Wonder Woman, Ottavia Busia-Bourdain

Fight Chix gets little surprises and get to meet some really cool people. We were excited to hear that Ottavia Busia-Bourdain, wife of Anthony Bourdain the man’s man host of the Layover and No Reservations, is a avid student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and huge fan of MMA, and Fight Chix!
How and who got you interested in MMA and/or BJJ etc?

I started taking kickboxing classes 5 years ago as a way to get back into shape after the birth of my daughter. It became clear pretty quickly this was not going to be just an exercise regime for me. The classes I was taking weren’t challenging enough so hired a private instructor and started doing some serious training.
In September 2007 I watched my first live MMA event, it was an Elite XC fight, Gina Carano was on the card and I was very inspired by what she did that night. I had mostly done stand up and only played around on the ground a little until I enrolled at Renzo Gracie Academy a few months ago. Now Bjj is the part of my training I look forward to the most.

Have you considered pursuing it as a career? And if so, what would your “fight” name be?

No, I never considered that, I recognize my limits,  but I’d like to compete as long as I can. My friends are jokingly suggesting Ottavia “Disastro” Bourdain

How did you first hear about Fight Chix?
A tweet from you guys! I checked out your website and loved it! Your t-shirts and fight gear are awesome.

What is your take on the UFC still unwilling to have women compete in the octagon?
I think it’s bullshit, but that said, I think we need a larger pool of high profile women fighters. As they have a steeper hill to climb, they need to be both technically good fighters and have the ability to grab attention.

You train at the Renzo Gracie Academy . How is it working with the best BJJ people in the business? 
It’s amazing. Since day one everybody has been so welcoming. Renzo is definitely the nicest guy in the business.  Igor Gracie is my professor, he’s  tremendously skilled, incredibly patient, and a great person. I see him as a real role model. When Igor travels,  Luciano Cristovam, who’s also awesome, trains me. I know I’m incredibly lucky, the academy is like my second home, it’s my happy place.

Since you are into MMA/BJJ obviously you are competitive. Do you train to compete or just for fun? What are your goals within the sport?
 I’m training everyday as if I had a fight tomorrow. For the moment I want to do as many bjj competitions as I can, but the idea of taking an MMA fight is appealing.

What is some of your favorite workout music? Songs, musicians, etc?
It’s a pretty eclectic playlist:  Foo Fighters, Blur, Smashing Pumpkins, Tokyo Police Club, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Rage Against The Machine, Vampire Weekend, Pearl Jam, MGMT.

When you go out to eat with Anthony, who picks the restaurant? 
My husband chooses the restaurant, but there better be meat on the menu.

Who is your favorite MMA fighter (male and/or female) and why?
Jon Bones Jones. He’s the most entertaining fighter out there, he’s capable of anything, you never know what he’s going to do next. That’s exciting.

Women’s sports have come a long way and at a rapid pace in the past 15 years. Why do you think that is? Have you considered teaming up with other women in the MMA world to help build and promote it?
They haven’t come far enough. I’d love to help  promote wmma and  I’m looking for an opportunity to do just that.

There is a video of you choking a guy out in a restaurant. How did this come about or is it a new pilot episode you and Anthony are working on?
Haha! That’s my good friend Doug. He owns an ice cream shop. This past summer I worked as his “apprentice” to help him raise money for Doctors Without Borders, so when he publicly called me out on Time Out New York to wrestle him to support New York Cares  I couldn’t say no. He clearly had no idea what he was getting into. It was all in good fun, but this is the perfect example of how a small woman with basic training can easily submit a big untrained dude.

Will you and Anthony take me out to eat and have drinks sometime? Just kidding.

Of course! As long as you are not a vegetarian!

Wanna look like Ottavia Busia-Bourdain? Check out our FightChix Gear and like us on Facebook for awesome deals and new events!

Emmy pic by Lydia Tenaglia
Igor Gracie and Fightchix rashguard pics by Matthew Cylinder


  1. I’ve read Bourdain’s books, love his shows, find him hilarious in the most cynical of ways. Saying that, Ottavia is just wrecking what “high society” women are supposed to be, and I love it! I don’t claim to know either of these people, but I think I’m correct in saying she owns any “discussion” with a fervor unseen by most men. Ottavia, keep kickin’ ass, own those high society types, and above all… just keep being yourself! You and Bourdain could bring down high society with style and class…. and perhaps a well placed snap kick.
    I am a fan of the both of you… and for Anthony, you did indeed find your soul mate to keep you in check.

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