Cutajar, Mixed Martial Artist
Cutajar official website
Cutajar and Russell Crowe
London or bust for former jailbird Mick - 10th
out at the gym was my saviour but the old jail
gym was a very, very intimidating place. One day
I was in there doing a workout with Ivan Milat.
He was a good training mate, and we were halfway
into our session when two guys walked in with
a metal pole. It was made from a bed leg but they
had reworked it into a kind of syringe - a metal
pole inside a metal pole. They rammed it into
the side of another guy's head. He had been using
the lateral pull-down just next to me. The weights
crashed back to base, and Ivan and I just looked
at each other. We were covered in thick, sticky
blood. The guy was stretchered out of the gym,
his exposed brain still pulsing. Nothing came
of it. We finished up our training for the day
but I knew I would be back as soon as the mess
was cleared up. I had an Olympic dream to train
Worlds: A Journey To Prison And Back
CUTAJAR was robbed of his Olympic dream. But there
was a time when he was the one doing the robbing.
the time he swiped $39,000 in a bungled armed
robbery in a scene that could have been taken
straight from Underbelly. Cutajar was following
a dream then, too. There was a chance to become
one of the first Australians to feature in the
Ultimate Fighting Championships, the mixed martial
arts craze that has grown into an American phenomenon.
The only problem was that Cutajar didn't have
the money to get to the US. His solution was to
don blue contact lenses and a balaclava before
raiding an armoured car. Two security guards approached.
This is almost where the Mick Cutajar story ends.
they'd have got their pistols out, I would have
been dead," Cutajar deadpanned. "So
I knocked them both out."
he found the money he was looking for in an office
upstairs. To this day, Cutajar swears he wasn't
packing a weapon, relying only on the moves that
made him a judo, ju-jitsu and cage-fighting champion.
For five months, the dough - the security company
claimed the sum was $120,000 - was stashed in
the bottom of his training bag. But when he was
busted for the crime, after his then-girlfriend
dobbed him in, he was charged with armed robbery.
should have been the end of Cutajar's sporting
career. Sharing a cell with Ivan Milat has a way
of doing that. But in his three years behind bars,
Cutajar was driven by two sporting ambitions -
to play first-grade rugby league and to represent
Australia in judo at the Olympics.
gave him something to aspire to amid a backdrop
of bashings, rapes and hangings, which he says
were a regular occurrence in the slammer. From
1995-98, Cutajar did time with some of the most
notorious figures in Australian history. Pedophiles.
Rapists. A cellmate busted defrauding $130 million.
wasn't the worst bloke in there," Cutajar
said of the serial killer Milat.
tells the story of another cellmate was routinely
bashed while the guards looked away. It happened
a lot in Long Bay Jail.
soon as the door opened, the screws would turn
around and someone would run in and flog the crap
out of him," he said.
himself was often targeted, by prisoners and guards.
On one occasion, he was bashed by officers, and
spent a month in confinement. All of his letters
to friends and family were screened, so he he
taught himself to write in Aramaic from symbols
in an encyclopedia. He hid his prison diaries
in a garden bed, much of the contents scrawled
in the ancient hieroglyphic language. You can
never be too careful.
than a decade later, he can still get skittish.
when I first met [wife] Stacey, her daughter used
to get up to go to the toilet," Cutajar said,
making the shape of a gun with his fingers.
don't trust many people.
Bathurst [jail], people would rush you at night
and try to bash you. I was still ready for that
when I got out.
years I wasn't able to sleep with the door closed,
I'd wake up at the first sign of noise. I used
to sleep with a handgun or a blade at the edge
of my bed."
atmosphere might not have been conducive to training
for an athletic career, but Cutajar excelled.
He was a star for the prison rugby league team,
the Malabar Sharks, and even trialled for a contract
for the Parramatta Eels. But just as an NRL career
appeared a distinct possibility, the big backrower
suffered a horrific broken leg during a prison
game. Prison officers refused to give him proper
medical treatment, and he was illegally transferred
from prison to prison. Football career over.
went in for a $40,000 armed robbery. I sued them
for $90,000 and won," he said. The Wollongong
product also came agonisingly close to his Olympic
dream. A Games appearance was going to be the
ultimate redemption, a chance to remembered for
something other than a moment of madness 14 years
ago. Cutajar controversially missed out on the
final spot in the Aussie judo team for Beijing,
selected instead as the first reserve. But moments
after compatriot Matt Cellotti lost his first
judo match of the Games, it was revealed he was
facing a Nick D'Arcy-style assault charge in Melbourne.
Celotti was immediately kicked out of the Olympic
village and sent home in disgrace. Cutajar was
devastated. He was the man who should have been
make matters worse, his non-selection cost him
close to $80,000 in sponsorship. And the matter
might not be over. Cutajar claims that the Judo
Federation of Australia knew about Cellotti's
court case, and is considering legal action. However,
JFA secretary Stewart Brain denied the organisation
had any prior knowledge of Celotti's assault charge.
dream isn't over for Cutajar. Even though he will
be 43 come the London Games, he is adamant he'll
be there. "Hell yeah," he said. "I've
been training in judo for 34 years. There's nothing
to say that I can't do it at my age. The only
thing that could stop me is if I don't have the
sponsorship I need to get there.
ask me, 'What it was like missing out in China?'
In the end, it won't matter when I make it next
if he doesn't make London, Cutajar has changed
his life since he got out. He's changed the lives
of other people as well.
owns a judo gymnasium in Wollongong. And completed
university degrees. He's written an instructional
judo book featuring 2475 photos over 475 pages.
He's lectured drug addicts and others who were
bound to re-enact his mistakes. He's given the
unemployed a second chance through a Centrelink-funded
sports coaching program. And made cameo acting
appearances in everything from Neighbours to Underbelly.
On the day The Sun-Herald sat down with him, Cutajar
was in the middle of choreographing and starring
in an action scene for the sequel to the Spartan
no Hollywood tale is likely to match the one about
the Grace Bros model turned convict. The guy whose
first romantic relationship after doing time for
armed robbery was with a bank clerk. And yet after
cataloguing all of the brutality and depravity
of jail life in a tell-all book, biographer Robyn
Morris insists that, at its core, Cutajar's tale
is a love story.
dad once said to me that you're a man that will
get what you want late in life," Cutajar
he was right.
of the 2008 OLYMPIC selection (on stand by as
The 2008 OJU Olympic selection for the Australian
Judo team was finalised on the 21st Mach in NZ
Christchurch. Olympic hopeful and Illawarra martial
arts champion Mick Cutajar contested the under
100kg division against the Oceania best athletes
also trying to qualify. The division was a cutthroat
on the points for both Mick and fellow Australian
Matt Celotti from Victoria with the inclusion
of the current world cup champion Andrew Pragnell
& Jason coster both from NZ standing in there
The draw consisted of 8 players and draws were
handed out the day before with Cutajar securing
a good place in the first round against Eric Jose
from Guma throwing him with ippon in 1min 30 sec
to move into the 2nd round.
Cutajar had hoped that both Celotti and Pragnell
would suffer losses in there first round to keep
them out of reach for Olympic points, both players
won there round 1 moving to the 2nd round where
Cutajar caused the biggest upset of the contest
by beating current NZ national champion and current
world cup champion in what was one of the most
physical bouts of the day with both players exchanging
hard attacks, Cutajar said “ Pragnell is
in the top 15 in the world and is a very strong
physical player he causes players to panic, at
one stage he attacked me so hard we both flew
off the mat and into the big TV screen score board
causing it to smash, after this it was time to
lift it up a notch and with this I was able to
counter him with a leg reap to land on top of
him then to hold him down to win the fight and
move to the final and play off for the gold medal
and Olympic selection.
With celotti wining his 2nd round now moving to
the final to also contest the gold. Cutajar said
that for the 4hr break from his last fight he
had plenty of time to weigh up all the training
and all the possibilities that lay ahead. He said
“ without a doubt so much was running through
my head, this was it this was the final of all
finals, I can go to the Olympics”
The first few seconds was a test of strengths
with Cutajar securing a yuko (6pts) first, causing
Celotti to pick it up a level, they exchanged
attacks and counter attacks for almost 1min 30
sec, with Celotti securing a 5pointer against
Cutajar who stepped out side the mat area, but
still leading, then both attacked a gain with
Celotti getting an inside leg to throw Cutajar
who turned in mid air to counter, but was to late
having 8pts scored against him, now Cutajar was
forced to play catch up for the last 1minute as
several strong attacks were blocked and Cutajar
losing the gold medal to place 2nd in the Oceania
and 2nd in the Olympic selection.
Cutajar said after the fight, Mat is a great young
player, he forced me to conseed the penalty, I
did my best against the best that were in the
running for the Olympic team, I Played my best
judo I have ever played and at the same time gained
the respect of the judo world, these guys are
aged between 20 & 28 years of age. I have
sealed a reserve position if anything happens
to Mat and he is unable to compete I will be included
in the Olympic team. I though being my birthday
it would happen but the better player won, it
was the most technical, physical judo I have ever
For the future, Cutajar also said that after placing
2nd at Olympic selection he had created history
(coming from prison to make the final qualifying
event for the Olympic games) and having spoken
to several senior members had only reinforced
his decision to rest up from the international
level until the end of 2010 where he will be ready
to retrial adding this would only be possible
if financial backing was made available and would
consider any offer that would be placed before
him adding its not out of my reach I just need
people to believe in me and help me.
a press release speaking from a dinner function
held at Dapto show ground, for the Soccer season
opener, attending as a special guest (along with
other sporting identity's) and wearing his beloved
Rabbits shirt, Mick Cutajar was speaking on the
eve of the week he leaves for the Oceania Judo
championship, which is held in New Zealand Christchurch
march 20th – 23rd, this is a very important
event, as this is the final selection to qualify
for the 2008 Australian Olympic Judo team, less
then 5days away
past few weeks have been a mixed series of events
firstly missing both the Act international &
Syd open in February due to illness, training
was to continue if he was to make any chances
for selection. With a win in last Sundays march
3rd NSW selection event for the Australian Judo
Nationals 2008, this was a much needed event to
relax and release some tension.
training is now complete and we will be hoping
that a good result will follow, I have been lucky
enough to have good people working with me, pushing
me and backing me. The professional financial
assistance alone has made this final leg worth
the hard work, Local companies such as K&R
FABRICATION, COASTLINE BRICK LAYING, CBC CONSTRUCTION,
ALLMEN INDUSTRIAL & DOWN UNDER SAFETY have
opened up the door to what is normally unobtainable,
with out them I would not have created history.
remember there was a great deal of people who
would not even look at me, (now they should be
ashamed of them selves) but for the very few and
I do mean very few,...a very BIG thank you
Australian Team has been the strongest its been
in years with the inclusion of some very talented
athletes, when asked if he knew his opponents
said,."I do know my opponents, VIC Matt Cellotti
(current JFA national champion), QLD John Brendecke,
NZ, Andrew Pragnell, (current OJU world cup champion
& who leads the points for selection), Jason
Koster, & Scott Bade, then there will be players
from FIJ, Guna, Tonga. It all comes down to winning
a medal and hoping that the players from NZ don’t
place. All of these guys are professional athletes
you just don't take for granted who or what they
are, they are here to do the same thing as me,...and
thats to qualify. Mick is the current (3 x time
Kodokan National champion)
do I expect?,... The contest level will be very
hard and powerful, there will be upsets and triumphs
its all apart of the road to the Olympics, each
player will have their own story of this road.
The past few weeks have been filled with mixed
moods, change in sleep patterns, in meals, in
my personal life alone I have had to not be the
social butterfly I normally am, its been very
trying for my family who have had to try to adjust
to what its like at this point in time for me,
so much has been put on the line.
are not aware so much can happen for my personal
life if I am lucky to succeed and move forward
to the next level of my life. Either way I have
achieved so much and with this, a lot of support
towards getting me to this point.
already created Australian history (due to my
past) by qualifying for the last major selection
in such an event, an event that brings the world
as one its an amazing feeing right now, my main
job is to qualify the rest will happen I am happy
with what i have already completed.
division will be played on Good Friday, a day
after my birthday (25 again) so I hope that its
asked the question of what if,..NO selection!.
Well i think we will wait until next Friday, however
I will sit down and weigh up what it would be,
as far as financial availability for me to contest
the 2012, its not out of my reach its money thats
out of my reach,.lets face it I'm 39 now, look
what Ive achieved with limitations, then imagine
what i could achieve with full backing for that
2yr period from 2010-2012, but we will wait and
misses Games team, by Chris Roots - 27th March
Mick Cutajar came within one fight of making the
Australian Olympic judo team at the Oceania Championship
in Christchurch last weekend.
39-year-old went down in the 100kg final to Victorian
Matt Celotti, losing the opportunity to be one
of the biggest stories at the Beijing Games.
has turned his life around since being the cell
mate of serial killer Ivan Milat in Long Bay Jail,
where he spent three years as "a young bloke"
on an armed robbery charge.
has since become a family man and completed a
degree at Wollongong University and is already
targeting the 2012 London Olympics.
had five hours between the rounds and the final
to think about things - all the things I have
done and how hard I had worked to get to where
I was," Cutajar said.
not the end for me because a lot of people get
this close and then go on to represent at the
had beaten New Zealand's World Cup champion Andrew
Pragnell during the rounds in a major upset and
took an early lead in the final.
Celotti forced a penalty on Cutajar then scored
an eight-point throw to take a lead the Wollongong
warrior could not peg back.
is a great young player and he forced me to concede
a penalty," Cutajar said. "I did my
best against the best that were in the running
for the Olympic team, but the better man won on
have sealed a reserve position and if anything
happens to Matt I will be included in the Olympic
not going to retire because I have proven myself
against the best now and I feel like I'm still
Mick Cutajar is now represented by Mediaman
2007 - Mick Cutajar finished third in his division
at the 15th Osaka international goodwill contest
at the Ancient Osaka Castle in Japan
2007 - South Sydney Juniors officially sponsor
footage and promos of Mick's matches and story
the Mick Cutajar journey via the Mick
Cutajar official web blog
Cutajar official website
Mick on road to redemption - The Daily Telegraph
- 17th November 2007
happy with Osaka third - Illawarra Mercury - 28th
Mick "CUTTA" CUTAJAR
From: Woolongong, NSW
182 cm / 6'
100 kg / 220 lb
Judo / Muay Thai
CUTTA's submission fighting
Brett HARRIOT / Silver Thai
win: 8 - loss: 3 - draw: 0
Mick is a superstar of Australian MMA. His domestic
achievements include a win over Dave FRENDIN and a
brutal Knockout over the very highly touted Al REYNISH
fresh off a TKO win over Elvis SINOSIC. Mick is also
a superbly credentialled international judo player
having won Australian, European and Japanese titles.
He is a current 3rd dan black belt and is a member
of the Malta Olympic team. Current #1 Heavyweight
My Judo has become a way of life not only to me but
also to those around me. The foundations were set
from a very young age through to growing up 'My Judo'
is something that will guide you throughout your life.
years now I have tried and tested many techniques.
To my mind this is what makes a well-rounded judo
player. You must be able to visualize the techniques
firstly and then, to apply them in a practical manner.
is not a beginners training book, commonsense and
the correct guidance are the essentials of learning
these techniques, as most of the techniques shown
in this book can be used in all martial art type sport
such as judo, striking jujitsu and full submission
no rules contests. However, some techniques are forbidden
in competitions and randori (training).
has that right to be fully experienced by all who
wish to learn. We as coaches, trainers and instructors
must maintain the roots of our sport so that Professor
Jigoro Kano's art is not lost because of contest rule
changes and restrictions that limit the full flow
of Judo in its natural sense. It is incredible how
many other martial artists have copied Jigoro Kano's
deadlier moves and renamed them. Today Judo is the
pre-eminent Olympic / Martial Art Sport.
and Combinations are hard to come by so I hope you
enjoy the few techniques that may entice you to be
creative in your own development and continue your
quest to learn and achieve your goals as a practitioner
of the magnificent art of Judo.
BSC Psychology Major
Traditional Training coordinator
Introduction to Biography "Two Worlds"
Worlds" tells the astounding story of Mick Cutajar
a young boy initially afraid of the dark to his journey
into the dark world of Security, Personal protection,
Debt collection leading to a three-year jail sentence
for armed robbery. This was where he learned to inhabit
a new world which eventually aided him to be become
a human being concerned with helping others in countless
man was transformed to a new world of University Psychology
Tutor; World-class award winning Martial Artist and
Specialist for special Interest group.
Worlds" blends electrifying tales of fact and
fiction, photography and anecdotes about those who
knew the specialist who inhabits two worlds.
PREVIOUS MEDIA APPEARANCES
TV FILM RADIO
All Saints. Mission Impossible 1 and 2. ABC. I 98
FM Illawarra Neighbours Blue Murder Wave FM Illawarra
Headlands Australian Film Fight (offered me a position
Numerous interviews: Specialist Martial Art Choreography)
Prime Capital & WIN Wollongong.
CONFIDENCE AND DEVELOMENT COURSES currently running
1. Life Without Barriers
Autistic Association group of NSW. Teaching personal
self defence, coordination, motivation & reduction
Stranger Danger for Kids
Sports Judo and danger awareness, control anti social
behaviour, increase motivation & confidence lectures
Training self-defence and confidence for adults.
Specialising in obesity control, exercise management,
personal heath responsiveness and affirmative social
conduct.( Wollongong; Sydney; Gold Coast and Southern
Free School training and social behaviour management.
Specialising in psychology applied awareness control
and direction. Developing confidence and social responsibility
through a series of physical exercises.
5. Devised "PSRP" Personal Safety &
This is a unique program for employees of eg: NAB;
COMMONWEALTH BANK; STATE EMPLOYEES and CBD workers.
It takes place at their respective place of employment
once a week for six weeks creating confidence and
self defence techniques whilst at work, walking to
and from work and travelling home on public transport.
Cutajar's sporting / achievements record
· Current world cup Ju-jitsu gold medallist
2006 & National grand champion for 2005-06
· Current Australian Judo Team member for the
2006 Oceania championships (Tahiti)
· Australian Kodokan Judo Champion 2005 u/100kg
· Oceania World Cup Judo championships 3rd
· Became the first person in Australia to complete
Diploma level in Martial Art from the International
Collage of Kenshusei, Melbourne. Allowing me to now
run Austudy approved martial arts career training
for youth, Pensioners, school leavers, long term unemployed
& security personal.
Total history of each art
In April of 2001, I was selected to represent the
Malta Olympic Committee in the small nations games
which were held at San Marino in may2001. I competed
in, Malta winning the selections, Italy where I won
sliver, San Marino where I won bronze, training camps
were also held at Geneva & Rome 2001
30 years in judo 3rd Dan, Senior Coach & examiner.
I was a member of the Malta Elite National Player's
Team 2001. & now apart of the Australian Judo
Winner of gold silver & bronze medals at Invitation
Internationals QLD. VIC. NSW, 93 94, 99, 2000. Olympic
trials 1988, 1992 4th. Oceania games 6th.
Country champion in 3 divisions for 3 years, winner
of 25 state titles.
Australian judo champion university games 2000,2001,2003.
(this is the 3rd gold out of the 6 medals won by me
for the University of Wollongong).
Finished,2nd in the Geneva international 2001, finished
3rd in Small nations games 2001 representing the Malta
Australian Kodokan Judo champion 2002, 2nd & 2
gold in 2003, silver 2004. Gold u/100kgs & vet
Pan Pacific 2002 -04 Internationals gold in the u/100kgs
2003 Masters games 1st u/100 & 2nd in the open.
Australian representative at the Osaka International
Judo championships 8th
camps at the AIS Canberra 88, 91, Colorado springs
91, Italy 2001, Malta 2001, Geneva 2001& San Marino
Pangration, 6th Dan, Senior Coach & examiner .Australian
champion 2000, 2001,2003.
Winner of the A.P.F player of the year 2001, 5 gold's
2nd in the world titles Greece 2000,
1st in the world titles selection u/100 & open.
Was selected to represent Australia at the 2003 world
titles in Greece September 03.
Goshin-jitsu Judo: 2nd Dan, Senior Coach & examiner
5 gold, 2 silver. ISKA world cup Ju-jitsu gold medallist
(1999,2000,2xgold in 2003)
Player of the year 1999. ISKA National & NOW world
cup jujitsu champion
fighting (vale tudo rules) NO RULES undefeated champion
Heavy weight champion 1999-2004 including fox fights.11
win 3 loss 10 by KO, Australian rep, in Japan, Greece,
Korea and New Zealand, Queensland.
Cutajar official website
Cutajar - 29th January 2007
Tingle, Mick Cutajar and Keith
McCraw (Souths Juniors - 26th March 2007)
Cutajar and Keith McCraw
Cutajar, Russell Crowe
and Keith McCraw (Telstra
Cutajar achieved 3rd place in the Japan Cup, November
Cutajar, Mario Fenech and Mick Cutajar (South
Sydney Juniors 2008 Ball)
Mediaman and South Sydney Juniors facilitate a meeting and handover of the Jack Gibson Shield at Telstra Stadium
Cutajar speaks at the Maroubra Youth Drug Forum to a packed room of 200 plus people.
to train South Sydney Juniors players in The Grapple
makes Australian 2008 Olympics Team as reserve
secures online advertisers and affiliates for
The Sydney Morning Herald
Daily Telegraph (including front page)
The Southern Courier