Blake Bilder had a dream beginning to his UFC career. After snagging a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, he got a debut fight on a pay-per-view card in Perth, Australia. He capitalized on the opportunity by soundly beating hometown fighter Shane Young for his first UFC win.
In addition to having a great in-octagon experience, Bilder also got to see a bit of the world that was brand new to him. Both before and after the fight he spent some time in the land down under.
“We had a couple days where we got to hang out and experience Australia. We also went a little bit earlier than we were supposed to, just so we could get acclimated,” Bilder said. “Then we stayed a couple days afterwards, went to the mall, met some people and went out with them.”
However, it wasn’t all roses for Bilder. While experiencing the local cuisine and checking out some watering holes, Bilder was shown the door.
“I got kicked out of a restaurant actually for having a face tattoo,” he recalled in reference to the small cross tattoo he has just to the left of his left eye. “We were eating at this one place over by the beach and we’re thristy – like ‘oh, man it would be nice to get some beverages.”
After signing some autographs for a table nearby, he headed in to the restaurant to attempt to get the drinks.
“I’m heading inside because we haven’t got out drinks yet, thinking maybe you just have to go ask for it. I walk in and the guy is like ‘Oy, mate, terribly sorry, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” Bilder said. “I was like ‘well, I think my coach just wanted a lemonade, my friend Lou wanted an orange juice, and I’ll take a coffee’. And he’s not saying anything.”
After getting no response, he started to realize it was not a joke. He not only was not going to get a drink, but was going to have to leave the premise
“He says ‘I’m terribly sorry, but we had a complaint from one of the customers – we had a terrible problem with bikies around here – and your face tattoo, we just can’t have that,” he said in reference to issues the area has had with bikers. “Oh, my gosh, he’s serious!”
Bilder took it in stride though with no hard feelings. In addition to noting that it was just a cultural thing, he took solace in knowing that other famous people have dealt with a similar issues.
“It’s an Australian thing, I guess Post Malone got kicked out of a few places as well,” he said with a laugh.
Bilder hopes to run into less trouble as he heads up to Canada for UFC 289. He’ll take on another hometown fighter in Kyle Nelson. That fight takes place on the ESPN+ prelims beginning at 8pm this Saturday.
The entire audio of this interview can be heard below at 2:19.