Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Fighter Retrospective - Bas Rutten

Welcome to Leg Kick TKO, a MMA blog that will always let you bang, bro.

This time on Fighter Retrospectives, I’ll be taking a look at a Dutch maniac, BasEl Guapo” Rutten.

Who is this guy?

Bas Rutten is a guy from Holland that was very good at killing people’s faces.  He began his martial arts career in Tae Kwon Do and Kyokushin karate, then later transitioned into Muay Thai kickboxing (I think 80% of all Dutch people are skilled in Muay Thai), before participating in mixed martial arts.

He started in Pancrase, a Japanese organization that had a fair amount of professional wrestling influences (Combatants were allowed rope breaks for submissions during a match, for instance, and closed fist punches to the face were illegal.  The rope breaks were in finite supply, though, and once you used them up, the next rope grab would end the fight.).  Bas was initially very good at knocking out people with his excellent striking background, but would quickly become lost when a fight went to the ground.  One of the top stars of Pancrase, Masakatsu Funaki took on Bas and several other fighters to train submission skills simply to give himself more of a challenge (Rest assured, I’ll be writing about Funaki in the future).  Rutten learned the ground game very well and started submitting people with numerous different holds.

Were any of his fights any good?

Boy howdy, were they!  Bas had some very impressive and fun fights with such peoples as Jason DeLucia, Frank and Ken Shamrock (Individually, of course, this was Pancrase, not ZST), and Masakatsu Funaki.

Rutten versus Frank Shamrock III - The Fighting Clown, Frank Shamrock

 Bas struggled against the Shamrock family, going 2-3 overall with the grappling brothers.  This fight is to unify Bas's King of Pancrase title with Frank's interim KoP title.  Bas is on commentary because he's awesome.  There's a good mix of grappling, striking, and conversation to start things off.  Oh, they also spill out of the ring during a takedown attempt by Frank.  Crazy times in Pancrase!

It's not really until the latter stages of the fight that Frank starts goofing around.  He throws a turtled-up backhand, and during a leg lock attempt, just pulls ridiculous faces as Bas tries to punch his way out.  Frank ends up with a cut over his eyebrow, and that's the official reason for the end of the fight, but Bas says, and I'm inclined to agree, that Shamrock just looked like he was done, cut or no cut.

Check out more about Bas after the (splits) jump!

Rutten versus Jason DeLucia III – Kill the Lying Liver

Jason DeLucia was a thrift store Frank Shamrock, at least in looks.  He was a decent enough fighter, but since this isn’t a Fighter Retrospective on him, I’ll save his back story for another time (Pfft, like I’m gonna write about that dorkus malorkus!).  This fight also has fun commentary from Bas Rutten, and it’s a lot of him calling out Jason for lying about where Bas’s strikes were landing.  DeLucia claims punches hit his face, while Bas contends they were on the “high chest” (Hey, he’s Dutch, cut him some slacks.  That is because the Dutch enjoy trousers.  Never mind.), and DeLucia says a kick is to the groin, but Rutten says it was to the body.  Some of the strikes look to land where Bas says, and a few could be where DeLucia claims, but I’m siding with Bas because he seems scarier.  Bas finally gets fed up with the shenanigans and decides to beat the shit out of DeLucia’s body, specifically his “leever”, which is basically the Bas Rutten Special.  Rutten even says the knockout blow “broke” Jason’s liver, which is impressive and disturbing.

Rutten versus Masakatsu Funaki II – I Shall Beat Upon You Until One of Us is Dead

This might be the best Pancrase match ever (Granted, I haven’t seen a whole lot of Pancrase matches, but even so, this one is special).  It’s a rematch between big name guys, and also, a student versus teacher match, as, like I said, Funaki took in Rutten to teach him catch wrestling just so Funaki wouldn’t get bored submitting guys so easily.  Rutten, again on commentary, says his thoughts were to drag the fight out, see if Funaki gasses at the 15 minute mark, so he fights pretty conservatively, looking for counters and playing defense.   The fight hits the mat a few times, and Bas escapes several submission attempts, including a horrible-looking leg lock.  With Funaki in Bas’s close guard, Rutten attempts to push Funaki off, create space, and get back to his feet.  It pretty much works, but Funaki throws a kick as Rutten is still getting to his feet.  It looks to hit all body, but Bas is pissed (I’m pretty sure head kicks to a downed opponent were illegal in Pancrase, but I’m not as well versed in its early ruleset).   

Now the fight transitions from “Bas waiting things out” to “BAS MUST KILL”.  Rutten smashes and obliterates Funaki’s nose with palm strikes and knees, but Funaki keeps getting back up.  Finally, after I think four hundred knockdowns, Funaki has lost too many points, so the fight is over.  Bas gets his hand raised briefly, then falls down, exhausted.  It's awesome.

Rutten vs Villareal - The Return

After some serious knee injuries, Bas's career was thought to be over around 1999.  However, in 2006, Bas made one final go of things and faced off with shame-shirt wearing Ruben "Warpath" Villareal.  In just over 3 minutes, Bas defeated Ruben with a LEG KICK TKO!  HELL YEAH!  Also, check it out, Kevin James cornered Bas!

Post-Fight Career?

Rutten has kept fairly busy after his fight career got put on hold due to injuries (Though he did return several years later for one last fight).  He’s trained a fair number of fighters, including Duane “Bang” Ludwig, Yves Edwards, Kimbo Slice, and a vast number of drunken lunatics.


Rutten has a video or DVD or something that details the methods to survive a bar fight or twelve (dozen).  He should have a good idea about this, considering he claims to have been involved in a crazy, raucous brawl in Sweden in the 90s.  Anyway, Rutten’s instructional is less about diffusing situations and more about causing maximum harm, possibly to get away, but sometimes just so you can then inflict more damage (And in some cases, humiliation) on your opponent/victim.  Techniques such as breaking a man’s leg for saying a thing about your wife, smashing a man’s face into the bar for trying to claim your seat as his own (The Anti-Norm Rule), choking a man unconscious for speaking to you with a hand upon your shoulder, and slitting a person’s throat while you pretend to want to back off and avoid a confrontation are taught in the Bas Rutten System.  I’m pretty sure this video was sponsored by a defense attorney.

Bas has also done some acting, as he’s friends with a rotund buffoon who is notable in the MMA community (No, not Roy Nelson), Kevin James.  Rutten has been on The King of Queens, leant his voice for a part in Paul Blart – Animal Cop (I’m sorry, the correct title is Zookeeper), and co-stars as James’s trainer in Paul Blart – Mixed Martial Farts (Again, sorry, it is Here Comes the Boom).  He’s also done some non-Kevin James stuff, like starred in The Kingdom of Ultimate Power, and while, not an acting job, has a halfway decent Tony “Scarface” Montana impression.  He also hosted a show called Punk Payback, which showcased lowlifes getting their comeuppance on security footage, and also had Bas explaining more effective techniques for murdering the guy trying to shoplift a candy bar.  Apparently he was also involved in Grand Theft Auto IV.  And of course, El Guapo Likes to Dance.