by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
The MMA world was surprised recently with the announcement that Bas Rutten, the longtime face and voice of Pride FC, would be leaving the company after years of handling commentary on the company’s American PPVs. Fans have reacted with stunned astonishment to the thought that one of the most beloved personalities in the sport’s history may no longer be coming into their homes on a monthly basis adding his unique flare to the commentary position.
While American fans may have to wait to see the return of “El Guapo” to the broadcast table, fans in Canada however will be able to hear Bas soon as the new voice of King of the Cage Canada. Rutten will be re-teaming with Mauro Ranallo to call the action for KOTC Canada on TSN, the Canadian equivalent to ESPN that is available to ten million homes in Canada.
In a statement issued exclusively to MMA Weekly, Rutten discusses joining KOTC Canada, working with Mauro Ranallo, and cleared up misconceptions regarding Frank Trigg.
I joined the KOTC Canada because:
First of all, I like to do commentary, I simply love it, and together with Mauro Ranallo, are you kidding? I’ll take that right away, if you would only know how much fun we have together! If they offer me a good part in a low budget movie (like I already did many times, actually ONLY low budget movies, ha-ha), I do it too, this has nothing to do with how big it is, I just really like to do it! The same as acting, I like to do it, it’s not about becoming some “Hollywood Hotshot,” I just like to entertain people.
Second, it’s outside the US and I know that Pride gave Mauro the OK to do that besides Pride, because it will not be shown in America on PPV. Understand I do NOT have a fight with Pride and I still respect the company a lot, so to go right away to another American company and be the announcer for them, is simply not how I am.
I never had a written contract with Pride because of the fact that movies might happen, but I gave them my WORD that I wouldn’t commentate for another organization, and with me my WORD is something that I really don’t like to break, I am REALLY strict in that. If you know how many times I have been asked to do commentary for other organizations, it’s just crazy. Of course there was a time limit on that agreement, which was 6 months, and I will honor that, no matter what.
Third, Mauro told me about Keith Crawford (partner and VP of managing from King of the Cage Canada AND Mauro’s very good friend), he told me that he is very passionate about the KOTC Canada and that he is the hardest working person in MMA. I really trust Mauro with everything, so if he says so, than it IS so.
So I am going to enjoy working with people like that, same as in Pride, they also are really hard working people with passion. If I do things, I like to do them with everything I have. “You DO or you DON’T,” there is no in between. That’s why I am NOT a good “team sport player,” because if I feel that one player in my team doesn’t do 100% his best, I will get frustrated.
Last thing that I want to mention, I have absolutely NOTHING against Frank Trigg. I really don’t know how people would take that from my letter. I REALLY wish him all the best and I also believe that the people must give him a chance BEFORE they start making bad comments about him on the internet.
When contacted about Rutten joining him at the commentary table for KOTC Canada, Mauro Ranallo replied, “It’s an honor to continue my working relationship with Bas. Of course I would love to continue working with him in Pride, and I believe there is still a chance that will happen, but in the meantime KOTC Canada fans will get to enjoy the wisdom and wit of El Guapo.”
Rutten and Ranallo’s first scheduled show together in KOTC Canada is slated to be on February 11th, in Prince George, British Columbia. For more on KOTC Canada go to www.kingofthecage.ca for all the information on the promotion, TV schedules, and upcoming events.