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Bas Rutten talks Fedor's return to MMA

Bas Rutten returned to Submission Radio to discuss some of the hot topics in the world of MMA including the return of Fedor.

When it comes to where Fedor returns Bas would like to see him in the 205 pound division where he thinks even Jon Jones may find some trouble dealing with "The Last Emperor" “205? Yeah well if Jones goes back, he’s an animal too. But you know, when I look at Fedor, when I think about Fedor, I see him just crushing people in Japan. And if I think about him coming back - because maybe he had injuries and those were the reasons he started losing. I don’t know - but just in my mind if I picture myself THAT Fedor coming back, I think sky’s the limit for him. You know, even a Jon Jones. I don’t know, he always find a way to win. Look at the Arlovski fight. You know, Arlovski was doing really good, really well, and then this one punch finished it all. And the way he punches against the Brett Rogers fight. Watch that in slow-motion where his punch leaves. Every fighter, pretty much all of them, they load up their punch. He’s just holding it in mid air in front of him, and from there, 'Boop'. Suddenly the punch comes out and it nails him right on the button, super powerful, drops him with one shot. So any guy like that is just a dangerous guy.”


However if Fedor was to return to the sport Bas believes the UFC is the only choice for him "I always say this, if you’re a fighter and you don’t want to go to the UFC, you know, you say "no, no, I’m perfectly happy where I am", well you’re going to regret it 30 years from now because everybody is going to ask you “oh so you’re a world champion?, "Yeah", "Wow so how many titles you won in the UFC?", "No I was not in the UFC", "Oh you weren’t at UFC?", "Yeah", "Ohhhh ok”. You will always have that because the difference is just way too big with the next company, you know? And so it’s the 'pro league' so to say. I’m saying this as football. You know, football....that is, you wanna go to the NFL." A dream rematch with current UFC Heavyweight Champion Werdum is a fight fans want to see Bas discusses how the second fight would play out “Ohhhh that’s going to be a hard one. Because if I look at the heavyweight division I think Werdum is - like you said - he’s the guy who always improves. Every fight you see him he’s better. And he’s been doing that since, well....all the way back. The guy gets better, and better, and better. So it’s going to be very hard. But we don’t know what was going on with Fedor when they fought the first time. Maybe there was something going on, maybe we don’t know. Fedor is not the kind of guy who says that, like "I was injured or was this", he doesn’t look for excuses. But what if there was something that went on and he thinks right now "okay, Werdum is the champ. I would like to get another run when I’m healthy". Maybe something like that is happening. But then again, you know, Werdum now is a much better striker than he was at the time, and his ground work, I mean he’s the best heavyweight on the ground for sure.”


Bas also discussed his thoughts on McGregor's performance over Mendes praising the Irish Interim Champion “I’m just amazed with McGregor, man. How can you not be? The way he talks a game and then he backs it up, and he comes in and he steals the show, and just the effect when he stood in front of him [Mendes] when they introduced him and he opens his arms, you know and he stands up with 20 seconds still [left in the round]. The guy's an entertainer that can actually back everything up that he says, and what’s not to love? I don’t know people that do not like the guy.” Rutten also discussed if he thinks Frankie would pose a problem to the MMA superstar "Yeah, a Frankie Edgar is a guy who is not running out of gas. He’s one of the guys with the best stamina in MMA. And when he gets him down, can he keep him there? That’s the trick. But then again maybe McGregor was just counting on it and was just relaxing on the bottom, not wasting any energy. Maybe he was going to do that after the third round when he was going into the championship rounds, that’s when he’s going to start getting back up. At this moment he didn’t really need to. He was not in danger. Although he got hit with an elbow one time, but after that he was pretty good at deflecting all these other things. So yeah of course it played a factor, but like you said, the kicks to the body, that was perfect game-planning.”


When it comes to Jacob "Stitch" Duran's release Bas believes the UFC may have made a mistake in the firing "I think they…it’s a mistake. I think they made a mistake. I think the fight- especially with the [Robbie] Lawler fight and [Rory] MacDonald. I mean they did a lot of good work there, and sometimes with this you don’t see it anymore if it becomes normal. If the standard is always high, and they always take care of the fighters, and nobody bleeds, and they can continue fighting, you know? It’s normal. Maybe you don’t appreciated it as much anymore. It’s like anything in life. Maybe that has something to do with it, I don’t know, but I think it’s a great loss because the guy made sure that a lot of fights could keep going in the past. It’s the most important thing.”


Full interview: http://bit.ly/1In6604


Transcript


On if Fedor can still be dangerous at this point in his career as in his prime?

“Oh very much so. When I came back at 42 I felt great, until the injuries of course came back. That was less...but I was going strong. I mean I didn’t do anything for three and a half years. I had nine weeks to prepare, and at four weeks I was flying. I go "man, this is so awesome, I feel so great" and then all the injuries came back. Fedor if he doesn’t have that - and I think that he retired because of injuries - you know, I think that now with the rest and the here-and-there training, you know, not as hard, he feels that his injuries are gone, so now he wants to make a comeback. I think he can make a big impact. I think guys like that, they always stay dangerous, you know? It’s the one-punch guy. He’s got the very slick ground game, he’s good everywhere, so why wouldn’t he try it out? And I truly believe that he was to go though to the UFC. That’s the one thing that you always have to do - here we go again - it’s the biggest company right now. I always say this, if you’re a fighter and you don’t want to go to the UFC, you know, you say "no, no, I’m perfectly happy where I am", well you’re going to regret it 30 years from now because everybody is going to ask you “oh so you’re a world champion?, "Yeah", "Wow so how many titles you won in the UFC?", "No I was not in the UFC", "Oh you weren’t at UFC?", "Yeah", "Ohhhh ok”. You will always have that because the difference is just way too big with the next company, you know? And so it’s the 'pro league' so to say. I’m saying this as football. You know, football....that is, you wanna go to the NFL. That’s how it is right now. God knows it will change in the future, we don’t know, but if it does it actually will be good for MMA as well because than the prices for fighters will go up as well.”


On if Fedor has a UFC title run left in him and how he’d cope with the current crop of UFC heavyweights on the roster

“I do think so, I do think so. I mean I’ve been watching this guy over the years, and every time he amazes me. It’s like on the ground it’s almost like he’s baiting you. He moves a little weird and then you think "oh nah, I shouldn’t do that" and the fighter probably who is fighting thinks the same and then 'boom', there’s the submission. And it goes so slick, and so smooth, and so fast, you know it’s all muscle memory. And I think at his age he’s still got a big run to go. He only needs to connect once, we know this. And you make one mistake on the ground, as well he’s very good as well. You know, Werdum would be a nice little rematch there.”


On if Fedor could beat an improved Werdum in a rematch in the UFC

“Ohhhh that’s going to be a hard one. Because if I look at the heavyweight division I think Werdum is - like you said - he’s the guy who always improves. Every fight you see him he’s better. And he’s been doing that since, well....all the way back. The guy gets better, and better, and better. So it’s going to be very hard. But we don’t know what was going on with Fedor when they fought the first time. Maybe there was something going on, maybe we don’t know. Fedor is not the kind of guy who says that, like "I was injured or was this", he doesn’t look for excuses. But what if there was something that went on and he thinks right now "okay, Werdum is the champ. I would like to get another run when I’m healthy". Maybe something like that is happening. But then again, you know, Werdum now is a much better striker than he was at the time, and his ground work, I mean he’s the best heavyweight on the ground for sure.”


On if a decrease in PEDs and no more TRT will help Fedor in his run in the UFC

“Yeah it will help him. I also think, I always thought that Fedor is such a.....he’s not a… he shouldn’t be fighting at the heavyweight. The guy is like 225 pounds, that’s like you......just lose, lose 15 pounds or something and then fight at 205. What an animal he would be at that [weight]. But then again he probably fights at the weight that he feels most comfortable, and I think against Bigfoot, if you have a guy who cuts down from 285 to 265, who was on the day of the fight 275 again, and then you’re 230 pounds or maybe a little less and the guy has technique and he sits on top of you and he has control. Yeah that’s just a lot of weight difference.”


On if Bas thinks Fedor would do better at 205 and him perhaps even beating Jon Jones

“205? Yeah well if Jones goes back, he’s an animal too. But you know, when I look at Fedor, when I think about Fedor, I see him just crushing people in Japan. And if I think about him coming back - because maybe he had injuries and those were the reasons he started losing. I don’t know - but just in my mind if I picture myself THAT Fedor coming back, I think sky’s the limit for him. You know, even a Jon Jones. I don’t know, he always find a way to win. Look at the Arlovski fight. You know, Arlovski was doing really good, really well, and then this one punch finished it all. And the way he punches against the Brett Rogers fight. Watch that in slow-motion where his punch leaves. Every fighter, pretty much all of them, they load up their punch. He’s just holding it in mid air in front of him, and from there, 'Boop'. Suddenly the punch comes out and it nails him right on the button, super powerful, drops him with one shot. So any guy like that is just a dangerous guy.”


Thoughts on Jacob Stitch Duran getting cut by the UFC   

“It was crazy. I tweeted, you know, I didn’t even hear the story yet, but I just tweeted. I was like 'my god, this is the craziest thing'. And then I actually I read the interview that he did, which was apparently the interview to let him go. I didn’t really see anything bad mouthing in there, you know? It was just that he said "hey", he was upset about the [fact that] Rebook didn’t give him a deal and that it’s  "great piece of real estate" as he calls it, because he has great sponsor money and he’s going to have to miss out on that money right now. So he probably has to do some other things on the side. It wasn’t like he was saying "ahh this is all 'BS', and the fighters complain, and they doing this and that". So if it was that interview - which it was because I clicked on it where they say "you can read it right here" - I didn’t see anything. It’s almost like I’m thinking, was there something going on already before, you know? Because if you read the interview, yeah I didn’t think it was the reason to let him go. I don’t know who made the decision or what.”

“But such a great guy. I saw him at the UFC again here last weekend and man it’s a shame. It’s a shame. I think they…it’s a mistake. I think they made a mistake. I think the fight- especially with the [Robbie] Lawler fight and [Rory] MacDonald. I mean they did a lot of good work there, and sometimes with this you don’t see it anymore if it becomes normal. If the standard is always high, and they always take care of the fighters, and nobody bleeds, and they can continue fighting, you know? It’s normal. Maybe you don’t appreciated it as much anymore. It’s like anything in life. Maybe that has something to do with it, I don’t know, but I think it’s a great loss because the guy made sure that a lot of fights could keep going in the past. It’s the most important thing.”


Funny story with Don Frye

“Well my first pro wrestling match that I did in Japan for New Japan Pro Wrestling and it  was supposed to be that I was going to get hit three times in the head with an elbow, and on the third one I would fall and I would get an eight-count. So the first was perfectly timed - and Don is in my corner - the first is perfectly timed - this is Tokyo Dome, we have like 60,000-65,000 people and this guy gives me an elbow. That was good. The second one was a little harder, the third one was a full on hit. So my automatic reflex shoots in and I palm strike him full in the head and the guy goes down. This is in the opening of the show. So now I’m looking at Don, Don has both hands on his head he goes "ohhh dude, he’s knocked out", you know, my hand was hurting from hitting him and I go "ohhh man, I shouldn’t have done that". And the referee started looking and walking around the guy and he took like five, six seconds and he goes "one". And then he made another circle around the guy, "two" you know, very slowly starts counting and at "eight" the guy started flinching again and then the fight continued. But after that man it was so funny because all these fighters they said "please watch out". I said "it’s very simple. You don’t hit me hard, I don’t hit you hard back, alright?" that’s how it goes. But I saw Don’s eyes, he goes "oh god, this not good". But we finished so that was the good thing.”

Thoughts on the McGregor vs. Mendes fight and if anything surprised Bas

“I knew that Mendes took the fight on late notice, but you know, these guys are most of the time all the time training. Maybe he wasn’t all the time training because he [Chad Mendes] ran out of gas pretty soon. But everybody who's watching now, they're gonna say of course "oh we need to get him on the ground". You know, but he was just waiting there, Conor. He was just laying there, didn't even try to escape. So that means he was totally comfortable laying there and doing the elbows - which they thought in the beginning it was illegal but I believe it was legal.”

 “I’m just amazed with McGregor, man. How can you not be? The way he talks a game and then he backs it up, and he comes in and he steals the show, and just the effect when he stood in front of him [Mendes] when they introduced him and he opens his arms, you know and he stands up with 20 seconds still [left in the round]. The guy's an entertainer that can actually back everything up that he says, and what’s not to love? I don’t know people that do not like the guy.”


On if Frankie Edgar could take advantage of McGregor on the ground after what he showed at UFC 189

“Yeah, a Frankie Edgar is a guy who is not running out of gas. He’s one of the guys with the best stamina in MMA. And when he gets him down, can he keep him there? That’s the trick. But then again maybe McGregor was just counting on it and was just relaxing on the bottom, not wasting any energy. Maybe he was going to do that after the third round when he was going into the championship rounds, that’s when he’s going to start getting back up. At this moment he didn’t really need to. He was not in danger. Although he got hit with an elbow one time, but after that he was pretty good at deflecting all these other things. So yeah of course it played a factor, but like you said, the kicks to the body, that was perfect game-planning.”


On if McGregor’s performance against Mendes changed Bas’ opinion on how the Aldo fight will play out

“Yeah no, I really do. This guy [Conor McGregor] adapts the whole time, and the way he hits his straight punches, they’re very straight. And I always say that and people go "yeah that’s a logical thing", well 90 percent [of fighters] still have a loop in their punch. They don’t add straight. If you look at straight punches, just look at Mike Tyson. When you see a guy like that hit, it’s like perfectly straight. You can move your head backwards but he will still connect. If he hit it at an angle and you move your head backwards, you’re going to miss because now you pass the head. So for him [to be] so accurate I think it will be a really good fight. I truly believe if he will get in Aldo’s head and get him angry. And if Aldo gets angry he shouldn’t do that. He should really see if he can control that anger like Bruce Lee said - we were just talking about it - 'controlled anger', that’s how you fight, and see if he can pick him apart. Yeah [Aldo has] low kicks of course, but I have the feeling now with the game plan, the front kicks, everything they did, they’re going to have a great game plan for Aldo as well.”

“Aldo is an animal though and Aldo also will not take the fight to the ground. Even if his corner is gonna say "take him to the ground", I don’t think he will do it. I think it’s one of those things that he wants to show the world that he’s  the better striker; at the game, he is the better guy at the main game for McGregor. I think that’s what he wants to prove. I think this is going to be an ego thing. So it’s going to be a striking war.”