Interview: Bas Rutten, TV Host & MMA Legend

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Bas Rutten is a legend in the mixed martial arts scene. He held four world titles as the first UFC Heavyweight Champion and wrapped up his competitive career with a 22-fight win streak. Now retired, he’s an actor, business owner, TV-host and personality. In this interview, he shares his tactical EDC and some advice from a champion.

What’s in your everyday carry?

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View Bas Rutten’s Full Everyday Carry

Tactical pen, iPhone 5S in a Mophie battery case, keys to my home, car, and gym, electronic key for the AxsTV studios, 32GB memory stick, cigar puncher, wallet, tactical bracelet (Escape and Evasion Band) that contains 12+ feet of survival 550 cord, and my Suunto watch which I use to time my 40 minute-long ocean workouts.

Can you tell us about your career and what you do now?

I’m a former professional Mixed Martial Artist with 4 world titles under my belt (I was the first UFC Heavyweight Champion).

For the past seven and a half years, I’ve been hosting Inside MMA on AxsTV (Marc Cuban’s channel) together with Kenny Rice and Ron Kruck. It’s a weekly live TV show covering mixed martial arts around the world. I also co-own Bas Rutten’s Elite MMA, a gym for mixed martial arts in Thousand Oaks, CA.

What do you find inspirational?

I’m inspired not only by Jesus, but also top athletes who overcame hardship (I had a bad skin disease and severe asthma as a kid and was bullied a lot because of it). Besides athletes, I love watching talented people in general — especially on shows like So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol, and The Biggest Loser.

What are you up to when you’re not in front of the camera?

Swimming in the ocean. I use resistance tools for underwater training about four times a week. I also enjoy cooking (I’m a certified chef), and shooting at the range. I teach “hand to hand” combat to the Elite Special Forces hence my tactical pen, tactical bracelet and Benchmade knife.

Why do you EDC?

It’s always good to be prepared than not. Like I mention many times, “It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.”

What’s your favorite item out of all your daily essentials?

I like them all. But my most needed is my iPhone and wallet.

Do you have any recent accomplishments or interesting projects in the works that you’d like to tell us about?

I’ve been working in front of cameras: besides Inside MMA, I was the Fitness Guru and spokesperson for an anti-bullying campaign for Cartoon Network, I did motion capture for Grand Theft Auto V (I also have a TV show in the game), had a lead role in Kevin James’s comedy Here Comes the Boom, and most recently had a part in his newest movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.

I invented a couple of training devices too. The first is a lung training device called the o2trainer — it cured my asthma, and many others’ as well. The second is a punching and kicking device called the Body Action System.

Do you have any last advice you want to leave for our readers?

Read the book “The Alchemist” from Paulo Coelho, it will change the way you think. It sold over 70 million copies, so that must mean something. Never give up on your dreams, just keep working at it and it WILL come true. Hold the door open for people. When people back up in their cars, stop and let them. Don’t be that guy that honks because “I have the right of way!” when you could take 10 seconds of your life to be courteous. Give up your seat and stand for older people if there are no more seats. Turn your phone off in the movies (if you do talk on the phone while I’m in the theater, I will kindly make you stop, always!). It’s all simple stuff that boils down to “treat others like you want to be treated.”

Keep up with Bas on Twitter at @BasRuttenMMA.

Photos courtesy of Bas Rutten.

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