MMA Hall of Fame: Bas Rutten
El Guapo, Bas Rutten, makes his way to Fighting Insider's MMA Hall of Fame this week.
MMA legend, Bas Rutten, was born on February 24, 1965 in Tilburg, Netherlands. At the age of 11, he became interested in mixed martial arts after watching Enter the Dragon. Though his parents would disprove it, Bas Rutten started to train boxing at an elementary school’s backyard with his friend. Eventually, he trained in Tae Kwon Do and earned his 2nd degree Black Belt. Following that, Bas Rutten began learning Kyokushin Karate and earned a 2nd degree Black Belt.
Bas Rutten started competing in Muay Thai Kickboxing at the age of 20. He fought 16 times, and won his first 14 matches by knock out. Unfortunately, he loss his last two fights via technical knockout. After that, he started his mixed martial arts career in Pancrase where he became King of Pancrase thrice.
In 1998, Bas Rutten signed with UFC and debuted in the promotion with 19-fight winning streak. Originally slated to face Randy Couture in a UFC Heavyweight Championship title match, Bas Rutten faced Tsuyoshi Kohsaka at UFC 18 after the former was stripped from the title due to a dispute. The Tilburg native won the match by TKO.
The following year, he retired in active MMA competition. But despite that, he worked as a color commentator in several MMA organizations like Pride, and has appeared in numerous television shows, movies and video games. Bas Rutten also coaches MMA and has authored several instructional materials.
As a MMA fighter, Bas Rutten popularized his favorite Liver Shot tactics in the sport.
Pancrase Hybrid Wrestling
King of Pancrase Openweight Championship (Three time)
Ultimate Fighting Championship
UFC Heavyweight Championship (One time)