Sebastiaan "Bas" Rutten is a retired Dutch mixed martial artist, Karate and Taekwondo blackbelt, and kickboxer. He was a UFC Heavyweight Champion, a three time King of Pancrase world champion, and finished his career on a 22 fight unbeaten streak (21 wins, 1 draw). He is currently the star of Punk Payback on Fuel TV and co-host of Inside MMA on HDNet.
Rutten was born in Tilburg, Netherlands. At the age of 6 he developed eczema and severe asthma. Bas' eczema meant he always wore long sleeves, turtle necks and gloves, and his asthma meant he was unable to partake in exercise, and was consequently relatively skinny. He was bullied on a daily basis as a kid. The young Rutten found refuge in climbing trees in a forest behind his house.
Rutten became interested in martial arts at age 12 after his family went on vacation to France; the movie Enter the Dragon starring Bruce Lee was playing at the local movie theatre. Bas could not get in because he was just 12 years old and the movie was rated 17+, so he and his brother (Sjoerd) snuck into the theatre and after the movie he became addicted to martial arts. His conservative parents didn't allow him to pursue it at first. But after two years of begging his parents, at age 14, they allowed him to practice Tae Kwon Do. He picked it up very quickly and after a few months he got in a street fight with the biggest bully in town. Rutten, now more confident, took the challenge and broke the bully's nose and KO'd him with the first punch he threw. The police showed up at his parent's place, and Rutten was immediately removed and prohibited from further practicing Tae Kwon Do.
Bas started training boxing in the backyard of an elementary school with a friend. At age 21, he moved out of his parent's house and once again started training Tae Kwon Do. He was committed and eventually earned a 2nd degree black belt. He then began learning Kyokushin Karate, and earned a 2nd degree black belt. Later he received from Jon Bluming an honorary 5th degree black belt after Bluming witnessed him breaking the shin bone of Kazuo Takahashi by way of inverted heel hook.
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Posted By: Rusty |
2/14/13 2:08 PM
So hard to imagine this big guy ever being scared of anyone but you have to start somewhere. Inspirational