Sebastiaan "Bas" Rutten ( ; born 24 February 1965) is a Dutch actor and retired mixed martial artist, kickboxer, and professional wrestler. He was a UFC Heavyweight Champion, a three-time King of Pancrase world champion, and finished his career on a 22 fight unbeaten streak (21 wins, 1 draw). FightMetric wrote this when Rutten got inducted into the UFC Hall Of Fame: "FightMetric, the official statistics provider for the UFC, ran the numbers on Rutten’s career. They back up the Dutchman’s inclusion into the UFC Hall of Fame and then some. In the 4-hours, 27-minutes and 8-seconds he spent as a pro fighter, Rutten scored 13 knockdowns without getting dropped himself, his significant strike accuracy was 70.6%, the highest FightMetric has ever recorded, attempted a record 53 submissions and successfully swept his opponents a record 46 times." From 2007-2016, Rutten was the co-host of Inside MMA on AXS TV.
As a professional fighter, one of his favorite tactics was the liver shot (both punch and kick), and he popularized its use in MMA. Rutten is known for his charisma and has capitalized on his celebrity status since retiring from fighting in 1999. He has worked as a color commentator in several MMA organizations, including Pride, and has appeared in numerous television shows, movies, and video games. He also coaches MMA and has authored several instructional materials.
Rutten was born in Tilburg, Netherlands. At the age of 6 he developed eczema and severe asthma. Bas' eczema meant he always wore long sleeves, turtle necks and gloves, and his asthma meant he was unable to partake in exercise, and was consequently relatively skinny. He was bullied on a daily basis as a kid.
Bas started training boxing in the backyard of an elementary school with a friend. 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 could not get in because the movie was rated 17+, so he and his brother Sjoerd sneaked into the theatre. After he saw the movie, he took an interest in martial arts. At first, his conservative parents didn't allow him to pursue, but after two years of begging his parents, at age 14, they allowed him to practice taekwondo. He picked it up very quickly and after a few months he got in a street fight with the biggest bully in town. Rutten, now more confident, took the challenge and broke the bully's nose and KO'd him with the first punch he threw. The police showed up at his parent's place, and Rutten was immediately prohibited by his parents from further practicing martial arts.
At age 21, he moved out of his parent's house and once again started training taekwondo. He was committed, eventually earning a 2nd degree black belt. He then began learning Kyokushin Karate and earned a 2nd degree black belt.
At the age of 20 he started competing in kickboxing while working also as a bouncer and model. He fought 16 times, winning the first 14 by knockout, 13 in the first round, and losing his final two fights. One of them would be against famed Frank Lobman for the European Muay Thai title on 12 February 1991, with Rutten losing by KO in the first round. According to Rutten, he signed up for the match while under the influence and without any kind of earlier preparation, but he decided not to pull out. Another of his most famous fights was against Rene Rooze, who bit Rutten's ear during the match. In response, Bas landed a knee to the groin, which interrupted the match and caused a brawl.
Mixed martial arts career
Rutten began his professional mixed martial arts career when he was working as an entertainer. He was scouted by Chris Dolman and invited to train at the Fighting Network RINGS Holland dojo. Though his first training was a tough starting for him, he focused in learning the rudiments of the art. 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, Rutten was immediately chosen. A precursor to modern mixed martial arts, the organization was the first of its kind and featured fighting with no closed fisted strikes to the face, and boasted of early MMA names Frank Shamrock, Vernon White, Maurice Smith, Ken Shamrock, and Guy Mezger.
In September 1993, 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 2 days in a hospital, with Bas himself fearing for his life. Rutten's second match, however, would be against a more experienced opponent, Takaku Fuke, and it would expose his main weakness, which was his lack of groundfighting experience. 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.
His third match would be his first loss for this cause, as he faced a superior opponent in the form of Pancrase founder Masakatsu Funaki. Rutten was taken down and forced to close guard, moment in which he accidentally hit Funaki with a closed-fisted punch. When he tried to apologize, the Japanese fighter capitalized and executed a toehold, making Rutten tap out. At that point of his career, 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 Rutten submitted Japanese wrestler Kazuo "Yoshiki" Takahashi with an inverted heel hook during a grappling exchange which had been overconfidently initiated by Kazuo. The hold completely broke Takahashi's shin bone and gained Rutten an honorary 5th degree black belt in Kyokushin Budokai by Jon Bluming after he learned the fact. Rutten then got his first high level win against the other co-founder of Pancrase, the previously undefeated Minoru Suzuki. The Dutch fighter knocked him down with a body kick, resisted successfully all his submissions attempts on the ground and then hit a knee to the liver on a downed Suzuki, finishing him out. Rutten later said that this win was one of the happiest moments of his life.
Just 20 days later, Rutten faced another steep test, fighting future UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock, who was then one of the best Pancrase fighters. This time the Dutch had Masakatsu Funaki himself in his corner, as he had got the Japanese to formally teach him shoot wrestling. Rutten turned in a hard effort, being taken down by Shamrock and held under dominant position for most of the match. The again more experienced Shamrock made Rutten spend rope escapes by submitting him with a pair of heel hooks and a rear naked choke, and although Rutten still tried on, he was ultimately choked out. After this, Rutten decided to omit strikes from his training and focus in only grappling, and he bounced back from the loss with a submission win over Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Jason DeLucia, trading submission attempts with him before ending the match with a guillotine choke.
In December 1994, Rutten then participated in one of the greatest events in mixed martial arts history to the point, the King of Pancrase Tournament. The winner of this tournament would be crowned the first champion of Pancrase. Rutten was one of the four #1 seeds in the tournament, and his first fight was against MMA newcomer and future UFC champion Frank Shamrock. The fight was a controversial one, as Rutten locked an earlier rear naked choke under the ropes, only to have the referee to break it up without deducting a lost point from Frank. After that point, the two nullified each other until the end of the match, which saw an upset decision win for Shamrock. Frank also left the match with a broken nose by a high kick.
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 January 26, 1995. 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. Thanks to this performance against the tournament finalist, Rutten received a rematch and a title shot against tournament winner and then current King of Pancrase Ken Shamrock for the King of Pancrase title on March 10. The match was very anticipated, but it ended early when Shamrock executed a kneebar and forced Rutten to submit. According to the Dutch, the loss was due to his training partner Funaki teaching him the wrong way to escape a kneebar, which made Rutten spin in the opposite direction giving a tighter hold for Shamrock. After this failure, Rutten focused on grappling even harder and started training 2 to 3 times a day solely on submissions.
Again, Rutten's new training paid off, and he stole a win from Takaku Fuke with an armbar from the guard and a finishing heel hook. He then faced another dangerous striker, American kickboxing champion Maurice Smith, who in turn fell down to the mat to avoid Bas's striking. 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. After dispatching next Jason DeLucia by submission as well, Rutten got a rematch with Frank Shamrock on July 23. Their fight was similar to the first bout, with both men trading positions and holds, and again the referee controversially broke up two kneebars which were performed by Rutten next to the ropes, but this time Rutten would win the split decision.
The win granted him a challenge title match in September 1995 against the King of Pancrase Minoru Suzuki, which was their rematch from the fight at the beginning of their careers. The match was long and intense, as Suzuki rode Rutten for most of their exchanges in the bout, and actually managed to force him to spend a rope escape with a tight kneebar. 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. After getting from under a mount, Rutten threw a front kick to the body which downed Suzuki and followed with a guillotine choke, making the King of Pancrase tap out.
After putting his title defenses on hold due to an injury, Rutten returned to the ring in a rematch against Maurice Smith. Overwhelmed by Rutten's strikes, Smith opted for taking him down every time possible, but Rutten ended up performing a half guard sweep into a rear naked choke for the tap out. His next time would be against the man he debuted against in Pancrase, Ryushi Yanagisawa, and this time the match lasted 27:35. Despite breaking his hand during the match, Rutten scored three consecutive submissions through the affair before ending it with another rear naked choke.
In March 1996, Rutten faced Lion's Den fighter and future Ultimate Fighting Championship winner Guy Mezger. Through the fight, Rutten dominated the stand-up with liver shots and palm strikes, forcing Mezger to take him down and meet him on the ground. There Mezger was able to control Rutten, but was unable to score a submission, while the Dutch defended and capitalized on the stand-up segments to inflict damage. At the end, after a leglock exchange, Rutten locked a heel hook variation to submit Mezger.
On 16 May 1996 Rutten defended his title before Frank Shamrock in their third match, which was also for Shamrock's interim King of Pancrase title. Controlling the takedowns as usual, Shamrock gained north-south position several times, but was unable to submit Rutten, and Rutten in turn knocked him down with an open-handed uppercut. The two fighters struggled, and even fell off the ring in a failed takedown. 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. At the end, however, Rutten won the fight by TKO due to an eye cut, unifying the King of Pancrase belts.
Right after his match against Shamrock, Rutten had his rubber match against Jason DeLucia. The fight was controversial for DeLucia repeatedly claiming Rutten had hit him with a closed fist, which costed the Dutch fighter a yellow card and later a red card. In response, Rutten hit several shots to DeLucia's liver, rupturing it and knocking him out painfully.
At Pancrase 1996 Anniversary Show, taking place on September 7, 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 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. Funaki made a wide usage of the knee-on-stomach and mount position to initiate leglock attacks, but the Dutch countered every time and eventually pushed Masakatsu away, moment in which the Japanese threw an illegal kick to Rutten while he was getting up. In response, the Dutch fighter knocked Funaki down with a palm strike, and then completely broke his nose with a second palm strike to a supine Masakatsu. The stunned Japanese tried to trade hits with Rutten, only for Bas to capitalize on this with his famed striking game. 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. In doing so, he became a three-time King of Pancrase.
Rutten described the war with Funaki in an interview:
Before the fight when he came to me, he made that thumb over the neck, throat slashing motion like I was going to go down. I turned to my manager and said, "Okay, now I'm going to kill this guy, you watch". My game plan was to keep the fight going for 15 minutes... Funaki had never fought above 15 minutes. But then, like 12 minutes into it, while I'm still on my knees he kicks me in the head. I block, but for me that was an illegal thing to do. So right away I start, BANG, BANG, BANG, and he goes down. From that moment on, I totally destroyed him. You got to see the fight; it was a massacre. My palms were black from hitting him so hard. He had the gods on his side or something, because he stood up every time. I hit his face back on the mat and you hear it slam into the mat. His nose is all the way to the side, broke, they have to straighten it out. I go, "Oh my God, this guy can take a shot!" I kneed him so hard in the head. He went down four times. But the last knee I gave to him was like everything I had. I grabbed him by the head and kneed him. It was really like a Rocky movie. I'm standing there and I fall backwards, and I'm totally out of breath. I get up and the referee holds my hand up. Then he lets my hand go and I drop again, BOOM! I was exhausted, I gave everything I had; I really wanted to destroy him. I broke his cheekbones and broke his nose, just because he said he was going to kill me. Oh, I was so angry at him. But afterwards, friends again... What a crazy sport this is, huh?
His 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. Following the match, he relinquished his title to be present for the birth of his second daughter.
On 22 March 1997 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. The Dutchman avenged the accident in a rematch with Shibuya, in which he submitted the Japanese with a spinal lock from ura-gatame position he nicknamed "Bas Rutten Neck Crank."
Rutten returned to Pancrase, taking 8 more victories, bringing his unbeaten streak up to 19 straight fights.
Rutten left Pancrase as one of the most dominant fighters in the history of the organization. MMA legend Ken Shamrock was the only fighter Rutten did not avenge a loss to. In 2000, when Rutten was PRIDE FC's color commentator, a third fight with Shamrock was entertained. Rutten agreed to come out of retirement to fight Shamrock in PRIDE FC. However, Shamrock stated that he already beat Rutten twice and that a third time wasn't necessary. Later, in 2002, 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.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
UFC Heavyweight Champion
Rutten was originally told about Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) before its first event in 1993, when would-be UFC competitor Ken Shamrock proposed it to him, but 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. However, he signed with the UFC in 1998, after his Pancrase career. Rutten entered the UFC with a massive amount of hype; he was undefeated in his last 19 fights and was touted by the organization as the "world's greatest martial artist."
Rutten was originally 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. The title was then stripped from Couture and a tournament of sorts was set up to determine the next champion. Thus, the Dutchman's first fight in his quest for the UFC belt was against Fighting Network RINGS exponent Tsuyoshi Kohsaka at UFC 18. During the bout, Rutten was repeatedly taken down and struck with ground and pound, but he ended up scoring a dramatic KO with just a minute left in overtime. The fight was a source of controversy because referee John McCarthy seemed to unfairly stand the fight up when Kohsaka was mounted on Rutten and actively landing clean effective punches.
On 7 May 1999, at UFC 20, Rutten faced Kevin Randleman for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. The first four minutes consisted of Rutten taking unanswered punishment from his guard, getting blood on his face, but after the fight was stood up to check Rutten's cut, Rutten landed a hard kick to Randleman's liver, slowing his pace for the rest of the fight. They then exchanged strikes in Bas's guard, with the Dutch fighter opening a cut in Randleman via elbow strikes on top of his head, until the end of the overtime. The fight went to the judges, and they gave the split decision win to Rutten, crowning him as UFC Heavyweight Champion. This victory met a heated controversy from fans and professionals of the sport alike, among them Randleman's corner and Mark Coleman, who criticized the judges's decision. Fight's judging at that point was not based on the current 10-point must system, but who the judges felt won the fight overall.
Rutten vacated the title later in the year, in order to drop down to middleweight (now known as light heavyweight) 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. However, he would end up never continuing his career, as while training for his next UFC fight in 1999 he suffered multiple serious injuries, including blowing out his knee (a long running injury), tearing his biceps, and suffering a neck injury. He was forced to retire from MMA competition for the time being, by doctor's orders.
UFC Hall of Fame
On 22 May 2015 UFC President Dana White appeared on Inside MMA to announce that Rutten would be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame during International Fight Week in July. Rutten is the first European to be inducted, taking his place in the "Pioneers" wing of the UFC's new look Hall of Fame.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz has credited Rutten for inspiration during his early days. Ortiz said; "I looked up to Bas Rutten. Bas was my idol. People were just so scared of fighting him, he was like the man. I thought that was what I need to do now. If I train as hard as he does then one day I'll be as good as him and two years later look where I am, I'm on top of the world. I've got to say thanks to him, (Bas) for helping me out by making me believe in dreams."
In May 2006, Rutten announced his return to MMA competition. Cleared by doctors to fight again, Rutten was slated to face Kimo Leopoldo in the now defunct World Fighting Alliance on 22 July 2006, at The Forum in Los Angeles. Two days before the event, Kimo tested positive for Stanozolol, an anabolic steroid. In place of Kimo, Rutten fought Ruben "Warpath" Villareal. Rutten took a first-round victory by way of technical knockout after low kicks left his opponent unable to stand. With that he brought up his professional record to 28 wins 4 losses and 1 draw. Rutten tested positive for hydrocodone, morphine, and diphenhydramine, several painkillers.
Professional wrestling career
Rutten competed in Japanese professional wrestling following his Pancrase tenure. He 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 Rodríguez, with Rutten personally submitting Sano with a crossface chickenwing. He also wrestled in Battlarts, defeating Carl Malenko by KO via palm strike.
In 2002, Rutten debuted in New Japan Pro Wrestling as a part of Antonio Inoki's MMA army. Before his first match, he was featured in vignettes learning the shining wizard from watching Keiji Mutoh tapes in order to adapt to NJPW professional wrestling. He mostly wrestled in singles matches, beating both rookies and veterans like Manabu Nakanishi, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Masayuki Naruse. In July, he challenged for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Yuji Nagata, but he was defeated. After three months, in October, he was featured in a special European Catch Wrestling Rules Match against Osamu Nishimura with Tony St. Clair as a special referee. The match went to time limit draw after ten rounds, despite Nishimura's illegal blows. The same month, Rutten dropped down to the junior heavyweight division and received another title match, this time against Koji Kanemoto for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, but he was unsuccessful.
After his retirement from fighting in 1999, Rutten focused on becoming an actor, getting small parts on TV shows such as Martial Law, 18 Wheels of Justice, The King of Queens, "Lights Out" and the Canadian series Freedom, as well as appearing in low budget movies such as Shadow Fury, The Eliminator, and the comedy short The Kingdom of Ultimate Power which was featured in the 2005 L.A. Film Festival. It also won the first prize at the short film festival in NY for "best comedy".
Rutten was also the color commentator for the English productions of Pride Fighting Championships events, calling nearly every event from Pride 1 through the 2005 Grand Prix. Known for his sense of humor and first hand knowledge of the sport, Rutten quickly became a fan favorite commentator. In April 2006 he announced that he would not continue to announce for Pride, due to the constant flying to Japan, and being away from his family every month.
Rutten has a cameo in the video game "Grand Theft Auto IV" on the in-game TV show called "The Men's Room." He also did motion capture for the main character's fighting moves. He 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". After two hours they stopped him and said, "It's OK, you don't have to go any further".
He was also featured in WCW vs. the World for the PlayStation, but was named "Thunder Dome" to avoid copyright laws.
On 23 January 2008, he was announced as the new Vice President, Fighter Operations reporting directly to IFL CEO Jay Larkin. His role was to build relations between the IFL and its fighters as well as work on potential match-ups between fighters. He also hosted the weekly shows "Battleground" and "International Fight League" with Kenny Rice. This all ended when IFL went out of business in late 2008.
In 2009, he appeared in the music video for Listen to Your Friends by the rock band New Found Glory, "fighting" lead vocalist Jordan Pundik. Bas and Rice hosted Inside MMA, a weekly MMA variety show on AXS TV. The pair also did remote English commentary and play-by-play for Dream events broadcast in North America on HDNet. The pair were eventually replaced by Guy Mezger and Michael Schiavello, who attend the events live in Japan. He is currently appearing in public health service ads, airing on Cartoon Network. He also made a public service announcement against trying out MMA at home but CagePotato ridiculed it for its mixed messages.
Rutten featured in 2012 American sports comedy movie Here Comes the Boom alongside Kevin James and Henry Winkler. Rutten played the role of a former MMA fighter and Dutch immigrant Niko trying to gain US citizenship. In return for his help in gaining citizenship Niko helps train 42-year-old biology teacher Scott (Kevin James) to become a MMA fighter in the UFC. The film also features former UFC fighter Krzysztof Soszynski, former Muay Thai kickboxer Mark DellaGrotte along with cameo roles for Bruce Buffer, Chael Sonnen, Jason Miller, Satoshi Ishii, Mark Muñoz, Herb Dean, Wanderlei Silva, and Joe Rogan amongst others.
On 23 October 2013, The World Series of Fighting announced Rutten as a member of the broadcast team for WSOF events on NBCSN along with Todd Harris.
Rutten is certified as an instructor of both MTBN Thai Boxing and mixed martial arts, as well as krav maga.
Rutten coached Mark Kerr during the filming of the HBO documentary The Smashing Machine.
In 2006, Rutten was a coach a team for the International Fight League, an MMA organization that focused on team combat. His team, the Anacondas, defeated the Silverbacks 3-2. He is also a former investor in the Legends MMA gym in Hollywood and used to teach there occasionally, and is now a part owner of the MMA gym Bas Rutten's Elite Mixed Martial Arts in Thousand Oaks, California. He teaches a MMA class on Tuesdays.
He has also trained former street fighter Kimbo Slice for his professional MMA bouts, as well as former Ring of Honor and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling world champion Samoa Joe.
Rutten's main reason of success in Pancrase was his well-rounded fighting style, excelling both in striking and grappling. His stand-up offensive, learned from the Dutch school of Muay Thai, Karate and Taekwondo was aggressive yet deceptively technical. According to Frank Shamrock, it often intimidated other fighters. He would say, "His kickboxing was devastating. It was something everybody feared. The other thing he had was a basic understanding of real fighting... Bas had that street fighter mentality." One of his favored tactics was unbalancing his opponents with push kicks against the ring ropes before overwhelming them with palm strikes and body punches, nullifying their ability to counterattack or defend. Also, Rutten never developed an effective takedown defense, but he was apt in landing strikes while being taken down, having knocked out opponents before they could complete the technique. The most famous aspect of his striking, however, was his scientific skill to target the opponent's liver, using punches, knees and kicks to damage it and incapacitate his adversary.
On the other hand, Rutten's groundwork was built through a slow evolution and was unusual for being mostly self-taught. Initially counting only on defense rudiments learned from Chris Dolman, he developed his game by copying Pancrase trainings and he came to be a dangerous submission fighter as well. His grappling style was patterned after Pancrase's native shoot wrestling (better known as "Catch wrestling" in the west), and he focused on chokeholds, leglocks, and a solid submission defense, which helped him to avoid being submitted by even high-level offensive grapplers like Masakatsu Funaki and Minoru Suzuki.
Rutten currently lives in Westlake Village, California with his wife Karin and two daughters - Sabine and Bianca. Rutten also has a daughter from his first wife; her name is Rachele. He became a citizen of the United States twenty years ago. By the end of 2015, he received his first grandchild, a grandson from Rachele, who currently lives in Belgium.
Back in Netherlands, Rutten is friends with former UFC competitor Gerard Gordeau.
Rutten is known by the moniker "El Guapo", which means "The Handsome One" in Spanish.
He became known for the victory celebration known as "Rutten Jump", in which he would do a jumping split after winning a fight. Rutten talked about the origins of the Rutten Jump on his website: "When I won my first fight in Pancrase, I was so hyped that I jumped up in the splits to each side of the ring. Why? I don't know. But, it became my trademark and I had to do it after every fight that I won."
Rutten is a certified culinary chef. In 2010, Rutten partnered with clothing brand, Tokyo Five, to produce and star in a cooking show titled Grandma’s Kitchen with Bas Rutten. The show's pilot was scheduled to air February 26, 2010, however, due to a physical altercation between Rutten and a co-hosts, production has been delayed indefinitely.
Rutten is a practicing Catholic, talking about his faith in God on YouTube.
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. In particular, he once threw Paul Varelans through a glass window in Kiev via kimura lock when Varelans tried to bite his back, and immediately after he disarmed and assaulted an armed bouncer. He also participated in a brawl that took place at a bar in Sweden in which he fought several bouncers at the same time. This fight is particularly notorious as it landed Rutten in a Swedish jail.
Bas Rutten is known to have at least one dog, who responds to the name "Speedy". Greg Cote, long time sports columnist of the Miami Herald, refers to Mr. Rutten's dog with its full name: Speedy Rutten.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- UFC Hall of Fame
- UFC Heavyweight Championship (One time)
- Pancrase Hybrid Wrestling
- King of Pancrase Openweight Championship (Three times)
- Unified the King of Pancrase Championship
- Two successful title defenses
- Mixed Martial Arts Hall of Fame
- Fight Matrix
- 1996 Fighter of the Year
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|33 matches||28 wins||4 losses|
|Win||28-4-1||Ruben Villareal||TKO (leg kicks)||WFA: King of the Streets||000000002006-07-22-000022 July 2006||1||3:24||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Win||27-4-1||Kevin Randleman||Decision (split)||UFC 20||000000001999-05-07-00007 May 1999||1||21:00||Birmingham, Alabama, United States||Won UFC Heavyweight Championship; Later vacated title due to injury.|
|Win||26-4-1||Tsuyoshi Kohsaka||TKO (punches)||UFC 18||000000001999-01-08-00008 January 1999||1||14:15||Kenner, Louisiana, United States|
|Win||25-4-1||Kengo Watanabe||TKO (palm strikes)||Pancrase: 1998 Anniversary Show||000000001998-09-14-000014 September 1998||1||2:58||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||24-4-1||Keiichiro Yamamiya||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Pancrase: Alive 11||000000001997-12-20-000020 December 1997||1||4:58||Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan|
|Win||23-4-1||Osami Shibuya||Submission (Bas Rutten neck crank)||Pancrase: 1997 Anniversary Show||000000001997-09-06-00006 September 1997||1||3:15||Urayasu, Chiba, Japan|
|Win||22-4-1||Takaku Fuke||Submission (armbar)||Pancrase: Alive 7||000000001997-06-30-000030 June 1997||1||4:28||Hakata, Fukuoka, Japan|
|Win||21-4-1||Kiuma Kunioku||Decision (lost points)||Pancrase: Alive 4||000000001997-04-27-000027 April 1997||1||15:00||Urayasu, Chiba, Japan|
|Draw||20-4-1||Osami Shibuya||Draw (majority)||Pancrase: Alive 3||000000001997-03-22-000022 March 1997||1||15:00||Nagoya, Aichi, Japan|
|Win||20-4||Manabu Yamada||Submission (toe hold)||Pancrase: Truth 7||000000001996-10-08-00008 October 1996||1||0:54||Nagoya, Aichi, Japan|
|Win||19-4||Masakatsu Funaki||KO (knee)||Pancrase: 1996 Anniversary Show||000000001996-09-07-00007 September 1996||1||17:05||Urayasu, Chiba, Japan||Defended King of Pancrase title|
|Win||18-4||Jason DeLucia||TKO (body punch)||Pancrase: Truth 6||000000001996-06-25-000025 June 1996||1||8:48||Fukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan|
|Win||17-4||Frank Shamrock||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Pancrase: Truth 5||000000001996-05-16-000016 May 1996||1||11:11||Tokyo, Japan||Unified and defended King of Pancrase title|
|Win||16-4||Katsuomi Inagaki||TKO (knee to the body)||Pancrase: Truth 4||000000001996-04-08-00008 April 1996||1||14:07||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||15-4||Guy Mezger||Submission (heel hook)||Pancrase: Truth 2||000000001996-03-02-00002 March 1996||1||19:36||Kobe, Hyogo, Japan|
|Win||14-4||Ryushi Yanagisawa||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Pancrase: Eyes of Beast 7||000000001995-12-14-000014 December 1995||1||27:35||Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan|
|Win||13-4||Maurice Smith||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Pancrase: Eyes of Beast 6||000000001995-11-04-00004 November 1995||1||4:34||Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan|
|Win||12-4||Minoru Suzuki||Submission (guillotine choke)||Pancrase: 1995 Anniversary Show||000000001995-09-01-00001 September 1995||1||15:35||Tokyo, Japan||Won King of Pancrase title|
|Win||11-4||Frank Shamrock||Decision (split)||Pancrase: 1995 Neo-Blood Tournament Second Round||000000001995-07-23-000023 July 1995||1||15:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||10-4||Jason DeLucia||Submission (toe hold)||Pancrase: Eyes of Beast 5||000000001995-06-13-000013 June 1995||1||1:32||Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan|
|Win||9-4||Maurice Smith||Submission (kneebar)||Pancrase: Eyes of Beast 4||000000001995-05-13-000013 May 1995||1||2:10||Urayasu, Chiba, Japan|
|Win||8-4||Takaku Fuke||Submission (heel hook)||Pancrase: Eyes of Beast 3||000000001995-04-08-00008 April 1995||1||1:52||Nagoya, Aichi, Japan|
|Loss||7-4||Ken Shamrock||Submission (kneebar)||Pancrase: Eyes of Beast 2||000000001995-03-10-000010 March 1995||1||1:01||Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan||For King of Pancrase title|
|Win||7-3||Manabu Yamada||Technical Submission (arm-triangle choke)||Pancrase: Eyes of Beast 1||000000001995-01-26-000026 January 1995||1||1:05||Nagoya, Aichi, Japan|
|Loss||6-3||Frank Shamrock||Decision (majority)||Pancrase: King of Pancrase Tournament Opening Round||000000001994-12-16-000016 December 1994||1||10:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||6-2||Jason DeLucia||Submission (guillotine choke)||Pancrase: Road to the Championship 5||000000001994-10-15-000015 October 1994||1||1:43||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||5-2||Ken Shamrock||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Pancrase: Road to the Championship 3||000000001994-07-26-000026 July 1994||1||16:42||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||5-1||Minoru Suzuki||TKO (knee to the body)||Pancrase: Road to the Championship 2||000000001994-07-06-00006 July 1994||1||3:43||Amagasaki, Hyogo, Japan|
|Win||4-1||Kazuo Takahashi||TKO (knee injury)||Pancrase: Road to the Championship 1||000000001994-05-31-000031 May 1994||1||1:37||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||3-1||Vernon White||Submission (guillotine choke)||Pancrase: Pancrash! 3||000000001994-04-21-000021 April 1994||1||1:16||Osaka, Osaka, Japan|
|Loss||2-1||Masakatsu Funaki||Submission (toe hold)||Pancrase: Pancrash! 1||000000001994-01-19-000019 January 1994||1||2:58||Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan|
|Win||2-0||Takaku Fuke||TKO (knee to the body)||Pancrase: Yes, We Are Hybrid Wrestlers 2||000000001993-10-14-000014 October 1993||1||2:03||Nagoya, Aichi, Japan|
|Win||1-0||Ryushi Yanagisawa||KO (palm strike and knee)||Pancrase: Yes, We Are Hybrid Wrestlers 1||000000001993-09-21-000021 September 1993||1||0:43||Urayasu, Chiba, Japan|
|1992||Shadow of the Dragon||Kismet||Film|
|1997||WCW vs. the World||Thunder Dome (playable character)||Video Game|
|1999||Martial Law||Roman Van Reit||TV Episode: "Nitro Man"|
|2000||Freedom||The Bad Guy||TV Episode: "Lonewolf"|
|2000||The King of Queens||Emil||TV Episode: "Party Favors"|
|2001||Shadow Fury||Kismet (Adult)||Film|
|2002||The Smashing Machine||Himself||Documentary|
|2002||NJPW Samurai TV||Himself||TV series|
|2004||The Eliminator||Dakota Varley||Film|
|2005||The Vault||General Matos||Film|
|2005||The King of Queens||Niles||TV Episode: "Deconstructing Carrie"|
|2005||The Kingdom of Ultimate Power||Vlad Rifka||Short|
|2006||IFL: International Fight League||Announcer||TV series|
|2007||Fight Science||Himself||TV Documentary|
|2007||The Modern Warrior||Himself||TV Documentary|
|2008||Grand Theft Auto IV||Himself (voice)/Niko Bellic (motion-capture fighting double)||Video Game|
|2008||Fight Science||Himself||TV Episode: "Fighting Back"|
|2009||Paul Blart: Mall Cop||Drill Instructor||Film|
|2009||Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony||Himself (voice)||Video Game|
|2009||Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned||Himself (voice)||Video Game|
|2010||EA MMA||Himself (voice)||Video Game|
|2010||Sinners & Saints||Dekker||Film|
|2011||Lights Out||Dokaj (MMA fighter)||TV episode: "Bolo Punch"|
|2011||Zookeeper||Sebastian the Wolf (voice)||Film|
|2012||Here Comes the Boom||Niko||Film|
|2012||UFC Undisputed 3||Himself (voice), non playable commentator||Video Game|
|2012||Punk Payback||Himself||TV Series|
|2012||Myrskyn Ratsastajat||Himself||TV Documentary|
|2015||Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2||Henk||Film|
|2016||EA Sports UFC 2||Himself (playable character)||Video Game|
|2016||The River Thief||Clyde||Film|
|2017||Kevin Can Wait||Rutger||Recurring role|
- Bas Rutten's Big Book of Combat, Volumes One and Two (2002)
- Bas Rutten's Big DVDs of Combat
- Bas Rutten's Lethal Street Fighting (2003)
- Bas Rutten's MMA Workout (2001)
- Bas Rutten's Superior Free Fight Techniques
- Bas Rutten's "Extreme Pancrase" No-Holds Barred Fighting System
- Training with Bas Rutten "Never Back Down Special Features" 2008
- TERA Online"MMO-FO.com Spokesman" 2012