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NEW - Bas' Fight Record: HERE

NEW - Bas' Quotes: HERE

When I was a kid I suffered from Asthma and a very bad skin disease, because of that I had few friends. At the age of six I also got rheumatism. I spent my time climbing trees and reading comics like Spiderman and the Fantastic Four. Spiderman was the main reason that I was always climbing trees. Across my street I had a big grass field with a row of trees in it that led to a forest. When I climbed the first tree I could go from tree to tree and I wouldn't have to touch the ground. This came very handy when I had guys on my tail who wanted to F*** with me. Sometimes I had to wear protective gloves on my hands because of the skin disease. Because of that I was an easy target to pick on for the other children. Another one of my favorite things to do was climbing on rooftops from houses. Every evening I was lying on the roof watching stars and dreaming about turning into Spiderman or Wolverine.

At the age of twelve I started doing athletics and was pretty good at it. My favorite things were: high jump, far jump, javelin, and discus. I really liked athletics, but every time when I competed in high jump or far jump I always injured my knees for some reason. This became very annoying so I stopped with doing athletics. In the meanwhile my family and I had been out on holidays a lot. I remembered that I was in France in 1976 and there I snuck into a movie theater together with my brother to see the movie "Enter the dragon". Man, that completely changed my life. When I got back to Holland the first thing I did was make nunchaks from two pieces of wood and a chain. I even went to the grocery store with those things around my neck. I also started to go to all the other Bruce Lee movies and started to imitate him; tried to kick like him, punch like him and of course there where the numchucks. After begging my parents for a long time to let me study martial arts they finally caved and let me. I was training for about four weeks (this was Tae Kwon Do, by the way) and then got into a street fight with somebody who always was bothering me. They called me names and this time I shouted back. He came at me laughing and wanted to fight me. I punched him one time and broke his nose. Wow, martial arts are great!!

Too bad my parents found out, and that was the end of my fighting adventures. I still kept training though and made everybody believe that I was a black belt by flashing my kicks around. If somebody picked a fight with me I would stretch my leg out in a sidekick to the head and then hold my foot in front of his face. This looked really cool and they actually believed that I was a black belt. At my new school I found some friends who were the same as me, I was still wearing the gloves because of the skin disease so I was not very popular. My new friends were also guys other students picked on. Together we formed a group and later we called each other "the Champions". What a name for a bunch of "wannabees", but it worked for us. One of these friends started to box and he did pretty well and I learned from his experiences. Now at this time when people started to mess with us we just started fighting them, which was something that we would have never done by ourselves. I still wanted to do Martial arts. "Not as long you are in my house", my mother said. When I was 20 I moved out of the house to go live with a girlfriend and that was when I really started with Martial arts. Karate and Tae Kwon Do were first and from those I moved over to Thai-boxing. Everything went really fast after that. Soon I was competing in Thai-boxing, which went really well too. I was undefeated and started to work as a bouncer. Now, this was the end of my Thai-boxing matches of course because soon I was working all night long and several nights a week.

After four years of partying and bouncing, somebody asked me on New Years Eve if I was interested in fighting against Frank Lobman. Frank was a very dangerous fighter at that time with NO losses and a 90% KO rate, and he had just came out of jail and wanted to fight again. I was drunk and said: OK, no problem. They started to promote the fight and like four weeks before the fight they asked me if everything was still on. Not remembering the conversation that I had on new years eve, it refreshed my memory and I thought that there was no way that I could refuse this. OK, I said, let's try it. So I needed a good school now to train. My pick was Maeng Ho in Holland that is the gym where Ramon Dekker trains (who I always looked up to) and I started training there. The first session I couldn't even finish the jumping rope. Anyway, I think that I should have had trained much longer for a fight like that but hey, you learn the hard way, I lost that fight. Next I had a fight against an upcoming guy Renee Roze. I had a great first round but then this guy actually bit a hole in my ear. While he was biting I warned him to let go of my ear and he didn't, so my reply was a knee in the groin with all the power I had. This turned out in a big brawl; I brought around 30 bouncer friends with me to watch the fight and so did he. They all started to fight and it was a funny thing to watch.

After that fight, I took another fight against a French guy. I trained very hard but 7 days before the fight I got an infection, and on top of that I was invited to stay a couple of days in the "Hotel de Police" free of charge because I was in a street fight with my friends and they had some questions. Two days before the fight they let me go and being stupid I fought that fight. The first round I knocked the guy down three times but they counted only one two because the third one was with an illegal back fist, a new rule or something that they made up. Anyway, because of the medicine for the infection I guess, my body got real tight and I had to stop the fight in the beginning of the second round. I couldn't breathe any more, so that was it. Then people started to say that I couldn't fight. All the fights I had won (14 of them) I had won by KO and now they say I cannot fight? Why bother and try to entertain these dumb people, is what I thought and I swore never to fight again in Holland.

But I still had the desire to do martial arts and wanted to try something else. I started to do shows with a good friend of mine, martial arts shows set to disco. It was a success and soon we started to do these shows on bigger events and even on TV. On one of these shows a guy named Chris Dolman came to me. Chris Dolman is a big name in Holland and now also a good friend of mine. He asked me if I would like to fight in Japan for him. He saw us doing those salto's, split kicks etc. and he thought that maybe I had a good feeling for "free fight" (that's what they called it at that time). I said sure, I'll come and try it out. So I did. The first class little guys where choking the hell out of me and I actually believed that I could outlast a choke once it was on. That resulted in a very sore throat and I couldn't eat for about four days, the night after the first training session I had to stop my car next to the road (the training was in Amsterdam and I lived 80 miles away from that.) I called my wife and told her that I was SO tired that I would sleep in the car next to the road. The next day I came home and my wife laughed, she said, you are not going back anymore are you? I said that I would go back and not only that but that I would get those guys to tap who had made me tap in the next few months. And thank God after some training I started to get better at it but I didn't see the light yet because I couldn't train a lot. I was still bouncing and teaching and Amsterdam is 80 miles away from my home town (in Holland, 80 Miles is a lot, the whole country is maybe 200 miles wide). I also had some injuries and that kept me away from training. Then one day Chris Dolman gave me a call and he told me that there were two Japanese guys coming to watch training and that they were searching for fighters for a new organization called Pancrase. These guys where Funaki and Suzuki. So I went to the school and met them. They were watching my train and when I was sparring with a big name from Japan and he really tried to hurt me, I kicked him in the head and he was on to the hospital for a few stitches in his eyebrow. That was it, they wanted me to fight for them in Japan!

So about four weeks later I had my first fight, September 21st. 1993, I will never forget this. You have to understand that I came out of Thai boxing and 6 pounds difference would put somebody in a different weight class. There I found out that my opponent was about 50 pounds heavier! On top of that, I thought that there were 5 rounds of 3 minutes. When I asked them how many rounds there were they said, "one round". I thought, man, that's good! How many minutes for the round? "Thirty" they said. Now I tried to bluff, al right, very good, I'm in a very good shape so that will be OK. But in my mind I thought "Oh my God"..30 minutes!!!? Now, in Thaiboxing I always was a pretty aggressive fighter, and that is OK if you have rounds and you can control the pace a little bit, but I though what would happen if I try to KO him in the beginning of the round, throw all my energy out and still had 25 minutes to go. The guy would kill me. So I put two R's on my hands. The R means RUSTIG in Dutch, but by coincidence is the same as RELAX in English. Also I had my former manager and good friend Clovis Deprets in the corner and he was instructed that when I would get hit I should not loose my temper. So now, when I got hit I wouldn't go berserk and would try to keep my cool. The fight took 43 seconds, heavy KO. I jumped up in a split kick to all four corners of the ring ( I don't know why, it had to be happiness) and later that became my trademark, along with the "R" on my hands. They called the jump the "Rutten Jump", that is how it got started.

The day of my second fight they woke me up at eight o'clock in the morning and had me travel till about three PM, until we arrived at the venue. Waiting for about five hours and then fight??? Also you have to understand that when you go from Holland to Japan you have a bad jet lag, you fall a sleep at seven in the morning (seven in the morning is 11 o'clock at night in Holland). So when they woke me up I had only slept for an hour!! I was throwing up and my manager had to carry my stuff. The fight started and when you look at it it's really funny, I got caught in an arm bar because at that time I still didn't really know what to do on the ground. I made a major mistake which I tell my students never to do; when you are in the guard never stretch your arms!! I did and I got caught. I felt so bad because of the traveling and no sleep that I wanted to TAP, but then when I heard the people shouting I decided not to tap. Thank God Pancrase had "rope escapes". When somebody catches you in a submission and you are close to the ropes and you can touch ropes with your hands or feet they have to let you go. This will cost you a "lost point" and when the fight takes the whole 30 minutes they will decide who's the winner by counting these "rope escapes". The one who has more then the other will loose. So I pulled him through the ring and touched the rope. The fight started again and then I kneed him in the head and another knee to his liver I won by KO!! That was the moment that I told myself NEVER to quit in a fight because there is always a possibility that you can still win, it only takes one good shot and that's it.

For my third fight, they knew by now that I was a striker and didn't know a whole lot on the ground. So I they matched me against Funaki, Japans N.1 fighter. Oops, he caught me in a toehold I'd even never heard of!! Very painful and he won the fight. I knew that I had to train more on submissions but I had nobody to train close by (in Amsterdam I had but that was far away so I trained there only one time a week). I kept fighting and still did well, even though I didn't train submissions enough. I lost against Ken Shamrock and after that they let me loose against Frank Shamrock and one more time after that against Ken. In the mean while I got to teach a guy called Leon van Dijk, who was young and VERY strong!! We started to work out together and every time I caught him or he me, we wrote down what we did and tried to escape it, make it better etc. Now, after my last loss against Ken we decided to stop training striking (we already knew that) and just started training grappling two times a day. Also I left earlier for fights in Japan so I could train in the Pancrase dojo. Once there I kept my eyes open and wrote everything down that I saw for Leon and I to practice at home. I never lost a fight after that. This totally changed my life and I actually started to win fights with submissions!!

I became the King of Pancrase by beating Suzuki with a front choke, after that I successfully defended my title against Frank Shamrock by knocking him down two times and the referee stopped the contest. The third time I fought Funaki, which was very important to me because he beat me in our first meeting, ended with me knocking him down 4 times!! He showed a lot of heart by coming back constantly. Many say that that was my best Pancrase fight but it was also Funaki's best Pancrase fight, showing the people what an unbelievable heart he has. In between those title defenses I fought regular matches. When my wife became pregnant and she became very ill and there was a change of loosing the baby and my wife I didn't go to Pancrase to defend my title. This is where Pancrase asked me to resign if I didn't defend my title. So I did. Thank God because on the day that I was supposed to leave my little daughter Sabine was born weighing only two pounds . She had to stay in an incubator for 7 more weeks before we could take her home. My wife also had to stay for two more weeks and on top of that I broke my hand in filming a TV show.

Before my daughter was born I came to visit LA one time and when I was here for one day I called my wife and told her to get ready because this was the place for us. After the baby was born we waited 6 months and we came to the US. My plan was coming here to start an acting career; at least, that was the plan. Once here I found out that not that many people knew me here (only the martial artists) and I decided that when my contract was finished with Pancrase I wouldn't sign anymore so I could fight for the UFC because that was the most known organization. I thought that this way the people would get to know me and that would hopefully help in my a temp to start some acting. Now, from this moment on everything went very fast. I fought against Kohsaka my first fight and won and the second fight I fought for the title against Kevin Randleman and became the UFC Heavyweight Champion. I resigned that title because I wanted to fight in middleweight (which is my natural weight) and try to become the first one who has a heavyweight and a middleweight title. Then I got some injuries, a shoulder problem, I twisted my knee and the last one, I tore my biceps. I've also started to work in movies and TV series, I was a guest star in "Martial Law", in "18 wheels of justice", I had a small part in "The King of Queens", worked on a TV series in Canada called "Freedom" for 6 months as a fight choreographer for the lead actor in the series Holt Mc Calleny, I also acted an episode in that and I did two movies, "Behind the story" and one with Funaki, called "Shadow Fury". We fight each other there for the third time, this time as super fighting clones. The last project I did was "Varley's Game" and I am Varley. The main bad guy is Michael Rooker. More info on that later in the news section.





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