cyborg will take out Finney pretty easily and glide on to an effortless victory (even more so considering that Finney’s nickname is ‘Cuddles’), but Finney has been known to be scrappy making the fight a good one to watch.

Plus, seeing Cris Cyborg in action is always an event in itself.

With some of the best male heavyweight and female featherweight fighters clashing on the same night, the June 26th Strikeforce event is destined to be an exciting evening for MMA fans.

Alexia is a lifelong fan of sports and fitness. Recently, she’s been obsessed with MMA. As a result, she has joined forces with MMA Industries – purveyors of widely popular MMA shirts and gloves. Alexia has been writing about the latest developments in MMA equipment for the past few years, and continues to bring you the latest news in the mixed martial arts world.

Is the ice cream still fat-free if you eat the whole tub?

June 12, 2010 by

Having been so, so good with my eating up until the point of competing the other week, I’ve now totally fallen off the wagon and am in the grip of trying to shake off constant sugar cravings! Arrgghh.

In an attempt to meet my cravings halfway (one that involved scouring the freezer sections of several local supermarkets) I finally discovered some fat-free ice cream. It’s even chocolate flavoured. But is it really too good to be true? And is it still fat-free if you devour most of the tub? Haahaah. (It’s always so hard to walk away from that last little bit!)

I’ve been trying to drown out the tiny voice that’s been telling me I should really just try and avoid sugar altogether, but I blame the sun that finally decided to shine in Vancouver today. You can’t celebrate the first sunny weekend without ice cream. Just don’t get me started on the wine that’s crying out to be uncorked!


June 2, 2010 by

Wonder Woman - at any age!I read a book not too long ago about the incredibly inspiring swimmer Dara Torres who, at 41 years old, launched her Olympic comeback and stood on that podium with the best of them.

It was just called “Age is just a number” and, every so often, when I seriously question whether I’m a little crazy to get in to competitive martial arts at 30 years old I remember what you can achieve if you put your mind to it.

As if to confirm this I met a very sweet lady yesterday who, at 56 years old, was about to enter her first world championship power lifting competition. What was even more incredible was that this wonderful lady only started training five years ago and despite going up against people much younger than her she absolutely refused to enhance her performace with any sort of drugs. It was natural or nothing.

There are many more women out there who are perfect examples of age being just a number. Screw how you think you might be judged. If you want it – go for it! Or as my trainer once put it, “Do it or do not do it. There is no try.”

So the fight story goes….

May 31, 2010 by

Gold!Yesterday’s West Coast Can-Ams at BCIT was my second opportunity to compete in Muay Thai.

A week out and my trainer Wilf Betz (in the pic) had me drop down to 119lbs just in case there was a low female turnout. If only a handful of girls registered on the day it was entirely possible that the organizers would reshuffle the weight divisions and he didn’t want to risk me being placed with heavier girls.

The plan was to weigh in on Sunday morning as early as possible and then eat for a few hours before competing. I was almost as nervous hopping on the scales as I was stepping up to fight but the outcome was perfect: 119lbs on the nose.

First test over; so far so good. Time to eat. I wasn’t the only one with that idea either. Despite the early 8:30am start there was already a small queue forming by the weighing machine, protein bars at hand ready to gobble.

Only five girls registered for the Modified Muay Thai competition so I was relieved to have cut the weight because the divisions were definitely going to be overhauled. Until they announced that we’d have to weigh in again right before fighting….arggghh, all that food. How much of a difference was it going to make?

Turns out, not a lot. I weighed in just over 120lbs. Phew.

Three of the girls weighed in over 135lbs and only two of us came under. She was at least ten pounds heavier than me though and wore several tattoos. Nervous? Me? And it showed. It took me at least half of the first 1.5 minute round to settle down and start to engage. But it wasn’t really enough to make it my round. During the 30 second break Wilf told me it was too close to call. But I wasn’t here to lose.

The bell for the second round went and that was it…time to unleash the pain! I’d been practicing being mean all week and suddenly the trigger flipped. I came back on the mats ready to physically hurt her and make her regret taking me on. And for a moment I really did hate her, which felt so alien because I generally don’t dislike people and I’m she’s a lovely girl in real life. But in that moment, on those mats, I truly wanted to hurt her.

Then she did an illegal move and threw me to the floor. Fine in MMA but not at this level. When I got up I was seriously pissed. I’d been about to throw some knees but she prevented me doing so by tripping me, throwing us both to the floor and landing on top of me. I stood back up enraged. She was not about to have this her way. I got in to close range, grabbed the back of her head in a clinch and kneed her over and over again in the chest, then took a step back and kicked her a couple of times in the thigh until the fight was stopped. Sounds a bit brutal but there was no way I was taking second place.

(I giggled at myself while doing this though because the ‘mean’ really did come out. I actually heard myself let out a grrrrr while launching a knee in to her chest!)

Muay Thai black eyeI’ve a black eye to show for my efforts but I’m pretty sure her ribs are hurting quite a bit more.

Not sure when the next competition is but I’m so ready to fight again. I was the moment I walked off the mats.

Huge, HUGE thanks to everyone who came out to watch yesterday: Dyl, Emma, Tiffanie, all the Universal team and, of course, my trainer Wilf (having you in my corner rocks!)