by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion and King of Pancrase Bas Rutten appeared on MMAWeekly SoundOff Radio on Thursday evening. “El Guapo” discussed about the IFL and what his thoughts are regarding the finals of the Pride Absolute Grand Prix.
Bas has been training hard with the IFL’s Los Angeles Anacondas team. “I enjoy every second I’m here. These guys are unbelievable,” said Rutten. “I believe in the team concept more than I did in the beginning.”
Rutten was victorious over last second replacement Ruben “Warpath” Villareal in his comeback to MMA. When asked about his recent fight, Bas replied, “I was so relaxed…it came all together. It felt like it was better than when I stopped fighting.”
After his fight, it was revealed that he sustained some injuries during training. “If my knee feels good, then I want to fight again.” Rutten added that he has a two fight deal with the WFA and is also allowed to fight in the IFL.
The IFL show in Moline, Illinois on September 23rd will be highlighted by a superfight between former UFC champion Pat Miletich and Renzo Gracie. Bas commented, “It’s going to be a great fight. I think Renzo has to take him down though. It’s going to be difficult, but once he gets the takedown, he’s very good on the ground. Pat has to keep standing up. He’s a good striker and has really good takedown defense.”
“El Guapo” was very appreciative of what IFL founders Gareb Shamus and Kurt Otto have done with the organization. “What they say, they do,” added Rutten.
Pride’s Absolute Grand Prix concludes this weekend. The final four match-ups have been touted as a ‘dream come true’ for fight fans. Pride’s 205-pound champion Wanderlei Silva faces Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic in a highly anticipated rematch, while former Pride Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira takes on former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett.
“I think Mirko is going to win that fight because he’s going to stay on his feet and his takedown defense is just phenomenal,” commented Bas regarding the second semi-final tournament match-up.
“I do believe that Josh Barnett is the favorite,” said Rutten. “He looks better every time we see him. I think he has a good chance.”
In regards to the Nogueira-Barnett fight, Bas commented, “That’s going to be a great fight. Nogueira has to stick to the ground. Barnett is better on his feet and he has great takedown defense. Barnett is phenomenal on the ground, so even if it goes to the ground, can Nogueira finish him? I don’t know. Like I said before, Barnett is the favorite in this.”