by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
When multiple injuries sidelined Benji “Razor” Radach for three years, he wasn’t expected to come back as successful as he had in 2007.
One of the reasons for his return was his work with Bas “El Guapo” Rutten when the two were part of the International Fight League’s Los Angeles Anacondas team.
So it would seem only fitting that with Radach ready to make his Strikeforce debut Saturday against fellow top middleweight Scott Smith, he would reunite with his former head coach for training.
“I always liked Benji a lot and any time he comes and trains with me, he won,” said Rutten. “I think we’ve got a good connection together, and he listens always to exactly what I say.
“Everything is the same as it was (when we were with the Anacondas); just good training.”
Rutten knows Radach will have to be in top condition to face a fighter as dangerous as Smith has shown himself to be.
“They’re both heavy hitters and both have one-punch knockout (power),” commented Rutten. “If someone’s going to get caught, that guy is going to go (out).
“This fight isn’t going to go the distance. Either way it’s going to result in a knockout, and hopefully with help from me, it’s going to be Scott (who is knocked out) and not Benji.”
Having had experience with multiple top-tier MMA promotions, Rutten is excited to see what Strikeforce will be able to do now that they’ve taken a big step up this year.
“I think is going to be huge,” he exclaimed. “This is what we need for the sport, somebody like (Strikeforce promoter) Scott Coker.
“Somebody who really understands promotion and who has been promoting with the same people; a steady group where everybody knows what they’re doing.”
Rutten believes that the maintained mutual respect between Strikeforce and the UFC will allow both companies to prosper, unlike in the past where competition usually ended in bad blood and promotions failing.
“If you come out and say you’re going to take on the UFC – that’s not a very smart comment,” said Rutten. “Everybody knows even Dana White gives props to Scott.
“Strikeforce has been around a long time, and thankfully there were a lot of really good fighters who were around, and they picked them up and built their own stable of really huge fighters.”
As for Rutten himself, aside from working with Radach, he has been keeping busy launching his new workout program, the Body Action System.
“If you go to BodyActionSystem.com you can see what’s going to come out from me,” he stated. “It’s going to hit the TV also (via) a 25-minute infomercial.
“If you see it, you’re going to like it. Every fighter who came to me and trained on it said they had to get one – this thing is going to be really good.”
Notably one of the busiest men in MMA, Rutten is looking forward to another productive year, both inside and outside the gym.
“We’re working on that, some TV, and I just finished eight comedy episodes for the Internet,” he concluded. “Everything is going really well for me, if one thing pops, then I’m going to be very happy.
“I’ve got some really great gear coming out. Check out my website, especially later this month, because I think I’m going to be one of the first fighters whose got an interactive website – it’s going to be really cool – you watch.”