If you need some frequent flier miles in order to travel to watch Kansas City, Mo., for Invicta FC 6 this weekend, just ask Austrian native and Muay Thai veteran Livia von Plettenberg. She may be able to help you out.

Although she currently calls Austria home, von Plettenberg trains with the renowned Team Quest in Portland, Ore. It’s a long way from Vienna, but as she explained to The MMA Corner recently, it’s a necessity that she make the lengthy trek.

“At the moment, there is no gym in Austria offering the well-rounded training a MMA fighter needs. Also, there are too few skilled training partners, so staying permanently in Austria is definitely a disadvantage for a fighter,” she said.

Von Plettenberg (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Prior to training at Team Quest and competing in MMA, von Plettenberg competed in Muay Thai and sports a 12-6 professional record in the sport. She was also the 2011 K-1 European Professional Champion. It’s with these skills that von Plettenberg was able to win her professional MMA debut despite some shortcomings.

“I got my nickname because of my incredibly short arms. My reach is not too bad though; my shoulders compensate for my arms,” she said jokingly.

Indeed “T-Rex” will likely have to continue to deal with a height and reach disadvantage while competing at strawweight. This was fairly evident in her Invicta FC debut against top 115-pound prospect Joanne Calderwood. Even though she suffered a loss in her last bout, it was a valuable learning experience.

“I think I did pretty well for taking the fight on eight days’ notice,” she said. “Of course, there are countless things I wasn’t too happy about, but that is the great thing about losing a fight. It shows me my biggest flaws and on what I have to work on the most. And who else can say that even Joanne Calderwood couldn’t knock them out?”

Among learning about her strengths and weaknesses, von Plettenberg believes the Calderwood fight opened her eyes to potentially finding a new home at 105 pounds.

“I never thought about dropping down to 105 before that fight, because it would have been impossible to get a fight in Austria at that weight,” she said. “When Invicta decided to bring me back, it was clear to me that I wanted to have as little height and reach disadvantage as possible.”

Von Plettenberg (R) connects with a right hand (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Prior to making the weight cut, however, von Plettenberg faces a tough test in Cassie Robb at Invicta FC 6.

“From what I saw, Cassie is a scrappy girl who likes to push the pace in a fight,” von Plettenberg explained. “She seems to be a better grappler than striker, so this match will be interesting.”

It will be interesting because von Plettenberg trains with Matt Lindland at Team Quest. The gym has produced a number of quality wrestlers turned MMA fighters in the past. The Austrian hopes the trend will continue with her. She also hopes to avoid Robb’s ground game.

On paper, it looks like a typical striker vs. grappler match-up. Von Plettenberg will undoubtedly look to keep it on the feet and use her striking advantage, whereas Robb will look to take the fight to the mat. A victory is claimed through the work done well before both competitors step into the cage and von Plettenberg is sure to note how many people have helped her along the way.

Livia would like to thank BOXHAUS, her mom and her brother for their support, coach Matt [Lindland] and everyone at Team Quest, Jessica for taking her in every time she’s in Portland and her team at the Pro-Gym Sportcenter in Vienna. Follow Livia on Twitter: @liviplettenberg

Top Photo: Livia von Plettenberg (R) throws a strike (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

About The Author

Kyle Symes
Staff Writer

Kyle is a recent graduate of Aurora University, where he obtained a Bachelor's in Communications. Kyle resides in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He played baseball and football in both high school and college, but is now focusing on an amateur MMA career.