Bas Rutten: Tony Ferguson Has Never Felt Power Like Justin Gaethje
Former UFC legend Bas Rutten was a guest on Submission Radio recently to discuss a number of subjects including the UFC 249 main event.
Former UFC legend Bas Rutten was a guest on Submission Radio recently to discuss a number of subjects including the upcoming UFC 249 main event between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.
Ferguson and Gaethje will meet for the interim UFC lightweight title, and Rutten believes Ferguson will be tested greatly by the former World Series of Fighting champion.
Check out the interview below as Rutten talks about Ferguson-Gaethje, a WWE offer and more:
On the time he KO’d three Navy SEALs and pulled one of their pants down
“I fought one time three [guys] in Japan. I was with all the fighters there and it was against American military. And they were claiming they were Navy SEALs, they had Navy SEALs tattooed on their bodies, but they weren’t Navy SEALs. I one hundred percent guarantee they’re not, because I train the SEALs and they are not guys like that.
“Trust me. And they came in, and what happened was, I was standing and I see these – it’s called MoTown, the bar is called in Roppongi in Tokyo, and it’s a long bar, and I see so many people flying left and right. I look, and there is three guys, and they pushed all these little Japanese people to the side and they marched their way through. So, I’m looking at the guys, they’re sitting on the side, I go, check this out. I was standing in the middle.”
Which fighters were with Bas at the time
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“I think it was Guy Mezger one hundred percent. Frank Shamrock was there. Some other guys I don’t remember, but Guy Mezger I know was there for sure.”
“Sure enough, I’m standing in the middle, I was just looking away, I didn’t want to look at them. And sure enough, they pushed me as well. I said, hey guys, come on, man, what are you guys doing? And right away they surrounded me, ‘you want to go, man? You want to go? You wanna go bring it outside?’ And Guy walked up, Guy Mezger, and he said, ‘hey guys, we’re all professional fighters’.
“And they said, ‘oh, we don’t give a crap, I don’t give a crap’. He [Guy] says, ‘yeah, I know, I understand that, but from all of us, that’s the worst guy to pick a fight with, you shouldn’t do this right now’. And the guy goes, ‘so, you want to go outside?’. I said, cool. [He said] ‘who do you want to fight?’. I said, ‘I’ll fight all three of you, what about that?’. So, we’re walking outside. Two of them got dropped instantly.
“I go, bonk, bonk. And I had one guy over, and then I told the guys, I said, ‘you know what? I’m not gonna knock him out, I’m gonna submit him’. You know, I didn’t want to do favors. So, I remember I got him in an armbar first. He taps, he says he wants to quit. I let him go. And then right away he attacks me again. I roll right away into a kneebar. I say, ‘is it over now?’ And I’m really, I’m hyperextending his leg a little bit because I want to make sure that he would stop, and he says ‘yeah, please, stop, stop, stop’.
“I say, okay, so then I let him go. And then again he attacks me. And then everybody goes, Bas, just choke him out. I go, okay, and so I choke him out. We laid him on the ground. I believe we just pulled his pants down and we just waiting for him to wake up. That’s what I believe we just had to do. And of course he got very embarrassed when he woke up. If it would have been in the time now, we could have made a Facebook post, or a YouTube post.”
On Robert Whittaker admitting he was mentally burned out and needed a break from fighting
“Whittaker is one of those guys who is an all-in guy. And I can only imagine his training. And we had that too, but I think Whittaker fought an average of two fights a year. So, it’s not like this crazy amount of fights. Like, my first year I think was eight or nine fights, and my second year also nine.
“I fought in thirty fights or so in maybe three and a half years. That was a short amount of time, that was a lot of fights. But, you know, I came home, was not injured, so I kept on training and just go. And Whittaker is one of those guys who is always tries to be in shape and just pushing every time himself to the max. You can see that the way he’s fighting, you know, and I don’t think as a fighter you should do that all the time. You can turn it down a little bit, especially if you don’t have a fight. Go 80 percent.
“But, you know, that’s easily coming from me to say. Because for instance, me hitting a bag, I can’t hit a bag with a jab. I can’t do it. I have to hit the bag. There’s no set-ups, everything is 100 percent. And I have a feeling that Robert is exactly the same kind of guy who simple cannot turn it off and is always on, on, on and is always very critical on himself. But that’s why he’s a champion.
“He always sees room for improvement, and you wanna work on that. And then you got an injury and you still want to work out, and then yeah, then it becomes too much. And especially, he just had a daughter two years ago or so. That’s a hard one too, because for instance, my wife, when she was pregnant, she almost passed away.
“And my daughter, she was two pounds when she was born, so she was very tiny little girl, and I almost lost my wife as well. And I remember at the time, I told them, listen, I’m not gonna fight, I’m not gonna defend my title, I wanna be here. And first they said, it was really weird, it was the old organization, and they said, ‘oh, the Japanese people won’t understand that if you don’t do that’. I said, really? They can go screw themselves if they don’t understand that, I’m staying with my family, are you stupid now?
“And of course they pulled back right away after I said that because they know I was gonna make that public. But that was suddenly a whole different animal because now I had a kid to take care of. And then, yeah, you start training different. You don’t want to get injured, but you do get injured because that’s when all the stress starts. So, maybe he’s going through that because he’s got a young child himself, and you know, to juggle both things, and you want to spend time with the family.
“I remember also my second daughter, she’s born also and I couldn’t even be there when she was born because I was so busy, and then later I said, I’m not gonna do this anymore.”
On being offered a WWE contract but passing due to wanting to spend time with his family
“Oleg Taktarov, Marcos Ruas and myself, we were gonna be the Foreign Power in the WWE. And the first thing that came, it was a very lucrative contract. But I thought it was like 20-30 shows a year, it was over 200 shows a year. And that was when my daughter was born. And listen, I needed money at the time.
“I was literally traveling for seminars just to keep everything together, and it would have really helped me out because it was a really good contract, but I said no. I said no because then I was gonna miss everything from my daughter, and this was time that you can simply never get back. Time is all we want more of but you can’t buy it. So, I decided not to do it and I stayed with the family. So, sometimes you just gotta make a decision like that.”
On who has the more devastating and powerful striking between Gaethje or McGregor
“McGregor has the accuracy. He is the guy that whatever he wants to hit, he connects with that. Gaethje swings, and if one lands, great, but he might need three or four shots. Now, he already started pulling back, and that’s what I like about it, that’s why I kind of like it. I’m not really liking it if somebody loses by knockout. That’s never good. But for him, I think it has been great, because now he started thinking and moving in and out and not taking as much damage. So, I think he can do much better. He’s a big power puncher for sure, but I think that McGregor is the more technical striker.”
On who wins between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje
“This is gonna be very hard to predict the fight like that because Tony’s never been hit that hard. Because like you said, Gaethje can freakin swing, and if you get hit that hard and if you connect with that, that could be a big problem. But Ferguson is also a smart guy. We think, oh, he comes forward, but if he knows he’s gonna face the hardest punches he ever had, he might start moving in and out.”
“I think Ferguson you would think, because he fought the better competition at the end, and he’s been such a long time in the UFC. But like you said, if Gaethje’s gonna connect, I mean, he hits so hard. What if Gaethje takes him down and he doesn’t work the guard, he squats in there and he just starts landing punches on the ground. I mean, he’s got so much power in his hands, he might stop him with strikes on the ground. But Ferguson is the guy, he’s never been knocked out. The guy’s just insane, he just keeps on coming. I love it. That’s hard.”
If Dominick Cruz can come back after a long layoff and win the title against Henry Cejudo
“If somebody can win it right, you would think it’s Cruz. Against Garbrandt, when he fought Garbrandt and he lost that fight the last time, I have to say, that was Garbrandt’s best performance ever. I was like, what the heck? The way he took him down suddenly and then he shoots for a takedown.
“He was so on in that fight; he was shining in that fight. So, I think it was very hard to beat that even by anybody. But Cruz is Cruz, man, and he’s on cruise control and he just goes, and it’s a guy you can never think that he’s going to lose. But then again, Cejudo, I mean, he had a little rough road in the beginning when he came to the UFC, but once he found it, I mean, look at this guy. I mean, we’re talking an Olympic gold medallist.
“I mean, we got some talent in there. Great hands, great striking, the way he moves. He’s completely in himself right now. I would say Cejudo would win this fight. If I had to put money on it, then I would say of course Cejudo, because he’s been tearing through everybody pretty much in his last four, five fights.”