Bas Rutten Interview (Part 3 of 4)

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William C

Active Member
Sep 6, 2015
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(Note from the author: my interview with Bas, along with a number of other interviews and essays, will be compiled in likely two volumes of books detailing the Fujiwara-Gumi organization, leading into the Pancrase organization)



Standing on His Own: The Bas Rutten Interview

Part Three of Four: Behind the Scenes of Pancrase

By William Colosimo | wcolosimo@yahoo.com



William Colosimo: From the time you met Funaki and Suzuki at Chris’ gym to the time of the first Pancrase card, that was about, say six weeks or so?

Bas Rutten: I don’t know about that, but it was within three months, I do know that. It was pretty fast.

Colosimo: Were you training fairly regularly at Chris’ gym during that time?

Rutten: Yeah, I would go once a week, you know? I would try to go there.

Colosimo: The palm strikes for Pancrase- I know that you developed those before Pancrase, when you were bouncing- once Pancrase started, how were you training those? Was that something you could easily work on the heavy bag, or was that awkward to throw those?

Rutten: Yeah, I have actually pictures of me hitting the heavy bag with the palm strikes. I was just able to pull my fingers really far back; I have very flexible wrists and fingers. Really weird I can do these crazy party tricks with them. Palm strikes I can just hit the bag by pulling my fingers all the way back.

Colosimo: Training for Pancrase- these questions all have to do with before you got super motivated after the second Ken Shamrock loss. So at the beginning, late ’93 to early ’95, were you still training grappling twice a week in Amsterdam with Chris?

Rutten: Yes.

Colosimo: When Clovis would bring over other fighters to Pancrase like Andre Van Den Oetelaar, would you train with him while in Japan, or at home?

Rutten: Yeah- in Japan. I trained with, what was his… Remco Pardoel. I worked out with him in Holland. And I worked out with Andre Van Den Oetelaar- but that was in Japan.

Colosimo: Either before the fights or after the fights, how long would you stay in Japan and train in their dojo?

Rutten: I would like to do always like six days before- because we have horrible jet lag coming from Holland, because nighttime is daytime. So I always asked for like six days before, so at least I could go to the Pancrase dojo and train, because training helps really well with the jet lag. So that’s what I was trying. And then I was one time there for a full month, that’s when I fought… where I beat Suzuki, and then the same month at the end of the month I fought with Ken Shamrock, and I lost that match. Me and my wife we went over, both in Japan, and then we stayed there for a month, so I could train there with everybody.

Colosimo: Oh, that was July of ’94- there was two Pancrase fight cards that month. For that first year and a half or so in Pancrase, how much instruction did you get from Funaki or Suzuki when you were training in their dojo?

Rutten: Not a lot, you know, yeah that’s never been a lot. When I was the month there, then Funaki helped me a lot. He would work with me pretty much every time I was there.

Colosimo: And I remember he was in your corner for that fight, the Ken fight. That same month.

Rutten: Yes.

Colosimo: What were your thoughts on the Japanese way of training, they were fairly brutal.

Rutten: Yeah, but you know what, when people see us spar in Holland, they also walk out. Because we just go hard. So we’re kind of used to that. As long as we don’t get injured, you know? If you don’t rip my leg with a heel hook, yeah so… we trained pretty hard as well. I’ll try to drop you- to the body- and low kicks, and they do the same thing to me, so. And the head of course, we watch out for the head.

Colosimo: I guess what I was trying to get at, is they trained their cardio- I mean they would go for hours and hours. And I think I’ve heard you say in the past that you would do, say like a one hour work out a day- but it was extremely high intensity.

Rutten: For me, personally, I would do that, but I remember there- just the warm up was forty-five minutes. In the Pancrase dojo. That’s just the warm up. And then it would start. And then the crazy- I mean forty-five minutes rolling, and the back flips, and all these crazy things like grabbing the rope like open hand, open-close open-close open-close very fast, so it’s for your forearms, reverse, grabbing the rope. A lot of squats- a lot of squats, a lot of pushups, and all these drills that they do with cards. They grab a stack of cards, and then they say for instance if it’s a red card, you’re going to have to do ten pushups. If it’s another red card, you’re gonna have to do another ten. For the same exercise. As soon as the card switches to a black one, you have to go to the next exercise. So now they let the universe dictate what you really need, because sometimes you have ten red cards in a row- well that’s a hundred pushups, you know? Or a hundred squats, whatever it is. So, I saw them doing that constantly.

Colosimo: The Hindu squats, the Hindu pushups- did you take anything from Japan that you saw them doing, and start incorporating it into your own workouts?

Rutten: Yeah, all the rolling, all the Japanese workout, the Japanese warm up I call it on my Big DVD’s of Combat. Because I always liked- when Chris saw me at that show, that’s because I was making backflips on my way to the ring, and then the summersaults- I always liked to do acrobatics. So when I saw that warmup, I go “Wow, that’s really cool” because they did some really cool stuff, which I was able to do right away because I always enjoyed doing that stuff. When you know something right away you want to keep on doing it. Plus you want to kind of show off, because it’s a cool warm up and a lot of people can’t do it. So it makes it even better.

Colosimo: What do you think your weight fluctuated at in your Pancrase fights- about 195 to 210 pounds?

Rutten: Around 200 pounds, I would say. Under 205.

Colosimo: There was an ad for your first VHS instructional tape series from ’96, from Nikko Toshogu Press- they said your nickname was the “Red Second Killer”, due to many fast Pancrase victories. Was that something made up for those tapes, or did they call you that in Japan?

Rutten: No, that was made up from them I think. I never had anything to do with it (laughter) (Editor’s Note: After conducting the interview, I learned that the original ad had a typo, likely due to translation, which was later corrected to read the “Ten Second Killer.” Checking in with Bas, he stated he was unaware of this version of the nickname also. But I believe we’ve gotten to the bottom of this. After I checked back with Bas, Pancrase President Masami Ozaki coincidentally told him in passing that Bas inspired the Pancrase catchphrase “Byousatsu” [Byousatsu in kanji appears as 秒殺, the characters for it meaning “seconds” and “kill”- so basically, to win in seconds- which stands in stark contrast to the Japanese pro-wrestling of the day, where matches lasted longer on average]- this was the term Masakatsu Funaki told me of in our first interview, and apparently used since the first Pancrase event. So it seems Bas was a main inspiration for the Pancrase catchphrase, and it was adapted in a slightly altered form for the ad).

Colosimo: What did you think of the Pancrase style in general, meaning not only the open handed head shot versus closed fist, but also the knee and shin pads? For you, what were the pros and cons of that style?

Rutten: Oh for me I was a striker, so I really didn’t like it. For them it was perfect because there were shoes, which would be great for leg locks, which the Japanese excel at. And then of course there’s no closed fist, that would lead to palm strikes, but that would mean they have no gloves, that means it’s easier to go for rear naked chokes, all that kind of stuff, you know? So yeah, it definitely worked in their favor. That’s what I always said. Because they are much better on the ground, than they were strikers.

Colosimo: Did you stop bouncing once you went to Pancrase?

Rutten: I might have bounced like for six, seven more months. Just at one little, I had a club very- not a club- it’s just a pool café, but it was from a buddy of mine, very close to my home. And just me- people knowing I was there- I didn't even need to be there. Somebody would come in, they would call me, and literally I’m there in five minutes, and the people would know it’s me and then there was no more trouble. So, like really light- not at a club, where people come in with weapons and all that stuff, just as a regular café where they also did pool.

Colosimo: I heard the story about the wanna-be Navy SEALs that you beat up in Japan when Guy and Frank were there. How common was that for you- whether in Japan when you guys were partying, or back in Holland- how common would it be for you to be in those street fights, like say from ’93 to ’96 or so?

Rutten: That happened quite a bit, because it’s all… I think it comes from me being bullied as a kid, so that once I see like big American guys or big foreigners beating on Japanese people, I would always feel that I had to do something. So, that’s the reason we step in. And it was not only me- every one of us would do the same thing, so…

Colosimo: That was common- people would go there and bully the Japanese?

Rutten: Yeah, there’s always these guys who get drunk and then they start slapping guys around or women around, that’s what happened with those wanna-be Navy SEALs also. You know, I literally saw the Japanese people flying around, and I told the other fighters, I said “Check this out.” I was just standing in their path, with my back to them, and sure enough they pushed me as well- and hard. So that’s when that fight started. But you know I had a guy who beat up a woman one time, I remember I grabbed him off and I pulled him away (laughter), and then I hear people screaming- what happened was I didn't even look- I asked her if she was okay. But apparently there was like a mosaic from glass- little squares- the whole wall was made of that, and I threw him with his head on the corner, so I mean his head was… he needed a bunch of stitches. But I had no clue, because I just grabbed him and I pulled him away from me, and I asked her if she was okay- the people started screaming, I saw the guy laying down on the ground, and he just hit his head. But he woke up, everything was good, he just needed to get some stitches.

Colosimo: You had mentioned on Joe Rogan, The Joe Rogan Experience that you would go to Roppongi (Editor’s Note: Roppongi is a district in Tokyo, Japan known for its foreigner friendly nightlife), and you would have about five beers I think it was the night before a fight to help you go to sleep and adjust to the time zone?

Rutten: Yeah.

Colosimo: So knowing that, and I know in that general period of time, you also partied very hard- did you ever go into a Pancrase fight where you were still feeling a little bit of the effects of any kind of those party favors?

Rutten: No, no-no- I would never do that. When I’m drinking, like five beers would never make me drunk. And in Holland you drink that during the week or so, and it’s a very European thing to do. So for me laying in bed the whole time thinking about the fight, I’d say “You know what, I had it. I’m just going to go out and get a couple of beers.” I don’t know if it would be five- that would be a maximum- but drink, and relax, and just walk around and I’d come home and you fall asleep.

Colosimo: In your earlier Pancrase fights, usually you didn’t have a corner man other than your manager, Clovis. But then in ’95 Larry Papadopoulos started cornering you for some of your fights. Why didn't you have any fighters in your corner before Larry?

Rutten: Because I never had a coach. Like, if I had Leon Van Dijk in there- well Leon was not my coach, we just trained together. So I never had a person who really taught me who was in my corner. And Larry- I went to him for my third Pancrase title fight, to train over there in Australia because they only had one-hour time difference with Japan. And I thought you know, this is gonna be a world title fight, and then at least I’ve got a group of guys there who do all submissions. So let’s go over there, train there for three weeks, then I’m adjusted to the time zone, and it’s much easier for me, and then go for the title. So that’s when I started using Larry.

Colosimo: The story you just told me- that was for your third Pancrase title win?

Rutten: Yes, my second match against Funaki. The rematch.

Colosimo: Do you have any recollection of your first thoughts of meeting Ken Shamrock at that first Pancrase event?

Rutten: Yeah, he was a very stoic guy, but he was also- he was super excited about this thing that he was gonna do in the cage with no rules, no referee, and he was talking about the UFC. And I remember specifically asking him, I say “There’s no referee- so nobody’s gonna stop?” He says “Yeah, you don’t want to do it?” I say “Umm… no.” He says “Why not?” I go “Well, if I get knocked out, and the guy jumps on top of me and he hits me a few times in the head- that’s brain damage, you know? If there’s not a referee to stop him from doing that, no I wouldn't do it. If there’s a referee to stop him, yeah I would love to do that stuff.” But he said “No no, that’s the coolest part, because nobody can step in.” And I go “I don’t know if that’s a smart thing to do.” But, he really enjoyed it (laughter). So…

Colosimo: Now, once “Big” John McCarthy was allowed to intervene and stop fights starting with UFC 3, at that point was the germ in your head, were you seriously planning to fight there?

Rutten: One hundred percent. You know, the biggest reason, what I always tell people, and it might sound really stupid- I wanted to come up with the UFC song. I loved that song so bad, the old baam baam baam (Editor’s Note: Bas sings a couple bars of the UFC fighter entrance song that was used beginning with UFC 5). It was so cool, and I go “Man, I want to come up one time with that song.” So that was one of the main reasons I wanted to fight for the UFC.

Colosimo: When you were in Pancrase, did you notice- ‘cause you were thinking of going to the UFC and Ken was already doing it- did you get the impression there was any increasing stress between Ken and Pancrase as he was dividing his time? Were you looking at that because of your own situation?

Rutten: No, I didn't- I didn’t see that. And also I remember that he was helping Funaki with his MMA match outside Pancrase, and he was helping other fighters with it. I think Takahashi, he might have trained at the Lion’s Den also at that time when he fought, ah, what’s his name- the jiu-jitsu guy-

Colosimo: Wallid.

Rutten: Wallid Ismail, yeah. So, you know? And then I had Yanagisawa- he lived with my mom and dad for like three weeks- in Holland, he went to train there. And my mom took care of him like he was her son. So that was a cool story too.

Colosimo: You heard of the UFC through Ken- when did you get to watch UFC 1 and what were your initial thoughts of Royce Gracie and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu?

Rutten: Oh, well- I saw it right away in Holland at the Nikko Sports, which was our, the martial arts store where everybody always was. They had the big flat screen, you know those standing long TVs that we had in the early days? And they were the “Garcia brothers”, that’s what they said in the beginning (Editor’s Note: In the years prior to the Gracie family becoming famous outside of Brazil for the UFC, they were commonly referred to in error as the Garcia brothers). I remember they thought it was Garcia, instead of Gracie (both laugh). And they were already talking about Rickson (Gracie), because Royce mentioned that, right- “Hey my brother’s even better.” But then once I saw the teeth flying out from the sumo (Teila Tuli) with Gerard Gordeau, I go “Oh.” And a fun story I heard from Ken Shamrock, they said that the- all of them- they thought when they did the UFC, that it was any moment somebody could walk in and say “Okay. You’re gonna win, you’re gonna…” they still thought it was a fake fight, you know? So they’re watching that fight with Gerard Gordeau, and the kick- the teeth flying into the audience- and everybody looked at each other and they go “It’s real- now what are we gonna do?” (Both laugh) So, yeah that’s an eye opener, let me tell you that, man. Freakin’ Gerard Gordeau, kicking the teeth out of the guy past, the teeth flying next to the commentators. Wow! Yeah.
 
Last edited:

Papi Chingon

TMMAC Addict
Oct 19, 2015
17,565
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(Note from the author: my interview with Bas, along with a number of other interviews and essays, will be compiled in likely two volumes of books detailing the Fujiwara-Gumi organization, leading into the Pancrase organization)



Standing on His Own: The Bas Rutten Interview

Part Three of Four: Behind the Scenes of Pancrase

By William Colosimo | wcolosimo@yahoo.com



William Colosimo: From the time you met Funaki and Suzuki at Chris’ gym to the time of the first Pancrase card, that was about, say six weeks or so?

Bas Rutten: I don’t know about that, but it was within three months, I do know that. It was pretty fast.

Colosimo: Were you training fairly regularly at Chris’ gym during that time?

Rutten: Yeah, I would go once a week, you know? I would try to go there.

Colosimo: The palm strikes for Pancrase- I know that you developed those before Pancrase, when you were bouncing- once Pancrase started, how were you training those? Was that something you could easily work on the heavy bag, or was that awkward to throw those?

Rutten: Yeah, I have actually pictures of me hitting the heavy bag with the palm strikes. I was just able to pull my fingers really far back; I have very flexible wrists and fingers. Really weird I can do these crazy party tricks with them. Palm strikes I can just hit the bag by pulling my fingers all the way back.

Colosimo: Training for Pancrase- these questions all have to do with before you got super motivated after the second Ken Shamrock loss. So at the beginning, late ’93 to early ’95, were you still training grappling twice a week in Amsterdam with Chris?

Rutten: Yes.

Colosimo: When Clovis would bring over other fighters to Pancrase like Andre Van Den Oetelaar, would you train with him while in Japan, or at home?

Rutten: Yeah- in Japan. I trained with, what was his… Remco Pardoel. I worked out with him in Holland. And I worked out with Andre Van Den Oetelaar- but that was in Japan.

Colosimo: Either before the fights or after the fights, how long would you stay in Japan and train in their dojo?

Rutten: I would like to do always like six days before- because we have horrible jet lag coming from Holland, because nighttime is daytime. So I always asked for like six days before, so at least I could go to the Pancrase dojo and train, because training helps really well with the jet lag. So that’s what I was trying. And then I was one time there for a full month, that’s when I fought… where I beat Suzuki, and then the same month at the end of the month I fought with Ken Shamrock, and I lost that match. Me and my wife we went over, both in Japan, and then we stayed there for a month, so I could train there with everybody.

Colosimo: Oh, that was July of ’94- there was two Pancrase fight cards that month. For that first year and a half or so in Pancrase, how much instruction did you get from Funaki or Suzuki when you were training in their dojo?

Rutten: Not a lot, you know, yeah that’s never been a lot. When I was the month there, then Funaki helped me a lot. He would work with me pretty much every time I was there.

Colosimo: And I remember he was in your corner for that fight, the Ken fight. That same month.

Rutten: Yes.

Colosimo: What were your thoughts on the Japanese way of training, they were fairly brutal.

Rutten: Yeah, but you know what, when people see us spar in Holland, they also walk out. Because we just go hard. So we’re kind of used to that. As long as we don’t get injured, you know? If you don’t rip my leg with a heel hook, yeah so… we trained pretty hard as well. I’ll try to drop you- to the body- and low kicks, and they do the same thing to me, so. And the head of course, we watch out for the head.

Colosimo: I guess what I was trying to get at, is they trained their cardio- I mean they would go for hours and hours. And I think I’ve heard you say in the past that you would do, say like a one hour work out a day- but it was extremely high intensity.

Rutten: For me, personally, I would do that, but I remember there- just the warm up was forty-five minutes. In the Pancrase dojo. That’s just the warm up. And then it would start. And then the crazy- I mean forty-five minutes rolling, and the back flips, and all these crazy things like grabbing the rope like open hand, open-close open-close open-close very fast, so it’s for your forearms, reverse, grabbing the rope. A lot of squats- a lot of squats, a lot of pushups, and all these drills that they do with cards. They grab a stack of cards, and then they say for instance if it’s a red card, you’re going to have to do ten pushups. If it’s another red card, you’re gonna have to do another ten. For the same exercise. As soon as the card switches to a black one, you have to go to the next exercise. So now they let the universe dictate what you really need, because sometimes you have ten red cards in a row- well that’s a hundred pushups, you know? Or a hundred squats, whatever it is. So, I saw them doing that constantly.

Colosimo: The Hindu squats, the Hindu pushups- did you take anything from Japan that you saw them doing, and start incorporating it into your own workouts?

Rutten: Yeah, all the rolling, all the Japanese workout, the Japanese warm up I call it on my Big DVD’s of Combat. Because I always liked- when Chris saw me at that show, that’s because I was making backflips on my way to the ring, and then the summersaults- I always liked to do acrobatics. So when I saw that warmup, I go “Wow, that’s really cool” because they did some really cool stuff, which I was able to do right away because I always enjoyed doing that stuff. When you know something right away you want to keep on doing it. Plus you want to kind of show off, because it’s a cool warm up and a lot of people can’t do it. So it makes it even better.

Colosimo: What do you think your weight fluctuated at in your Pancrase fights- about 195 to 210 pounds?

Rutten: Around 200 pounds, I would say. Under 205.

Colosimo: There was an ad for your first VHS instructional tape series from ’96, from Nikko Toshogu Press- they said your nickname was the “Red Second Killer”, due to many fast Pancrase victories. Was that something made up for those tapes, or did they call you that in Japan?

Rutten: No, that was made up from them I think. I never had anything to do with it (laughter) (Editor’s Note: After conducting the interview, I learned that the original ad had a typo, likely due to translation, which was later corrected to read the “Ten Second Killer.” Checking in with Bas, he stated he was unaware of this version of the nickname also. But I believe we’ve gotten to the bottom of this. After I checked back with Bas, Pancrase President Masami Ozaki coincidentally told him in passing that Bas inspired the Pancrase catchphrase “Byousatsu” [Byousatsu in kanji appears as 秒殺, the characters for it meaning “seconds” and “kill”- so basically, to win in seconds- which stands in stark contrast to the Japanese pro-wrestling of the day, where matches lasted longer on average]- this was the term Masakatsu Funaki told me of in our first interview, and apparently used since the first Pancrase event. So it seems Bas was a main inspiration for the Pancrase catchphrase, and it was adapted in a slightly altered form for the ad).

Colosimo: What did you think of the Pancrase style in general, meaning not only the open handed head shot versus closed fist, but also the knee and shin pads? For you, what were the pros and cons of that style?

Rutten: Oh for me I was a striker, so I really didn’t like it. For them it was perfect because there were shoes, which would be great for leg locks, which the Japanese excel at. And then of course there’s no closed fist, that would lead to palm strikes, but that would mean they have no gloves, that means it’s easier to go for rear naked chokes, all that kind of stuff, you know? So yeah, it definitely worked in their favor. That’s what I always said. Because they are much better on the ground, than they were strikers.

Colosimo: Did you stop bouncing once you went to Pancrase?

Rutten: I might have bounced like for six, seven more months. Just at one little, I had a club very- not a club- it’s just a full café, but it was from a buddy of mine, very close to my home. And just me- people knowing I was there- I didn't even need to be there. Somebody would come in, they would call me, and literally I’m there in five minutes, and the people would know it’s me and then there was no more trouble. So, like really light- not at a club, where people come in with weapons and all that stuff, just as a regular café where they also did pool.

Colosimo: I heard the story about the wanna-be Navy SEALs that you beat up in Japan when Guy and Frank were there. How common was that for you- whether in Japan when you guys were partying, or back in Holland- how common would it be for you to be in those street fights, like say from ’93 to ’96 or so?

Rutten: That happened quite a bit, because it’s all… I think it comes from me being bullied as a kid, so that once I see like big American guys or big foreigners beating on Japanese people, I would always feel that I had to do something. So, that’s the reason we step in. And it was not only me- every one of us would do the same thing, so…

Colosimo: That was common- people would go there and bully the Japanese?

Rutten: Yeah, there’s always these guys who get drunk and then they start slapping guys around or women around, that’s what happened with those wanna-be Navy SEALs also. You know, I literally saw the Japanese people flying around, and I told the other fighters, I said “Check this out.” I was just standing in their path, with my back to them, and sure enough they pushed me as well- and hard. So that’s when that fight started. But you know I had a guy who beat up a woman one time, I remember I grabbed him off and I pulled him away (laughter), and then I hear people screaming- what happened was I didn't even look- I asked her if she was okay. But apparently there was like a mosaic from glass- little squares- the whole wall was made of that, and I threw him with his head on the corner, so I mean his head was… he needed a bunch of stitches. But I had no clue, because I just grabbed him and I pulled him away from me, and I asked her if she was okay- the people started screaming, I saw the guy laying down on the ground, and he just hit his head. But he woke up, everything was good, he just needed to get some stitches.

Colosimo: You had mentioned on Joe Rogan, The Joe Rogan Experience that you would go to Roppongi (Editor’s Note: Roppongi is a district in Tokyo, Japan known for its foreigner friendly nightlife), and you would have about five beers I think it was the night before a fight to help you go to sleep and adjust to the time zone?

Rutten: Yeah.

Colosimo: So knowing that, and I know in that general period of time, you also partied very hard- did you ever go into a Pancrase fight where you were still feeling a little bit of the effects of any kind of those party favors?

Rutten: No, no-no- I would never do that. When I’m drinking, like five beers would never make me drunk. And in Holland you drink that during the week or so, and it’s a very European thing to do. So for me laying in bed the whole time thinking about the fight, I’d say “You know what, I had it. I’m just going to go out and get a couple of beers.” I don’t know if it would be five- that would be a maximum- but drink, and relax, and just walk around and I’d come home and you fall asleep.

Colosimo: In your earlier Pancrase fights, usually you didn’t have a corner man other than your manager, Clovis. But then in ’95 Larry Papadopoulos started cornering you for some of your fights. Why didn't you have any fighters in your corner before Larry?

Rutten: Because I never had a coach. Like, if I had Leon Van Dijk in there- well Leon was not my coach, we just trained together. So I never had a person who really taught me who was in my corner. And Larry- I went to him for my third Pancrase title fight, to train over there in Australia because they only had one-hour time difference with Japan. And I thought you know, this is gonna be a world title fight, and then at least I’ve got a group of guys there who do all submissions. So let’s go over there, train there for three weeks, then I’m adjusted to the time zone, and it’s much easier for me, and then go for the title. So that’s when I started using Larry.

Colosimo: The story you just told me- that was for your third Pancrase title win?

Rutten: Yes, my second match against Funaki. The rematch.

Colosimo: Do you have any recollection of your first thoughts of meeting Ken Shamrock at that first Pancrase event?

Rutten: Yeah, he was a very stoic guy, but he was also- he was super excited about this thing that he was gonna do in the cage with no rules, no referee, and he was talking about the UFC. And I remember specifically asking him, I say “There’s no referee- so nobody’s gonna stop?” He says “Yeah, you don’t want to do it?” I say “Umm… no.” He says “Why not?” I go “Well, if I get knocked out, and the guy jumps on top of me and he hits me a few times in the head- that’s brain damage, you know? If there’s not a referee to stop him from doing that, no I wouldn't do it. If there’s a referee to stop him, yeah I would love to do that stuff.” But he said “No no, that’s the coolest part, because nobody can step in.” And I go “I don’t know if that’s a smart thing to do.” But, he really enjoyed it (laughter). So…

Colosimo: Now, once “Big” John McCarthy was allowed to intervene and stop fights starting with UFC 3, at that point was the germ in your head, were you seriously planning to fight there?

Rutten: One hundred percent. You know, the biggest reason, what I always tell people, and it might sound really stupid- I wanted to come up with the UFC song. I loved that song so bad, the old baam baam baam (Editor’s Note: Bas sings a couple bars of the UFC fighter entrance song that was used beginning with UFC 5). It was so cool, and I go “Man, I want to come up one time with that song.” So that was one of the main reasons I wanted to fight for the UFC.

Colosimo: When you were in Pancrase, did you notice- ‘cause you were thinking of going to the UFC and Ken was already doing it- did you get the impression there was any increasing stress between Ken and Pancrase as he was dividing his time? Were you looking at that because of your own situation?

Rutten: No, I didn't- I didn’t see that. And also I remember that he was helping Funaki with his MMA match outside Pancrase, and he was helping other fighters with it. I think Takahashi, he might have trained at the Lion’s Den also at that time when he fought, ah, what’s his name- the jiu-jitsu guy-

Colosimo: Wallid.

Rutten: Wallid Ismail, yeah. So, you know? And then I had Yanagisawa- he lived with my mom and dad for like three weeks- in Holland, he went to train there. And my mom took care of him like he was her son. So that was a cool story too.

Colosimo: You heard of the UFC through Ken- when did you get to watch UFC 1 and what were your initial thoughts of Royce Gracie and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu?

Rutten: Oh, well- I saw it right away in Holland at the Nikko Sports, which was our, the martial arts store where everybody always was. They had the big flat screen, you know those standing long TVs that we had in the early days? And they were the “Garcia brothers”, that’s what they said in the beginning (Editor’s Note: In the years prior to the Gracie family becoming famous outside of Brazil for the UFC, they were commonly referred to in error as the Garcia brothers). I remember they thought it was Garcia, instead of Gracie (both laugh). And they were already talking about Rickson (Gracie), because Royce mentioned that, right- “Hey my brother’s even better.” But then once I saw the teeth flying out from the sumo (Teila Tuli) with Gerard Gordeau, I go “Oh.” And a fun story I heard from Ken Shamrock, they said that the- all of them- they thought when they did the UFC, that it was any moment somebody could walk in and say “Okay. You’re gonna win, you’re gonna…” they still thought it was a fake fight, you know? So they’re watching that fight with Gerard Gordeau, and the kick- the teeth flying into the audience- and everybody looked at each other and they go “It’s real- now what are we gonna do?” (Both laugh) So, yeah that’s an eye opener, let me tell you that, man. Freakin’ Gerard Gordeau, kicking the teeth out of the guy past, the teeth flying next to the commentators. Wow! Yeah.
Where are parts 1 and 2?