104 Facts About Bas Rutten


Sebastiaan "Bas" Rutten is a Dutch-American actor, former mixed martial artist, kickboxer and professional wrestler.


Bas Rutten was a UFC Heavyweight Champion, a three-time King of Pancrase world champion, and finished his career on a 22 fight unbeaten streak.


From 2007 to 2016, Rutten was the co-host of Inside MMA on AXS TV.


Bas Rutten became a naturalized American citizen receiving citizenship in the late 1990s.


Bas Rutten is known for his charisma and has capitalized on his celebrity status since retiring from fighting in 1999.


Bas Rutten has worked as a color commentator in several MMA organizations, including Pride, and has appeared in numerous television shows, movies, and video games.


In 2008, Bas Rutten was ranked by Inside MMA as the fourth-greatest mixed martial arts fighter of all time.


Bas Rutten's eczema meant he always wore long sleeves, turtle necks and gloves, as well as bandages every night, and his asthma meant he was unable to partake in exercise, and was consequently relatively skinny.


Bas Rutten was bullied on a daily basis as a child, although he hid it from his parents in order to spare them more worrying.


Bas Rutten learned to climb trees and jump between treetops to evade his bullies, who eventually stopped chasing him when one of them fell and almost died trying to follow him.


Bas Rutten started training in boxing in the backyard of an elementary school with a friend.


Bas Rutten became interested in martial arts at age 12 after his family went on vacation to France, where the movie Enter the Dragon starring Bruce Lee was playing at a local movie theatre.


Bas Rutten picked it up very quickly, even defeating adults in sparring, and after a few months he got in a street fight with his worst bully, whom Rutten knocked out with the first punch he threw, breaking his nose.


The police came to his parents' house and Bas Rutten was immediately prohibited by his parents from further practicing martial arts.


Bas Rutten was committed, eventually earning a 2nd degree black belt.


Bas Rutten then began learning Kyokushin karate and earned a 2nd-degree black belt.


Bas Rutten started competing in kickboxing at the age of 20 while working as a bouncer and model.


Bas Rutten fought 16 times, winning the first 14 matches by knockout, 13 in the first round, and losing his final two fights.


One of them would be against Frank Lobman for the European Muay Thai title on 12 February 1991, with Bas Rutten losing by KO in the first round.


Bas Rutten decided to end soon his kickboxing career after being criticized for this single match.


Bas Rutten began his professional mixed martial arts career when he was working as an entertainer.


Bas Rutten was scouted by Chris Dolman and invited to train at the Fighting Network RINGS Holland dojo.


In 1993, when Japanese pro wrestlers Masakatsu Funaki and Minoru Suzuki traveled to the Netherlands to scout fighters for their new "hybrid wrestling" organization, Pancrase, Bas Rutten was immediately chosen after they saw him knocking out the RINGS champion in sparring.


In September 1993, Bas Rutten had his debut in Pancrase against the 45lb heavier Ryushi Yanagisawa, knocking him out with palms and knee strikes in only 48 seconds.


The KO was so brutal that Yanagisawa was carried from the ring and spent two days in hospital, with Bas Rutten himself fearing for his life.


Fuke took Rutten down and locked an armbar, which forced the Dutch fighter to spend a rope escape, though Bas was eventually able to land a knee strike to the liver to finish the match with a win.


Bas Rutten was taken down and forced to close guard, a moment in which he accidentally hit Funaki with a closed-fisted punch.


At that point of his career, Bas Rutten realized the importance of the grappling aspect, and he started taping Pancrase trainings in order to practice those moves with his trainee Leon Van Dijk.


The training paid off, as Bas Rutten submitted Japanese wrestler Kazuo "Yoshiki" Takahashi with an inverted heel hook during a grappling exchange that had been overconfidently initiated by Kazuo.


The hold itself, which Bas Rutten had learned the previous day by watching it in a promo, completely broke Takahashi's shin bone and earned Bas Rutten an honorary 5th-degree black belt in Kyokushin Budokai by Jon Bluming after he witnessed it.


Bas Rutten then got his first high-level win against the other co-founder of Pancrase, the previously undefeated Minoru Suzuki.


Bas Rutten later said that this win was one of the happiest moments of his life.


Just 20 days later, Bas Rutten faced another steep test, fighting future UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock, who was then one of the best Pancrase fighters.


Bas Rutten turned in a hard effort, being taken down by Shamrock and held under dominant position for most of the match.


The more experienced Shamrock made Bas Rutten spend rope escapes by submitting him with a pair of heel hooks and a rear naked choke, and although Bas Rutten still tried on, he was ultimately choked out.


In December 1994, Bas Rutten then participated in one of the greatest events in mixed martial arts history to the point, the King of Pancrase Tournament.


Bas Rutten found a measure of redemption after the upset loss by choking out expert grappler and King of Pancrase Tournament Finalist Manabu Yamada in his next fight, on 26 January 1995.


Bas Rutten was taken to the ground, but he clamped an arm triangle choke from half guard and exerted such a pressure that Yamada, refusing to tap out, was choked out and remained unconscious with his eyes wide open after the hold.


Bas Rutten believes Funaki might have done it in purpose in order for him to lose.


Bas Rutten then faced another dangerous striker, American kickboxing champion Maurice Smith, who in turn fell down to the mat to avoid Bas's striking.


Bas Rutten grappled with him and showed his technical brilliance, firstly submitting Smith with a heel hook performed with his own chin and later executing a figure-four toehold for the win.


Bas Rutten held his own through his defensive acumen, occasionally countering with guillotine chokes and a surprising rolling kneebar from standing, until the match came to its last minutes.


In March 1996, Bas Rutten faced Lion's Den fighter and future Ultimate Fighting Championship winner Guy Mezger.


On 16 May 1996 Bas Rutten defended his title before Frank Shamrock in their third match, which was for Shamrock's interim King of Pancrase title.


In midst of the fight, Frank famously taunted Rutten by sticking out his tongue at him during a leglock exchange, which moved Bas to hit him in the face with a close-fisted punch, losing a point by red card as Shamrock expected.


Right after his match against Shamrock, Bas Rutten had his rubber match against Jason DeLucia.


At Pancrase 1996 Anniversary Show, taking place on 7 September, Bas Rutten defended his undisputed title against Masakatsu Funaki in what is considered to be one of the greatest fights in Pancrase history.


The Japanese wrestler came near finishing the match earlier with an ankle lock, but Bas Rutten escaped miraculously and proceeded to fend Funaki off for the rest of the bout, utilizing the same stalling strategy he had used against Suzuki.


The stunned Japanese tried to trade hits with Rutten, only for Bas to capitalize on this with his famed striking game.


Bas Rutten knocked him down twice with palms and knees, and he followed landing a lengthy, unanswered string of strikes until a knee to the face finally downed Funaki for the KO victory.


Bas Rutten had the gods on his side or something, because he stood up every time.


Bas Rutten's nose is all the way to the side, broke, they have to straighten it out.


Bas Rutten's next fight was an anticipated rematch with Manabu Yamada, which lasted only 0:54 before Rutten made him to tap out to a leg-entangled toehold.


On 22 March 1997 Bas Rutten returned to Pancrase in a match against Osami Shibuya, a bout in which he was unexpectedly forced to fight for the draw after his own sternum broke through the struggle.


Bas Rutten returned to Pancrase, taking 8 more victories, bringing his unbeaten streak up to 19 straight fights.


Bas Rutten left Pancrase as one of the most dominant fighters in the history of the organization.


MMA legend Ken Shamrock was the only fighter Bas Rutten did not avenge a loss to.


In 2000, when Bas Rutten was PRIDE FC's color commentator, a third fight with Shamrock was entertained.


Bas Rutten agreed to come out of retirement to fight Shamrock in PRIDE FC.


Later, in 2002, Bas Rutten said that he would not fight Shamrock again even if it was offered to him because of the friendship they developed over the years, and that he could not put his mind and heart into fighting Ken.


Bas Rutten was originally told about Ultimate Fighting Championship before its first event in 1993, when would-be UFC competitor Ken Shamrock proposed it to him, but Bas Rutten decided to stay in Pancrase, as he felt the "no rules" format was too dangerous and he did not want to risk his career so early.


Bas Rutten was scheduled to fight heavyweight champion Randy Couture in a title match for the UFC Heavyweight Championship in his first fight, but Couture had a contract dispute and left the UFC to sign with a different promotion.


On 7 May 1999, at UFC 20, Bas Rutten faced Kevin Randleman for the UFC Heavyweight Championship.


Bas Rutten vacated the title later in the year, in order to drop down to middleweight a weight closer to his natural weight, in a bid to try to become the first person to hold a UFC title in two weight classes.


Bas Rutten was forced to retire from MMA competition for the time being, by doctor's orders.


Bas Rutten was proposed a fight against Kazushi Sakuraba when he was contacted by Pride Fighting Championships, but Rutten declined due to an insufficient fight purse, preferring to sign up as a fight commentator.


Bas Rutten was replaced by Wanderlei Silva in the card.


On 22 May 2015 UFC President Dana White appeared on Inside MMA to announce that Bas Rutten would be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame during International Fight Week in July.


Bas Rutten is the first European to be inducted, taking his place in the "Pioneers" wing of the UFC's new-look Hall of Fame.


In May 2006, Bas Rutten announced his return to MMA competition.


Bas Rutten took a first-round victory by way of technical knockout after low kicks left his opponent unable to stand.


Bas Rutten competed in Japanese professional wrestling following his Pancrase tenure.


Bas Rutten made his debut at the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2000 event, where he teamed up with Alexander Otsuka to defeat the team of Naoki Sano and Ricco Rodriguez, with Rutten personally submitting Sano with a crossface chickenwing.


Bas Rutten wrestled in Battlarts, defeating Carl Malenko by KO via palm strike.


In 2002, Bas Rutten debuted in New Japan Pro-Wrestling as a part of Antonio Inoki's MMA army.


Bas Rutten mostly wrestled in singles matches, beating both rookies and veterans like Manabu Nakanishi, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Masayuki Naruse.


Bas Rutten was the color commentator for the English productions of Pride Fighting Championships events, calling nearly every event from Pride 1 through the 2005 Grand Prix.


Bas Rutten said that when he arrived at the motion-capture place in New York he asked the people in charge how violent they wanted to have it and they told him to "give it all he got".


Bas Rutten was featured in WCW vs the World for the PlayStation, but was named "Thunder Dome" to avoid copyright laws.


Bas Rutten's role was to build relations between the IFL and its fighters as well as work on potential match-ups between fighters.


Bas Rutten hosted the weekly shows "Battleground" and "International Fight League" with Kenny Rice.


Bas Rutten is currently appearing in public health service ads, airing on Cartoon Network.


Bas Rutten made a public service announcement against trying out MMA at home but CagePotato ridiculed it for its mixed messages.


Bas Rutten was featured in the 2012 American sports comedy movie Here Comes the Boom alongside Kevin James and Henry Winkler.


Bas Rutten played the role of a former MMA fighter and Dutch immigrant Niko trying to gain US citizenship.


Bas Rutten is certified as an instructor of both MTBN Thai Boxing and mixed martial arts, as well as krav maga.


Bas Rutten coached Mark Kerr during the filming of the HBO documentary The Smashing Machine.


In 2006, Bas Rutten was a team coach for the International Fight League, an MMA organization that focused on team combat.


Bas Rutten is a former investor in the Legends MMA gym in Hollywood and used to teach there occasionally, and is a part owner of the MMA gym Bas Rutten's Elite Mixed Martial Arts in Thousand Oaks, California.


Bas Rutten has trained former street fighter Kimbo Slice for his professional MMA bouts, as well as professional wrestler Samoa Joe.


Bas Rutten never developed an effective takedown defense, but he was apt at landing strikes while being taken down, having knocked out opponents before they could complete the technique.


Bas Rutten stated his striking was influenced by his career as a bouncer, when he would often have to fight multiple opponents in the street.


Bas Rutten's groundwork was built through a slow evolution and was unusual for being mostly self-taught.


Bas Rutten's grappling style was patterned after Pancrase's native shoot wrestling, and he focused on chokeholds, leglocks, and a solid submission defense, which helped him to avoid being forced to submit by even high-level offensive grapplers like Masakatsu Funaki and Minoru Suzuki.


Bas Rutten has a daughter from his first wife; her name is Rachele.


Bas Rutten became a citizen of the United States twenty years ago.


Bas Rutten is friends with fellow Dutchman and former UFC competitor Gerard Gordeau.


Bas Rutten is known by the moniker "El Guapo", which means "The Handsome One" in Spanish.


Bas Rutten became known for the victory celebration known as "Rutten Jump", in which he would do a jumping split after winning a fight.


Bas Rutten is a practicing Catholic, talking about his faith in God on YouTube.


Bas Rutten has credited his friend Kevin James, and others, with helping him in his journey back to Catholicism.


Bas Rutten has several tattoos, each of which is intended to help him spiritually and emotionally.


Bas Rutten is known for his brawls and bar fights around the world.


Bas Rutten participated in a brawl that took place at a bar in Sweden in which he fought several bouncers at the same time.