Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bas Rutten On IFL/Stretcher, Shamrock's Claims [Pt. 1]


Bas Rutten is one of few true undisputed legends of the sport of mixed-martial arts. He's best known as the former three-times King of Pancrase champion and for his flawless run in the UFC, where he captured their Heavyweight title belt as well.

These days Bas has been managing his two gyms, his IFL team The Anacondas, and trading verbal jabs with the Vice President of PRIDE Fighting Championships Jerry Millen or fellow MMA legend Frank Shamrock. In the following fourty minute, multi-part interview with "El Guapo", we talk about these subjects and more in great detail.


Luis Cruz of This is Luis Cruz of and I'm joined here today with "El Guapo" Bas Rutten. Bas, what's up?

Bas Rutten: I'm good. How you doing? Not too bad, not too bad. Before we get into it here, how's the gym doing?

Bas Rutten: Ahh everything's good. And you know I got actually two - I got one in my hometown of Thousand Oaks and the one with Randy Couture in Hollywood and they're both doing great. Awesome. Now the first thing I wanna get to is the IFL. This Saturday your team is facing off with the Razorclaws, but before we get to that - there was a lot of negative feedback on "Battleground," the IFL show you will be hosting which airs Monday on MyNetworkTV. What happened, what's your take on things?

Bas Rutten: Well, a mistake that's what happened you know? And the IFL with the stretcher, they didn't know or want it in but it happened and there's nothing they can do about it. And they say the only thing we can do about it is - and this is a team so it's everybody's same fault - but we're gonna listen to the fans and we're gonna make sure that this mistake never happens again. So that's what they're gonna do and next Monday we're gonna see no more stretchers [begins laughing], no more 9-1-1 calls [laughs more]. It was crazy, but trust me - we all had the same feeling when we saw it. What happened was it was such a short amount of time that we had to work on it and then like four days before the date - the producer got changed on top of that. So for some reason, they slipped it in, they said they didn't wanna stick the finger out to anybody - it's a team concept so it's everybody's fault. Now my quick opinion on that is I was cringing throughout. I mean right from the beginning we hear the flatline, I was like "oh man." And then it kind of looked like it was thrown together real quick.

Bas Rutten: Oh yeah, absolutely. It looked like one big informercial right? But that's know, you learn from your mistakes and that's what they said. We're open for constructive criticism, so everyone out there please keep coming with all the stuff and they're gonna work on it. They're gonna do what the fans want to do. They already know what the fans want. But this was the first show you know, c'mon. It's a new thing, network TV, new people - everything. So, you know, it just got a little side-tracked. I give them big kudos for listening to the feedback and acknowledging it publicly. Putting out a press release and stuff to let everybody know they heard them. That was cool.

Bas Rutten: Yeah, they're really good guys. Now that you've been coaching, have you got any itch to actually fight in the IFL?

Bas Rutten: No, I can't. Like I announced after my last fight, I got the problem with my leg - the combo package. The thing is really f*cking with me. It's really ...I can't do anything. I'm standing outside, if I stretch my leg any my knee hurts. If I move side-to-side, my knee hurts. I mean the thing is so bad. I can't even train. So now it is out of the question for me [to be fighting]. Yeah, there's definitely no need to risk hurting yourself. Now your Anacondas. Your boys will be taking on the Razorclaws this coming Saturday. Now with the Razorclaws, I'm sure you've already been asked a ton about this thing with Frank Shamrock [their coach]. He made some comments that you said yes the first time he asked [for a fight against him] and then you changed your story and made excuses even after he offered you a million dollars.

Bas Rutten: Yeah, yeah. From what I know, first off, Frank Shamrock doesn't have a million dollars and it was his company. He said, "Bas, my company that I'm gonna fight for, they're willing to give you a million dollars if you fight." Now I know already because I announced to the world (so that's very strange already that he said in his story) that I was not gonna fight anymore. But still you know he wants to come up with a bullshit story, that's his thing. Then he says that it was against him. Ok, now let me see. You left the UFC because of me because I went down to Middleweight. He said to the former owner Bob Meyrowitz that he was gonna fight Tito [Ortiz] first. Because he left the UFC, Bob Meyrowitz then says "ok Bas, then you and Tito are gonna fight for the title." I wanted to be the first guy in history to hold the Middleweight and the Heavyweight title. So I started training in Japan. Then Bob Meyrowitz gives me a call and says, "Bas, Frank heard it and he said 'nope I'm the champion, I will come back to the UFC. If I beat Tito, then I'm gonna fight Bas.'" He beats Tito then he grabs the microphone and everyone is standing up and cheering and then he says, "yeah, there's no more fighters for me left, so I feel that I gotta retire." So that is a typical case of yellow fever - that's what I call it because he didn't wanna fight. So now there's this story when I got my knee smashed, I can not fight anymore and then suddenly he wants to challenge me? That's just a strange thing to do. Total lie. And I know Frank and I'm okay with everything because I know the way he promotes things and that's just his way. So I'm cool with it, I just wish he'd do it with the truth and not with lies. I mean, c'mon. Now does his self-marketing and the like actually irritate you? Does it genuinely get to you or is it not that big of a deal?

Bas Rutten: Nah. For me it's like for one thing I gotta defend myself. Then the other side I go on the internet and people are like "Bas why do you even defend yourself, everybody knows he's full of crap anyway." I'm still like ...I'm a fighter and I gotta do something back. And he started it so I'm like if he started it, I got to have an answer back. And that's my answer back. Like I said I have no bad feelings towards him it's just why would you come up with these things? There's something definitely wrong with him. The same thing he says, "oh Bas I don't wanna fight Bas," this was in the past because I was supposedly too heavy or because I was too old. So there I go ya see, he's got another problem in his head. He goes, "if I lost two pounds I'd beat him up," or I was too old. The age difference is exactly the same as it is now so I never got that either. You see what I mean? Now does this in any way add to the fire of the team match up you guys have coming up this Saturday night?

Bas Rutten: No. I think that he wants to do that. I'm not gonna put pressure on my team. My team doesn't need that kind of pressure. This is something between my team and his team. This is not something between me and Frank because I've already did that three times and I won three times. Although they let me lose the first time, the president from Pancrase came to apologize and said I won. But it was just the first time we fought. He was the brother of Ken Shamrock [and] they needed him to make an impact so they let him win the fight. In my heart I beat him three times instead of two times so there's nothing to prove for me here, you know? Three strikes is out, that's what they say. Alright now let's go ahead and get to the teams. Real quick before I get to your team. Do you feel there is an advantage in the IFL to a team that's been together pretty much from the beginning as compared to a team who consistently changes members on their roster?

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