MMAWeekly Radio: Transcribed by Jeff Cain
On December 20th, when the unexpected announcement that Bas Rutten was leaving Pride Fighting Championship’s broadcast team hit the headlines, shock and disbelief were felt throughout the Mixed Martial Arts community. Rutten had become a fixture in Pride. His voice and image were associated with the organization for years. Although his replacement, Frank Trigg, did an excellent job on the New Year’s Eve telecast, Bas’ absence didn’t go unnoticed. ‘El Guapo’ is back with Pride Fighting Championships and spoke exclusively to MMAWeekly Radio about his departure and return.

MMAWeekly: How are you doing, El Guapo?

Bas Rutten: I’m doing great man. I’m really feeling good. I feel great, especially after yesterday. The autograph session with Pride, seeing all the people back, the fighters; everything is great.

MMAWeekly: And you’re back. It’s got to feel like kind of a homecoming, right?

Rutten: It is. It truly is. I was going to miss it for sure. That’s one thing for sure. I’m so happy we cleared things up, and let me tell all the people something. Never try to settle your problems by email itself. Just visit each other, look at each other eye to eye because emails can get taken the wrong way.

MMAWeekly: I want to ask you, what changed? Why weren’t you with Pride? Why are you now with Pride?

Rutten: I was with Pride. There were a lot of problems that Pride had in Japan, real problems, and I found out when Frank [Trigg] did the FSN show. It was all Okay because I knew that Frank was already going to do the Bushidos. Everything was set up for this, but they didn’t actually tell me, okay Bas, Frank is going to come in tomorrow to the Fox studios, and he’s going to do the Bushido shows. I was all psyched because it meant I was only going to do the Pride shows.

Through all the busy schedule and everything that happened in Japan with them, they forgot to tell me that Frank was doing the FSN show, so I came to find out by watching TV. Suddenly I see Frank doing the FSN show and I just thought after all of these years working with them that they should have called me or emailed me and said, hey man, Frank is going to do the FSN show because you’re going to be busy anyway. I was going to be busy, and there are times that I wouldn’t be able to do the FSN show. And we are going to mix these things up, but I thought, and of course we were in negotiations, I took the wrong conclusion right away. I thought they did this on purpose. You know? Is this the way they treat me? Bam, and my reaction came out.

MMAWeekly: So we will see you back on the pay-per-view shows?

Rutten: That’s it. It’s like I said, we sat together and then I realized what was going on with them, and they realized what was going on in my head. We just explained to each other what happened, and just cleared everything up. We should have done that before, but you can’t take things back anymore.

I always say, there is actually a quote on my website, a quote that I usually use when I get really drunk or something. There’s no turning back. You can’t turn back the clock. The only thing you can do is learn from your mistake, and hopefully you don’t make it again. That’s one thing for sure, if there’s a problem now, I will be knocking on their door and we will sit at a table and talk about it.

MMAWeekly: So you and Trigg are okay? There was never bad blood between you two?

Rutten: Never . . . I could never understand how people took that out of my letter. I never got that. No. I never had a problem with Frank, ever.

MMAWeekly: Bas, you look at what’s gone on in Pride on the New Year’s Eve show, and you look at the future, let me get your take on the middleweight division. Is Shogun the man, or is Wanderlei Silva still the man in Pride?

Rutten: That’s a difficult one. I never liked polls and those kind of things. Wanderlei Silva is still the man, especially after the whole dog story. I don’t know if you’ve heard that about Wanderlei and Shogun. Have you ever heard that story?

MMAWeekly: No.

Rutten: Shogun had like six pit bull puppies and Wanderlei wanted one. Shogun said, Okay, you can have one for, like say, six hundred dollars. Wanderlei said, six hundred dollars? He said, yea. You have enough money. You can pay your own money for it. Wanderlei said, well, we’re not going to do that, we’re going to fight about it. If you beat me, I pay you the six hundred dollars, or whatever price it was. If I beat you, I’m going to get the puppy.

They fought, and eventually Wanderlei knocked him out in training. Of course this is awhile back. This is like a year back, and Shogun has improved dramatically. The other thing he has on his side is age. He’s younger. He’s very hungry. I could never understand how Wanderlei could focus for so long being a champion. It’s so difficult. Everybody is hunting for you. Every day you’ve got to get up, and you have to understand, you have a lot of injuries, and you’ve got to train with those injuries. You carry those with you through training. If you get injured three weeks before the fight, man, you’ve got every day that injury is coming back. You’ve got to keep going, and keep going. How he did it for five years was a big question mark for me. I think right now with age, and Shogun being younger, and he probably has no injuries, the future looks more bright for him than it does for Wanderlei.

MMAWeekly: That makes sense. You’ve been traveling so much and with Frank Trigg taking over the Bushido, you have a little bit more free time. How busy is your movie schedule now? I know you wanted to start doing a lot more roles. How busy are you getting now with your acting career?

Rutten: We did that short movie, and I’m going to see if I can put a real funny clip of that on my website . . . That short film was received really well by the short film festival. There were over six hundred movies. They picked five movies up and this was one of them. It was real good. We’re going to try to make this into a feature. Also, we’re doing Quinton Jackson, Randy Couture, and we have a whole bunch of guys, and we want to make a movie kind of like ‘Swingers.’

We sat down maybe a couple of times with writers, and we’re going to write a story about that. There’s something going on in the TV industry. There’s a lot of stuff going on, but its funny man. If they tell you straight in your face that it’s going to happen, it doesn’t mean anything. Until you sign the papers and get your check, then it means something. It looks like it’s going the right way. We’re going really good, but it’s just waiting and see I guess.

MMAWeekly: Bas, you’ve always been great to us. We’re happy you’re back. The fans are excited. We’re excited. Good to have you back, and we look forward to seeing you in February.

Rutten: Perfect man, and thank you so much.

For all information on Bas Rutten, visit his website, www.basrutten.tv.