WEEKEND RESULTS (08/12/2017 – 10/12/2017)

Julieth “Mamasita” Luque kicked off the weekend with a bang on, debuting on Friday in her first amateur Muay Thai fight on Young Guns #9 (Geelong). Matched with a particularly tough fighter from Fight Club, Julieth fought aggressively and managed to score an 8 count on her opponent and was very closing to scoring a knock out. Congratulations on your win via UPD Julieth, a fantastic result for your debut match!


On Saturday at Path to Hex 3, the Absolute MMA team went 2-1-1. First up, Anthony McLoughlin had a tough day but gained plenty of experience in his TKO loss.


Finnian Kinsella was up next, and with great poise and excellent sprawls against a strong grappler, picked his opponent apart for a unanimous points decision win. Congratulations on almost scoring a TKO finish Finn!


Ridz Wan stepped into the octagon next, giving up a considerable reach advantage in his match up. He was victim to a knee to the groin not once, not twice, but THREE times in the fight. His opponent had 2 points deducted, and with steely determination Ridz went on to win the match with a split point decision.


Super Choi Sung Wook brought us home with a excellent fight against his well matched opponent. The to and fro battle ended early when Choi sustained an unintentional eye poke and was unable to continue. The fight went to the judges decision and end with a majority draw.

Coaches Lukas Catubig and Dave Lescai were very happy to see all four fighters represent the gym well, with excellent skills and sportsmanship being displayed before and on the day. All four fighters are in good health post-match – Ridz’ balls are where they are supposed to be again, and Choi’s eye should make a full recovery.

(Photos: Albert Xavier, Kyle Morgan, Ridz Wan, and Choi Sung Wook)


With an impressive record of 17 wins and 6 losses, it’s easy to forget that Liam “Real Deal” McNeill is just 23. While he’s never without a smile in the gym and is always high energy, Liam has one of the darkest game faces you’ll see in the ring and we know we wouldn’t want to be on the other end of those punches! In the fight game since the age of 15, this professional Muay Thai fighter has fought at the original Lumpinee stadium not once, but twice, and is just getting started. Read on more to find what’s the deal with McNeill!

What made you start Martial Arts?

“As a young teenager I watched ‘Never Back Down’ with my mates. We thought it was the most amazing thing ever and the rest is history. No epic bully story, just a young mind watching a cool movie.”

If you were going to be an animal, what would you be and why?

“I would definitely be a bird. Because flying.”

If you could go back in time to your first martial art class, what would be the advice you give to your past self?

“Stretch and lift weights so you don’t get injuries you will pay for later, you fool!”

Do you have a “useless” talent that makes people smile every time you use it?

“Yes, I am so bad at consuming liquids I would almost call it a skill. Anytime I go for a drink of anything I will almost always spill some on myself. Sometimes it produces smiles.”

What’s your favorite place to eat in Melbourne and your #1 dish recommendation?

“Way too many, but there’s this little Italian place called Kaprica in Carlton. I was living next door to it quite a few years back when it first opened. They use all hand made ingredients in their food, it blew my mind and still does.”

During a Absolute MMA staff retreat a zombie apocalypse breaks out. You get separated with 3 AMMA team members. Who would be part your dream team and why?

“Raph, Raph and Raph.”


“He’s a little shit. He came to me at 14 years old and he was a shit…now? He’s still a shit. Only a little larger.”- Tao Jaiphet

“He’s a pleasant, young and extremely talented kid who has been working harder and harder to take it to the next level. He was doing the teenagers Muay Thai class many years ago when I was still competing. Although the young lion is a million times better than me at striking, he wont forget the result of an in house MMA fight anytime soon…” – Paul Bai

“Liam’s a talented fighter, he can listen when he wants to listen, he can win when he wants to win and he’s got killer instinct.” – Laos Toohey

Liam has been coaching at Absolute St Kilda for the past 2 years, he always has a great level of energy during his classes and makes everyone in the gym feel welcome. It’s rare to see a coach that is able to compete at such a high level and still give so much to his students.” – Lachlan Giles 

13 Month Resolution Challenge

Let’s cheat for our resolutions – but not how you were thinking!

As previously discussed, resolutions are best planned with ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘when’ in mind.

In this version of resolutions, we’re going to have an early start. We’re going to start the habits in December to get a head start on 2018!

There is a lot of things that will try to get between you and your goals. Christmas parties, work functions, family commitments and holidays will all try to derail you.

We are starting in December, despite all of its barriers and hurdles. If we succeed – then we are an extra month towards our longer term goals. If we fail – then at least we tried, and hopefully we only took one step backwards instead of three if we hadn’t.

Let’s not make excuses, let’s make plans to succeed.

We’ve previously talked about sharing your goals to increase accountability, and rewards for attaining short term goals. So here’s how we’re going to do both!

  1. Follow @absolutemmamelb , @absolutemmacollingwood & @absolutemmastkilda on Instagram.
  2. Set your goal / resolution, and post about it on facebook or instagram (hell, why not both?!).
  3. Update us on your progress.
  4. Make a post on 31 December or 1 January about where you landed and what you will do for 2018.

Three winners will be rewarded with a free month of membership in January, to aid their 2018 goal attainment. Be sure to include the hashtags #13monthresolution & #iamabsolutemma in all of your posts. (Offer open to new and existing members)

All the best and we look forward to helping you smash your goals!

Get started today by booking in a free trial !

New Years Resolutions

New year’s resolutions are great! They are plans to take action in your life. However, that’s all they are, PLANS.

While the welcoming of a new year is a great trigger for a lot of people, you can actually start resolutions at any time! Start one today, start it for next week, start it next month – just be sure to be a person of your word and do it!

Here are 8 tips to set your resolutions AND stick to them. All in time to get a running start on 2018!

Resolution (noun): A firm decision to do, or not to do something.

  1. Know your WHY

Why are you making this change? What’s your biggest priority in your life? Set your goals accordingly, and you’ll have a substantially better chance at sticking to them. Firstly, because it’s something you want to do. And secondly, because you know why you’re doing it.

  1. Baby steps

You can’t run a marathon on 2 January (if you only start training on 1 January). Set some staggered, and attainable goals. While holding yourself to account, you don’t need take an ‘all or nothing’ approach. Something is better than nothing, obviously!

2.1. By the same token, substituting bad for better, is better than maintaining bad habits.
  1. Plan – Plan – Plan

These days it can be seen as boring to make firm plans. “Let’s see what happens”, … “Play it by ear”, … “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans” – That’s all just hippy talk. Set a goal, make a plan, write it down, and just do what you said you will!


  1. Break it down

Make smaller achievable goals, with timelines, so that you can tackle your largest resolutions.

  1. Go Public!

Tell someone about your resolutions. It will make them real (the resolution, hopefully the person was actually real). Your family, friends, coaches, teammates or even your social media followers can keep you accountable to your goals after you tell them about them.

  1. You can also bring others along with you!

Have a sensational goal? Share it, and someone else might pick up that torch with you. Working together (directly or indirectly) will increase both your chances of reaching your goals.

  1. Track yourself … to give back to yourself

Small goals deserve small rewards. Conversely, large goals deserve large rewards. Just make sure your reward doesn’t set you back!

  • Saving money for a mortgage? Don’t make the reward a shopping spree!
  • Lose 3% body fat? Don’t make the reward food related!
  • Travel debt free? Don’t take a reward tour on credit!

Your training goals, just like financial and career goals aren’t going to happen overnight. There will be excellent weeks with great growth, and there will be plateaus or obstacles to work past. WORK AT IT. If it were easy, everyone would have done it. But instead, we’re going to see you do it, and celebrate at the finish line!



We have many amazing people with interesting stories that walk into all our gyms! The member spotlight turns to Drew Birch, one of our students at Absolute MMA Melbourne CBD.

Name/Nicknames: Drew Birch, also known as birchy, elbircho, drew barrymore and drewbee.

Occupation: Security Guard

Sports: Muay Thai

How did you get into the sport?
I did taekwondo as a child. Two years ago I started to get into boxing, but just felt the need to throw some kicks. I used to be really into UFC and really wanted to start doing MMA. It was from this interest I discovered muay thai and I fell in love with it.

What are your immediate training goals?
To push myself to the next level.

What are your goals for the next five years?
Next year I plan to train a lot and hopefully take some fights. In 2019, I plan to go back to Bangkok for two or three months to train and fight. By 2020, I want to be debt free and try to move to Thailand to live, train and fight.

Why do you love training at Absolute MMA?
The location for me is perfect. Absolute MMA has the best coaches and I have learnt so much here in just one year. I’ve made good friends and gotten nothing but good vibes from training here. I’m glad I can learn from the best.

What is your favourite move?
This is hard to answer! For me, I like to chop the legs, sweeps are the best.

Can you tell us about where you’re from and any interesting stories growing up? If you’re not originally from Melbourne, how’d you end up living in Melbourne, Australia?
I was born and raised in Melbourne, I grew up in Moonee Ponds. I was rejected from the army because I’m allergic to peanuts which lead me to working security at the casino, which lead me to getting back into martial arts, which in turn led me to this gym. As depressed as I was when I was rejected (it was my life dream to join the ADF), I’m the happiest now that I have ever been.

Who are the kind of people that you look up to and why?
People who follow their dreams and passions in life and won’t stop for anything. There’s only one way to rise to the top and that’s by never giving up. I really look up to my coach Toohey, he is a master. Hopefully one day I can be half the man and marital artist that he is. I also look up to Lukas “The Lycan” Catubig a lot, he is a beast and he always pushes himself hard in training.

If you could go back in time to your first martial art class, what would be the advice you give to your past self?
Slow down and don’t get too excited. Good things come to those who wait. Learn good technique first and the rest will follow.

“Although his tattoos and shaved head can make for an intimidating first impression, Drew is honestly one of the easiest blokes to get along with. He has not been training with us for long but has quickly become one of the more skilled Muay Thai members at the CBD location. Looking forward to seeing him have his first fight early next year!” – Darren Gn

“Drew is easy going, is a fun person to be around and easy to get along with. He always gives a hand in class to help people with their technique and is never late! He shows a lot of dedication and always trains at least 3 or 4 times a week. Anyone who gets to know Drew will get along fine with him, he is not stuck up. Girls he is single, six foot tall with lots of hair…haha!” – Coach Laos Toohey


WEEKEND RESULTS (03/11/2017 – 05/11/2017)

What a match up it was in the super fight of Grappling Industries Melbourne between Coach Craig Jones and Kit Dale ! Congratulations to Craig who emerged victorious after 20 minutes with a decision victory.

Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu team was hugely dominant at this event, taking away first place in both the Adult Gi & No Gi as well as 3rd place in the Juveniles No Gi & Gi. We couldn’t be prouder of every single one of you who participated!

grapplingindus1 grapplingindus2 grapplingindus3 grapplingindus4(Photo Credit: Grappling Industries)

One of our Boxing fight team members, Antonia Kay flew to Sydney to compete at the 2017 Australian Elite Boxing Championships as part of the Victorian Team. The referee called her semifinal fight after she took some damage, and she finished up with a Bronze medal. We would like to acknowledge how incredible it is to have made it to Nationals and how proud we are to have her training with us at Absolute MMA and Conditioning! Antonia has an amazing attitude and will only come back stronger after this learning experience.

Congratulations to the Victorian Team who finished up with 5 golds, 3 silvers and the Best Performed Team award!

(Photo Credit: Marcos Amado)



If the word “Reliable” was ever to manifest itself in the form of a person, it would be Moses “MoShow” Bentley, commonly known to Melbourne CBD gym-goers as Mo. With over 15 years experience in competitive sport, Mo has helped many of our members to reach their goals as well as our competitors to peak for contests. A generous man who’s rarely without a smile, Mo also knows how to make incredible chocolate chip protein pancakes, which are “guilt-free” in our books because they are protein pancakes (shhh).Now you know that fun fact, I’m sure you want more…read on for more about Mo!

Favourite workout/walkout song?

“2Pac – Ambitionz Az A Ridah”

Mantra/Quote to live by?

“If you don’t find the time, if you don’t do the work, you don’t get the results”

What is your favourite travel destination? Why?

“Hawaii, for the culture, beaches and surf.”

Have you done other sports besides martial art and which teams/athletes are your favourite?

I have done rugby, rugby league and tennis. My favourite team is the All Blacks, athlete wise it would be Rafael Nadal. Teams and athletes that do or die, and fight and play to the end are what I consider good sports.”

“Mo has great patience and will work with anyone at any level to make them feel comfortable and confident in the gym. People trust him with their kids training. What more do you need?” – Paul Bai 

“The best way to explain mo is probably by quoting one of my clients.. “mo is nicer than you”. And I’m a pretty nice bloke, so there you have it. He is a good coach, knows his shit and will always put in the extra time with his clients.” – Daniel Howard

“I’ve known Mo since before he was at Absolute. We actually started MMA together with Leigh Allwood as coach many moons ago. Mo not only has the arguably best training playlists, but is also one of the most genuine guys in the gym.” – David Lescai


WEEKEND RESULTS (27/10/2017 – 29/10/2017)

Amazing effort from the Absolute MMA Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu team this weekend at the 2017 IBJJF Pan Pacific Championship! The team took away the championship in No Gi BJJ and came second in Gi BJJ. Great to see an increase in our team numbers and points in both Gi and No Gi this year.

Congratulations to the team on a great result, you all have shown extreme dedication and we know how many hours of tireless training has been put into preparing for this competition!

We’re so proud of all 62 of you (and all 22 under Maromba!) who competed in the Pan Pacs this year. We hope that you all have come away inspired and motivated to improve, irrespective of whether you won or learned.


Coach Lachlan Giles “The Raptor Tractor” not only coached and encouraged our entire team through the weekend, but managed to clean out the adult black belt division second year in a row with a massive 4 gold medals (weight, open weight gi & no gi)!

Coach Livia Gluchowska came to Pan Pacs this year for the first time as a black belt- and did not disappoint, taking away gold! Our female team performed extremely well as a whole, with every single girl from our team taking away a medal this weekend. Amazing work ladies!

To our head BJJ coach Thiago Stefanutti, thank you for being an inspiration to the entire team, for all your endless hours of advice and support and continuing to give 100% at 41 years of age competing at the adult division. Congratulations to Thiago for coming second in his division this year!

Wishing a speedy recovery to our main man at St Kilda, Adam Jones who unfortunately broke and dislocated his ankle this weekend whilst competing in the final match of his division.



In the beginning, when Simon Carson created Absolute Mixed Martial Arts, he laid yellow mats as the foundations of the gym. A foundation upon which lifelong friendships and bonds were formed. Some say if you catch the light in CBD when the sunlight first hits the doors in the morning, the mats appear yellow. An established OG of the yellow mats, David “The Nice Guy” Lescai remains with Absolute MMA to this day (although the mats, thankfully, have since been changed)!

A professional MMA fighter (2-2), Dave keeps Absolute MMA Collingwood running smoothly while ensuring ROGUE (Absolute MMA’s Amateur MMA events series) runs safely and efficiently. When he’s not encouraging the team and making sure everyone is on track, Dave brews his own cold brew, is a part time hip hop yogi and also a polished man, fundraising for YGAP’s Polished Man campaign, which aims to end violence against children (Donate to Dave at https://polishedman.com/davidlescai). Read on to find out more!

Mantra/Quote to live by?

“Live every week of your life like it’s shark week.”

Nicknames & Fight Names?

“The Nice Guy”, Super Dave, Davy-Boy, Davie-Baby, “Handsome sweet gentle playboy”, The Captain, Sweet-cheeks and Stud muffin.

Have you done other sports besides martial art and which teams/athletes are your favourite? Any funny stories?

“I used to play Aussie rules in the Eastern Football League. In three seasons I managed to injure both shoulders, and knees. I moved to full time fight training, citing the AFL was too dangerous – I stand by that decision.”

What is your favourite travel destination? Why?

“New York City. I love the buzz – it has a great energy. I’d like to live in the lower west side, or lower east side, maybe even Brooklyn.”

What movie have you seen over 5 times?

“Clueless. An undeniable masterpiece. Also: Limitless, Fired Up, Pulp Fiction, and Good Will Hunting.”


“I’m proud to be the 2nd best looking guy at Absolute MMA next to Dave.” – Jeremy Wharerau

“Dave is a very handsome gentleman. I suggest spending as much time around him as possible. Pro tip – ask him about his kombucha.” – Richard Lattemagi 

“David “the nice guy” Lescai was one of the first members to grace the mats at Absolute MMA. He has competed in MMA at a novice, amateur and professional level as well as cornering the fight team and assisting with their weight-cuts. Beyond his knowledge and passion, Dave is just a bloody good bloke who is always up for a bit of banter.” – Darren Gn 


Photo Credit: William Luu


The first coach to be hired as part of the Absolute Mixed Martial Arts family, Thiago is an integral part of the team and the head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach of AMMA, holding a third degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. His students have won multiple World Championship titles and under his tutelage, our team is the only Australian team to ever win a IBJJF World Championships team trophy, the most prestigious Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition in the world. What lies beyond the mastery? Read on to find out a little bit more about our in-house comedian coach!

Can you tell us about where you’re from and any interesting stories growing up? If you’re not originally from Melbourne, how’d you end up living in Melbourne, Australia?

“I’m from São Paulo-Brasil and I grew up there, the interesting thing about my childhood growing up is that I came from a not very safe city and martial arts was a natural way to learn how to defend myself. I ended up in Melbourne because of Gustavo Falciroli, he recommended me to Extreme MMA and then they brought me to this city. It was at this gym I met Simon Carson, and then AMMA became my new gym.”

Mantra/Quote to live by?

“Never come to Absolute Mixed Martial Arts drinking coffee, without bringing one for me.”

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

“Rice and beans.”

If you were going to be an animal, what would you be and why?

“A monkey, because I could annoy everyone in the jungle.”

What were some funny/interesting/weird hobbies you had when you were a teenager?

“I used to love old V8 cars and I bought my first Dodge Dart when I was 17. I spent all my money investing on improving that car.”

During a Absolute MMA staff retreat a zombie apocalypse breaks out. You get separated with 3 AMMA team members. Who would be part your dream team and why?

“Tao because he has an elevated soul, Simon because he is so annoying also the zombies couldn’t deal with that and Dan Howard because if the zombies attacked me I could put him in front of me and if he dies nobody will miss him anyway 😜”

“Thiago has the largest passion for jiu-jitsu I have seen in Australia. Not only has he helped build one of the best teams in Australia, he puts in crazy hours teaching and providing for his students. When others fill in for his schedule everyone remarks how crazy it is that he has continued to do the amount of scheduled classes and privates he does do and stilll not be a crazy person. Not only has he helped me personally on and off the mats he does his absolute best to help all his students. It is a priviledge to be his student.” – Julian Gonzalez

“Thiago has a huge head.” – Daniel Herbertson, friend and co-worker of Thiago since 2012. 


Photo credit: Jesse Olsen