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Bas Rutten says Kimbo Slice should have lost

On his website,, former UFC heavyweight champion and King of Pancrase Bas Rutten commented on Saturday’s main event between Kimbo Slice and James Thompson.

Rutten, the head trainer for Slice, surprisingly has come out and said that the fight should have been stopped in the second round when Thompson had Slice’s arm trapped and was delivering unanswered strikes:

People ask me if the fight should have been stopped at the end in the second round, I say YES because those are the rules, it should have been stopped because Kimbo didn’t do anything to improve his situation. But I think what made the ref NOT do it was the fact that Kimbo was giving his thumbs up the whole time to let the referee know that he was OK. This was the refs decision, not Kimbo’s.

However, Rutten also indicated that he does not believe Kimbo tapped in the first round. Considering his thoughts about the second round, his opinion carries a lot of weight in my mind:

Oh, and he didn’t tap just watch the show.

In order to read Bas’ entire article about the fight, just click here.

  • bjjdenver says:

    I’m BS on this. I think this is Bas making a statement to motivate Kimbo. Of course, if JT’s strikes were damaging, it should have been stopped, which is pretty much what Bas was saying about the ref’s decision and the thumbs up. This just sounds to me, like psychology on Bas’ part, and there is nothing wrong with that.

  • bjjdenver says:

    Sorry, calling BS

  • Matthew Lenz says:

    You could totally tell from the look on Bas’ face during/after the fight that he was pissed and disappointed with Kimbo.

    Should the fight have been stopped when Thompson was on top of him? No. He might as well been saying ‘stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself’ when he was bonking him on the head.

    The fight should have actually been stopped the FIRST time kimbo had thompson out on his feet. Just because a guy doesn’t fall down doesn’t mean he’s not completely out of it.

    Honestly though, these guys are heavy weights. Its a miracle they don’t just die after 10 minutes. I’d be dead after 2. :) And he didn’t tap. Jesus if you can’t tell the difference between a thumbs up and a tap you need to watch more MMA and sit closer to your TV.

  • ZzFDKzZ says:

    I saw the fight in HD on my 60 inch TV, you can clearly see him waving the thumbs up while on the guillotine choke.

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    I’ve heard Bas call enough fights that the article sounded like the real deal and not mind games or a motivational speech. I doubt Bas would risk his credibility with hype. Elite has Mr. Shaw for spin and hype.

  • D says:

    Personally, I would have been more pissed if they’d stopped it in the second. Those strikes were nothing. Thompson has no one to blame but himself. If you’re in THAT much of a dominant position and you can’t even make the guy wince, then you’re not hitting hard enough. Thompson is well known for being an arm puncher (ie not using his body to create more power)

  • Sammy B says:

    Let’s hope it’s a statement to get Kimbo motivated. They were both gassed out in the 2nd round. The ground game was flimsy but he’s still relatively new. If he wants to be top dog he needs to be up and raring to go for at least 3 full rounds.

    Give Thompson credit, he took a beating at one stage and was still standing.

  • Patrick says:

    Whatever, that fight sucked in general. Everyone saw just how poor Kimbo is at anything other than throwing hands for the first 30 seconds of round one. I don’t care if he survived on the ground or even went for any sort of ground game at all, he missed EVERY single chance he had at very basic movements on the ground, every single one.

  • JacRabbit says:

    “…he missed EVERY single chance he had at very basic movements on the ground, every single one.”

    I feel like recently theres an abundance of fight veterans and BJJ black belts posting all of a sudden. Relax homie–I’m sure Kimbo is still a white belt. He will learn with time. He’s been professionally training for how long, under a year?!?

  • Trsigley says:

    I think Bas comes of as both sincere and candid. I mean he said his fighter by rule should have lost. I think people are underestimating the power of that statement as well as his criticism for Kimbo. To me he sounds like a teacher who took lots of time to teach a lesson only to see his student struggle though the test. Frustration more than anything. Bas gets paid to instruct and teach, his ass and reputation is on the line as much as Kimbo’s.

  • slimm says:

    one would think with Bas training him, Kimbo would have a basic knowledge of sprawling or basic sweeps using the cage to rotate his body ect… im not asking for Kimbo to know how to do a gogo or flying tri~angle but some sort of basic knowledge is needed even when your primarly a striker….. and now that Kimbo’s weakness has been put out in the open does anyone believe that he would last two minutes with Liddell or Tito perhaps Kimbo talked to much Shï?, owell hopefully he improves and works even harder to prove himself…..

  • Patrick says:

    #9, I’m not sure what I said lead you to the “black belt” comment, because Kimbo was missing very basic positioning on the ground that he should most definitely know at this point given the people he trains with. He kept his hips down flat, wasn’t moving his legs and didn’t know what to do with his arms. It doesn’t take a “black belt” (which I’m not by the way) to know these things.

    Kimbo freaked on the ground and went stiff, as a professional fighter… he should be able to perform better than that, otherwise he needs to join a stand up fighting only org.

    I’m not asking that he triangle, armbar, arm triangle, gogoplata people… I’m asking that he at least tries to defend himself and improve his position if his back is on the ground. So don’t get all bitchy with me, I’m not asking for much, if the guy is going to be main eventing things then he needs to work harder on all aspects of his game.

  • Zack says:

    #9 JacB – good thing we had a whitebelt headline the first primetime network MMA show, huh?

  • JoHn says:

    as i am sure all of you are, i was disappointed with kimbo’s fight, but i think we have all given in to the hype, even as the sports afficianado’s that we claim to be…( not noobs or tuffers). kimbo hasnt been training that long, BUT he has been training with alot of great trainers and former headliners themselves, so i did expect more and was let down…. but buying into the hype and expecting more was our fault… i dont think kimbo asked for the hype that he received, gary shaw did.. cut kimbo some slack.. his performance wasnt a strong one, but give him a few more fights and if he doesnt improve his ground game then we can criticize, but all in all it should not have been a headlining fight for a primetime representation of the sport we all love and want to see on more free t.v. — elitexc is not the organization to put in everyones livingroom… the w.e.c. card should have been

  • for a show people think was horrible… and a fight that most people have a problems with…. Everyone is talking KIMBO!

    Just goes to show you that bad press is better then NO PRESS

    WEC had an event this weekend which I think was one of its best ever… yet its only getting press on MMA sites. Go Figure

  • darkmetal says:

    I would like to expand on the point by Trsigley:

    Bas Rutten said:

    “People ask me if the fight should have been stopped at the end in the second round, I say YES because those are the rules, it should have been stopped because Kimbo didn’t do anything to improve his situation.”

    The “rules” state that a figher must do something to DEFEND themselves, and on urging by the ref must fight back, in other words, on penalty of loss.

    So the question is did Kimbo do anything to show he was fighing back for over a minute and 70 odd strikes, regardless of their power, and the answer is NO.

    Rutten then goes on to say he doesn’t know why the Ref didn’t enforce the rules, although he doesn’t say that exactly, it is implied.

    Question 2, and this goes to MMA viewer experience:

    How many times have you seen a fighter get full guard and then begin to punch another fighter weakly as he “covers up” and does nothing to fight back?

    The answer should be “Multiple times”; How many times have those fights been stopped, even if the other fighter was doing no significant damage from the top?

    For the period of time that Kimbo was not defending himself, I would say “every time”, can anyone tell me situations where this is not the case?


  • Kogepan says:

    yeh, Thompson had 22 consecutive strikes but I doubt any of those did any real damage. He was expending all of his energy to maintain the crucifix and didn’t have the leverage to really pound away. If the fight got stopped on those pitter-pat punches people would ALSO be up in arms.

    Of course the 3rd round KO was BS as well. Thompson took a similiar 3-4 punch combination in the 2nd round and was able to continue no problem.

  • darkmetal says:

    Kogepan, I understand your point, but the point Rutten is making is that a simple “thumbs up” is not enough to simply wait out the end of a round, you have to defend yourself.

    Like I said, I have seen many a fight where another fighter simply hits another with these same baby punches as they “turtle up”; Generally, the ref will then say “if you don’t do something to defend yourself, I am going to stop the fight!” True?

    What good are the rules if we simply disregard them?

  • luke says:

    You know this isn’t wrestling, where you can just pin a guy and that’s it. That’s all Thompson basially did, held him down and used some light hammerfists and elbows, not enough to do any damage. I think people would have been pretty upset if that ended the fight.

    I’m not a big fan of Kimbo, but I was impressed that he was still throwing some tough leather in the third round. He’s the new version of Tank Abbot. A brawler who will never beat the elite, but his heavy hands and ability to sell a fight will make him one of the most watched and debated fighters in mma.

  • HexRei says:

    hughes finished bj with that same position IIRC and its not like he actually KO’ed him or anything…

  • darkmetal says:

    The criteria for calling a TKO on an fighter:

    referee stoppage: (the referee determines a fighter cannot “intelligently defend” himself; if warnings to the fighter to improve his position or defense go unanswered—generally, two warnings are given, about 5 seconds apart)

    Ok, now this ties into what Rutten is saying; Kimbo Slice was given an excessive amount of time where he didn’t defend himself. Using the 5 second rule, he should have lost.

    Then compare this to the final stoppage of Thompson, who was on his feet, did not say he couldn’t continue, and certainly was defending himself as he slapped the referee and appeared to say “What?!?!” When Mergliotta told him that he was stopping the fight.

    It is obvious that the rules were NOT followed, and this is not even debateable via the rule you see stated above.

  • Shaun says:

    kimbo’s a stand-up fighter but seriously his ground game sucked ass. if it was a normal fight it would have gotten stopped in the 2nd.

  • Judo says:

    Bas was right, but the ref didn’t stop it because he knew how big this event was, and Slice was headlining it. I have seen fights stopped quicker than that without someone tapping at all. If you are just there getting hit and you don’t adjust of attempt to adjust, you are done.

  • gypsysoulFC says:

    Bas HAD to say that to maintain any sort of credibility with MMA fans everywhere. Can you imagine the gong show if he stated publicly that Kimbo was winning?

  • momo says:

    Regardless of all the analysis, just watch the fight again, and listen to the roar of boo’s from the mma fans watching it live. I wasn’t happy with the stoppage. Neither were they.


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