Bas Rutten was the first basic puncher and stand-up fighter to achieve success in Pancrase and early MMA. This is a man with killer palm punches and serious kicks, from feet with wrestling boots on them, I might add. Which he would use to crush the liver of his rivals. Often causing them to drop in pain holding their stomachs. He spent most of his career in Pancrase and retired in the early days of the UFC before it was in its full glory. Below you will see a video of all of his best Pancrase finishes, with some great clips of early MMA, the fighting sport that we have all come to love in recent years.
Rutten fought 16 times in total as a professional fighter, winning the first 14 matches by knockout, 13 in the first round, and losing his final two fights. One of the losses was against Frank Lobman for the European Muay Thai title on 12 February 1991, with Rutten losing by KO in the very first round. Then there was another loss to Ken Shamrock via Submission (rear-naked choke) in Pancrase Road to the Championship on 3 July 26, 1994. Every great fighter’s career ends with a loss or two so that’s to be expected. Well, everyone except Floyd Mayweather maybe, but that’s a whole other conversation. For his day, Bas Rutten was way ahead of his curve and one of our best and very first MMA champions.
Enjoy some clips from this amazing mixed martial artist’s career below.