by Mitch Gobetz – MMAWeekly.com
Mixed martial arts legend “El Guapo” Bas Rutten was named Vice President, Fighter Operations for the International Fight League on Wednesday.
Rutten has been with the IFL since its inception as a coach for the Los Angeles Anacondas. As his role with the promotion increased, he was unable to continue to be a coach and later handed the team to Shawn Tompkins. Rutten was the voice on IFL Battleground and he has been a significant figure for the promotion.
He has coached standouts such as Chris Horodecki, Jay Hieron and Benji Radach as well as street fighter-turned-mixed martial artist Kimbo Slice. He also co-owns a gym named “Legends” with estranged UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture in California.
Rutten’s new position as Vice President, Fighter Operations is a newly crafted position that will allow him to oversee the contact between the IFL and its fighters. His duties will also include helping with matchmaking within the IFL and outside the IFL. Under his new position, he will report directly to newly appointed CEO Jay Larkin.
Rutten has been an ambassador for mixed martial arts for years and is one of the sport’s most recognized faces.
The IFL has been going through a series of changes the last few months. In November, Gareb Shamus stepped down as chairman and chief executive officer. Just a few days ago, the IFL changed its branding, not to mention that they ditched the original concept of city-based teams and have now moved on to promoting the fighter’s camp team such as Team Quest, Xtreme Couture, Miletich Fighting Systems and the Lion’s Den.