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Rodrigo Medeiros

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Exclusive Bas Rutten interview !!!

Click here to learn more about Bas Rutten

Editor’s note: We would like to thank Bas Rutten’s manager, Don Clovis, for making this interview possible.

Gus: Why do they call you "El Guapo"?

Bas: I named myself that. I saw the movie “The three amigos”, THERE IS A REALLY UGLY Mexican bandit in that movie that everybody called, “El Guapo”! I thought it would be funny to call myself that, since I already called myself the “Most handsome fighter in NHB”. It’s a joke, don’t get me wrong.

Gus: I must confess that I am impressed by Dutch fighters. They are tough, fast and decisive. What do you think  makes them so professional?

Bas: I don’t really know. Is it that we have something to prove because the country is so small?? I really can’t tell you and a lot of people ask me the same question.
The funniest answer came from Japan; they thought it was because there are hormones in the meat that we eat in Holland. I thought that was a good one.

Gus: I heard that you had some problem with your health. Are you OK now?

Bas: I am OK now. I had a long time off and I am feeling good again.

Gus: How many different styles of fighting have you trained in? Do you have any ranks? Who do you consider your teacher?

Bas: Tae Kwon Do 2nd Degree, Kyokushin Karate 2nd Degree, Thai boxing yellow slip (just kidding), Kyokushin All round fighting 5th Degree (I received this after I defeated Takahashi. I didn’t do any test for this).
I thought a lot myself, striking wise I would say that I learned the most at Mean Ho gym in Breda Holland. Cor Hemmers is the teacher there, he is very good. I started learning the basics in Grappling with Chris Dolman in Holland.

Gus: What is your favorite move?

Bas: KO to the body.

Gus: Some people say that there is no such thing as being "ring-proven" and that true martial artists don't compete. What is your opinion?

Bas: That makes no sense. These people are too afraid to fight and make that up as an excuse NOT to fight. Everybody knows that fighting and training are totally different. You have the, so called “Dojo fighters”, they are real good in the Dojo, but if they have to fight with all the pressure, they can’t perform. What is a better proving ground for a fighter than a ring or a cage or a mat?
It is like saying that soccer, basketball, golf, swimming etc. etc. is not done by true athletes because they compete! If this is true for Martial Artists, it should be true for every sport. That makes no sense! I say they are too afraid to prove themselves.
What is a better way to test your limits than competing? If you train without competing don’t be so sure that it will be enough when you have to defend yourself on the street!

Gus: Some people say that NHB events will never be as popular as western boxing events. Tell us your opinion. What needs to be done to make these events more popular?

Bas: People don’t understand what is going on in NHB style fighting. Boxing is really easy to understand, you hit somebody, he goes down. Everybody can understand this.
In MMA there are submission moves that the normal people who don’t compete do not understand. This is by the way very understandable, because that was the same with me and any other fighter in the beginning. If I take somebody in an inverted heel hook and the guy taps, most people think: “What was that? That didn’t hurt, it has to be fake”. What they don’t know is that a heel hook can break your knee or ankle or even, (it happened to an opponent of mine) break your shin bone.
As long as the people who are watching MMA don’t understand the sport, it will not be as popular as boxing. Boxing is also there for ages and ages and it is hard to beat. It will get better, trust me, the stand up rule is also a good one, makes it more spectacular.

Gus: Who are the fighters you respect most?

Bas: Sakuraba, Duane Ludwig, Ramon Dekkers, Nogeira, Heith Herring, man, there are so many of them!

Gus: I saw some of your fights. You use some open hand strikes a lot. Do you think that bare knuckle punches are not that effective as it was once believed?

Bas: Bare knuckle punches ARE effective; who ever says they are not doesn’t know what he is talking about. But… if you hit somebody with bare knuckles on the top of his skull, or anywhere on his skull, there is the possibility of breaking your hand. If you have to continue fighting that could be a big problem. By the way, the glove was invented to protect the hand and NOT the head!
Palm strikes are good at certain moments, to the back of his head or when your opponent is taller then you, under his jaw (see my first Pancrase fight). You don’t break your hand that fast, but you still can, (it happened to me).

Gus: Let us say that I want to become a NHB fighter. What are the martial arts styles you would recommend me to train in?

Bas: Free style wrestling, Thai boxing and submissions (Jiu-Jitsu but without a gi).

Gus: Thank you for this interview.

Bas: Thank you too.