Bas Rutten Responds to Criticism Stemming from Cutting Ben Askren Off During Interview

September 9, 2014
Comments off

During the latest episode of Inside MMA on AXS TV, hosts Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten cut off One FC welterweight champion Ben Askren in an awkward ending to the interview. Criticisms immediately started pouring in, accusing the show and its hosts of being UFC biased.

Askren voiced his displeasure via Twitter following the segment.

AXS TV Fights CEO Andrew Simon posted an apology to Askren on Twitter on Saturday.

On Tuesday, Rutten posted a lengthy response to Askren and the critics on his Facebook page.

Some people commented on my wall about the Ben Askren interview we did and I wanted to say something because I promised I would but then I thought: “They can see themselves it’s really not like Ben is saying it is”, and then Ben started attacking us on Twitter and on “MMA Junkie” with untrue material, so I figured to say something

OK, first of all: Many of you didn’t see it on TV but saw the edited clip “on line”. When you see the TV piece you see that we talk before, during and after the interview only good about Ben. The video online started like 2 minutes into the interview. Some “on line” video’s even edited the last part out where we say “good bye” to Ben

And another thing, his interview was already a minute over the normal time limit, (we have 4 minutes for guests which we tell them before hand) keep this in mind as well, I come back to it later. Just so you have an idea, it was 5,5 minutes which was even longer then Anderson Silva had last week who has been the best P4P fighter for many years and who fought the best guys out there, meaning, we try to give ALL the fighters the same time.

He’s been ranting the whole week about Dana (the week before he came on, but also over the last years), in every interview. So I asked him about it and he answers like we expected, but that’s good since this was on his mind and that’s why I asked him, now it’s up to something NEW….

Kenny asks a question with the last part being: “One day you are going to sign with the UFC or do you think you can make a career fighting at OneFC”?
He starts answering: “I definitely can make a career fighting at OneFC “and then he goes back to attacking the UFC and Dana

Kenny cuts him off (remember we are already a minute over his “time” and the producer is already asking for that whole minute in our head sets to “wrap it up”) but Kenny still asks him, QUOTE: “Everybody wants to fight in the UFC, don’t you wanna be the best in the world? And, “MOST PEOPLE consider the UFC being the best in the world”. (That’s all he said)

Ben agrees and answers: “100% and I don’t disagree with you but…. “ and keeps going back to ranting about the UFC/Dana again. We already heard that now two times and he already answered the question with: “100% and I don’t disagree”, then keep in mind that we are over the time limit and he keeps on ranting about the UFC so we cut him off.

Kenny says: “Thanks Ben, we have to close down the soap box, thanks for your time it’s always interesting”

Ben says: “You guys can’t cut me off like that”, and we say, (which he heard): “We can, we just did, best wishes AND CONGRATULATIONS ON OneFC” and Ben is off with a smile on his face.

Then right away Kenny continues: “Ben has always something to say, but I gotta tell you, he’s entertaining and a smart guy”….and then we talk more about Fedor, the NFL, that in order to be the best you have to fight the best and in Football you have to go to the NFL, etc etc

But then Ben starts tweeting away (and I quote): “Hey Kenny, I think that is what King Mo would call some “UFC d**k riding”, keep an open mind brother, times are changing”.

“UFC D**k riding”? Lets talk about that.
Did Kenny say, “The UFC has the best production”, or “The UFC has the best owners”, “The best management”, “the best social media companies working for them” etc etc or anything like that? Because that would have been “UFC D**K riding”

No he didn’t, Kenny ONLY said (and I quote): “They (the UFC) has had a lot of controversy over the years and we talked about this on our show, BUT MOST SAY that in order to be the best, you HAVE to fight in the UFC”. (Read that first part about the UFC again)

So he just stated what everybody on this planet knows who follows MMA, from 2006 till right NOW the UFC has been by far and still is the biggest MMA organization in the world. And yes, maybe times are changing, but that’s maybe, NOBODY knows if they will even live tomorrow

Ask ANY fighter on the planet: “Where are the best fighters in the world? In what organization”? They will ALL say “UFC” and when not, they lie about it. Simply look at any top 10 list yourself, most those guys from ANY weight class are UFC fighters.

Also when Ben would never fight in the UFC we all never REALLY know if he is, in fact, the best? He can SAY he is, and we know he’s good, but he simply never fought the best. Because all the top 10 fighters in his weight class (except him at #8) are from the UFC and he never faced any of those guys so we simply don’t know. He could be, he could not, only one way to find out….

And he KNOWS that in order to be recognized as the worlds best he has to fight in the UFC since he answered Kenny’s question, with: “100% and I don’t disagree with you”.

In the end, Ben has made it clear about his dislikes and he repeated it and that was fine, his choice, but then he kept ranting and also started saying things like that there were “unhappy employees at the UFC”, and that: “Bellator and One FC are gaining ground rapidly” but there was no proof of that and he offered no proof. (This interview was before the UFC and Bellator had their shows that evening and nobody knew the ratings yet)

Listen, in every organization are fighters or other employees that are not happy, ask Eddie Alvarez for example. We always try never to allow something to be said as a fact when there is no evidence that it is. When you DO say something about somebody or something, we have follow up with a question; which is how this whole thing got started.

Also, in seven years, entering our 8th, with over 500 guests no one had ever tweeted to Marc Cuban complaining about his treatment, and we’ve had some controversial people on, Mayhem Miller, Don Frye, Nick Diaz, Michael Bisping, Tito, Rampage, Dana, etc. No one has ever complained except Ben. Ben knows this too but his nature is to stir things up on twitter like he always does, and he obviously did.

Again, we didn’t say anything bad about Ben, we only talked good about him, watch the whole interview yourself, so we said NOTHING bad about him.
In fact we always love to have him on our show that’s why we got him on after his fight at OneFC so we could tell him congratulations and to ask what’s next for him?

So for him to say: “we don’t like him and we want to make him look like an ass” I have no clue how he even could think that?


Here’s the interview segment in question.

(Courtesy of AXS TV Fights)

Follow on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

  • taylor2008

    He was not cut off because of the UFC. Time is time. I have seen other sports people get cut off when they ran out of time.

  • Mark Mills

    ben do yourself a favor and never go back on that lame show! everyone knows the caliber of person and fighter you are, the low life who was interviewing you is on the ufc tit, im surprised bas rutten just sat there and didnt speak up for you as a former fighter and ufc cast off.

    • Usmc8408

      Apparently Bas stayed quiet because Askren was being a jack ass

  • Larry Yadao

    Even if Ben was ranting, the point was Kenny was disrespectful in TONE AND what he responded with. He was rude. Kenny could have professionally moved from the subject but he was rude about it. Forget the cutoff, it was about how Kenny treated him

    • Usmc8408

      Who cares is Kenny was rude. Askren was obviously more interested in attacking the UFC than having a legit interview. If he wants to cry, he needs to just go blog it somewhere

    • Jason Priest

      Treated him like how? A grown man? “You don’t wanna fight the best in the world Ben?” “We have to go Ben, bye” It’s hilarious these days how you can’t say anything without someone getting butt-hurt or saying you’re being rude. Waaaaaahhhhh, cry me a river.

  • Jason Priest

    Great response from Bas. Everyone knows Ben cries a lot, and if you don’t, just look at his twitter feed. Nothing rude was said. Nothing to see. Move along.

    • carsti07 .

      Bas: that was awesome
      It’s difficult to argue with the points Bas made

  • Usmc8408

    Askren is just trying to stay relevant. It’s interesting how the least relevant fighters are usually the ones who try to whine and complain their way on to tv. UFC is sports entertainment. The sooner Askren understands this the sooner he’ll understand why the UFC doesn’t want his boring ass

    • snapdad

      im not a fan of askren, but you are saying in order to be the best, you have to be exciting. st. pierre, in my opinion is very boring but he is considered one of the best. it may be sports entertainment, but its still a sport, so whether he is boring or not, he is still winning and in the end that’s what matters. I find leonard Garcia very exciting, but he is far from the best

      • Maddawgmar

        You are exactly right, but GSP early in his career out of the UFC and even early in his UFC career was extremely exciting and had a bunch of finishes. He got to the show and a title shot by being exciting and the best. If you are a boring fighter before the UFC, why put the money behind that fighter? That being said, Askren will be in the UFC sooner or later. He just needs to not burn his bridges before he gets there.

        • snapdad

          ufc has the best fighters in the world, that being said, they should sign askren since he is ranked 8(or something like that). after they sign him put him up against some top ten guys, and after he loses a few, cut him. I remember years ago jake shields was considered the best outside the ufc(boring fighter) and it was great when the ufc brought him in just to show how much he really sucked.

  • Charlie Bruemmer

    sorry your explanation just plain sucks. you and especially the bozo next to you seem like you are clearly in the dons’ pocket (dana white) and the ufc. Ben pretty much calls it like he sees it. he was right what he said about bringing the criminal back when white said he would not. Because the witness was supposedly afraid to testify and left the country does not mean the thug is innocent. Lets face facts, a lot of the pay-per-views have been lame. He is trying to squeeze to much juice out of the orange and getting to much pulp and not enough juice. I call them like i see them also.

  • five_eight

    This is perfect media hype for Ben and Dana. I’m sorry guys but after the whole Tito and Bonnar fake scrap, I’m calling bullsht on a lot of these so called “controversies.”

    • snapdad

      good point

    • dandogood

      Ben nobody should be kissing Dana’s a$$ not stabbing Dana in the back.

  • Bendo’s Abs

    “Don’t touch”.

  • TrentSki

    Ben sounded like a bitch, that was embarrassing as s—

  • Joe

    This kids manager, or whoever looks after his career should tell him the importance of not burning every bridge he comes to. After that who in the MMA media will want to put this guy on TV?

    • TheMod

      Everyone knows Dana’s bridges are easily repaired with money. He’s a businessman, a promoter, and a fight fan all in that order.

  • DamianCross

    Instead of talking so much smack about UFC, he should’ve said positive things that make him want to stay with ONEfc…hell even Tito knows how do that part of the promo.

  • dandogood

    who is ben Asken? why is this nothing even being interviewed?? amazing how a bum is being interviewed.

  • smart sports fan

    hi sheeples

  • dandogood

    seems like unknown Ben assken needs attention and ain’t getting any?

  • julian moran

    I heard Ben Askren making valid points, while Kenny Rice was out of line and sucking up to the UFC.

    • Jason Priest

      Well, well, look who it is lol. It’s Ben Askren’s #1 man-fan. Ben making valid points? You mean him calling Dana a “chameleon” and a “band wagoner”? Those aren’t valid points, they’re biased opinions, against someone he obviously dislikes. The only valid point I heard was from Kenny asking Ben if he wants to fight the best in the world, which he doesn’t.

      • julian moran

        I have never seen an Askren fight, thus do not consider myself I a fan of his; however, I like the fact that he stands up for himself. He does also make valid points about Dana and the UFC.

  • Tyler Cole

    I never watch AXS anymore anyways. Kenny Rice is one of the worst television show hosts/anchors I’ve ever seen in my life. His duo with Bas is bad as Jon Anik and Kenny Florian.

  • dandogood

    why even interview Ben Askren?