UFC Hall of Famer Bas Rutten: Discover Your Potential and How to Develop Habits for SUCCESS

Bas Rutten is a UFC Hall of Famer, actor, commentator and retired mixed martial artist. His new movie called “The Manson Brothers Midnight Zombie Massacre” is available in theaters and on VOD on September 10, 2021. He joins Chris Van Vliet to talk about his legendary career, how he found success by failing forward, how a Bruce Lee film inspired him to become a fighter, his fights with Ken Shamrock, thoughts on Jake & Logan Paul changing the face of boxing, how he prepares for a film role, his attention to detail and much more!

On why he started wrestling:

“As a kid I was a very sick kid. I had a skin disease and really bad asthma, so I was the leper at school. That’s where my fighting comes from, because they were bullying me. I saw Enter The Dragon with Bruce Lee, started training, knocked my first bully out and then everything stopped. 95% of the people stopped bullying me. Some poor b*stards who didn’t hear the story would still try, but they would soon go [laughs]. But when you are bullied for 7 years, you want payback and heads to roll.”

On how the pieces fell into place:

“If I didn’t have my diseases then I wouldn’t have started fighting. That set me up and then I went off to see the Bruce Lee movie. But everything happens for a reason, I am a big believer in that. It just lit a fire under me, I found I was good at it and it went from there.”

On becoming a professional fighter:

“I never thought I could make a living from it, that was just pure luck. I was a striker and a Thai boxer, but I retired for a while becasue I was just knocking people out. So I hadn’t trained for 3 years, I was drunk at a party and someone asked me if I wanted to face this new guy. He had just come out of prison, he was training in there, [named] Frank ‘The Animal’ Lobman. I agreed to fight him, but I had no idea that I had said that. Weeks and months later they call me and they said ‘Hey who do we send these posters to?’ I said ‘What do you mean? Who is fighting?’ They said I was. I say ‘Who am I fighting?’ They tell me Frank Lobman, you told us on New Year’s Eve. I then realized I did talk to him and I had to keep my word.”

On how people viewed him after the fight:

“The fight was 3 weeks later and I hadn’t trained for 3 years. I was a bouncer at the time, you know the club closes at 5am, then we go to party. I was not living the healthiest lifestyle, I should never have taken this fight, but I am a man of my word. Of course I lost the fight, and everyone in Holland spat me out. They forgot about all of my previous knockouts, and that got to me. I said to myself I’m never going to fight again.”

On bouncing back:

“My wife in 1992 said to me ‘You’re going to be a fighter in Japan.’ I told her I wasn’t going to fight again. Then she said ‘Yes in Holland, but you’re going to Japan.’ I thought that as a weird comment, who would say that? 8 months later and there is a try-out in Amsterdam. It was a bunch of Japanese guys looking for new talent. I got into a brawl with a guy and I knocked him out. The guys pointed and said we want him, 2 months later that was it. September 1993 I am in Japan and I became a professional.”

On if his accent affected his acting career:

“No, and if someone would say anything it would be good. If I studied the lines, I can get rid of it. But there is a lot of ad-libbing, my grammar is backwards becasue I still speak a lot of Dutch at home. It was never a problem but I did try to fix it. But if it’s a problem then write that my character is from Holland. Boom, problem fixed.”

On YouTube stars Jake and Logan Paul breaking into the boxing world:

“I think it’s good. Now when there is a fight there is big money to be made. Hopefully they will now put their feet down, especially if you are a good fighter, look at what Conor McGregor did. They had to pay him, becasue he was going to bring in so many people. But guys like that have a lot of pull, people will come to him and buy pay per views for him. I have respect for those guys, they are not boxers they are YouTube stars. They really commit to the sport and I have the upmost respect for that.”

On how he became a commentator:

“So it was in 1999/2000 and the Pride Fighting Championships was going to be broadcast in the States. I was there with a few fighters and I was the trainer. We are in the dressing room and waiting for the main event. We are watching the TV and some people from the Pride Fighting Championships are there. I say ‘Oh he’s going to get him in an armbar.’ They go ‘What? Nothing is going on.’ I respond ‘Give it 10 seconds.’ 10 seconds later, boom, armbar. The next fight it happened again with a knee bar. I know the setups. They came to me and asked if I wanted to be a commentator and I said sure.”

A happy accident:

“I had no clue that I had to wear a suit. I have never looked at the commentators, I was such an idiot at the time. So I was standing there in shorts, flip flops and a Hawaiian shirt at the bus ready to go to the event. They say ‘Where’s your suit?’ I go ‘What suit?’ They started laughing because they thought I was joking. Nobody told me to bring a suit. Then of course I have to do the openings, I didn’t think of that. We had to fid a way to incorporate me with my Hawaiian shirt. Our producer was great and we made a skit out of it. I sat backstage, girls fanned me down and I tell war stories. That became a hit, they loved it. Every opening for Pride Fighting Championships had a skit, all becasue I forgot to bring a suit.”

On what he is grateful for:

“My family, everyone is healthy and just having enough.”

Bas Rutten can be found on Twitter here and Instagram here.

Featured image: MMA Fighting

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