Tales from the MMA Crypt is a brand new feature here on InsideFighting.com. We will chronicle the stories of gritty, behind the scenes fight action. We will take you to where the cameras couldn't go. And above all else, we will strive to get to the heart of the story by interviewing participants and witnesses whenever possible.
Our second installment begins with a man who proved that career success could become a double edged sword, if indeed you were in the right career; or in his case, the wrong career. For every cheer that he received for defeating an opponent, he most certainly received "boos" from the fans of the same. While he collected riches for his accomplishments within the ring, he collected a handful of enemies outside of it. It's ironic, actually. And that's why it earns a spot amongst InsideFighting's Tales From The MMA Crypt.
Bas Rutten vs. Bouncers
Bas Rutten set out to have a good time at Sweden's Spy Bar one night back in 1998. Unfortunately for Bas, the employees of the Spy Bar weren't big fans of his. "I was going to the Spy Bar in Sweden. When I walked in, the bouncers called me by my first name and then I knew that something was going to happen," Bas relates. No stranger to recognition, Bas decided to stay at the Stockholm hotspot and dance. After all, he had arrived with friends and was looking to have a good time. "Then I started to jump around Bas Rutten style which is just jumping and dancing to the music. Two bouncers came to me and asked me if I could come with them. I did and they put me in this fire escape room. There, one of them tells me that I have to leave. I said, ‘okay, can you guys get my friend and tell him that I am out because he is also from Holland and doesn't know where to go here?"
Apparently looking for trouble, but not seeming to elicit the desired response from Bas' compliant tone, they resorted to more brutal tactics in order to bait Bas Rutten into fight. "That's where one of the two put a finger in my eye. I told him to stop, and that there was no reason to be aggressive. Then he put his finger in my other eye." Eye gouging is certainly beyond the realm of appropriate conduct for even The Spy Bar's notoriously rough bouncers. With his back literally against the wall, and his personal safety in harm's way, Bas reacted as instinct had taught him. "I KO'd the guy. Then the little guy jumped on me. They all had these little microphones in their ears. In no time there where three more."
Out-numbered by the arrival of reinforcements, the odds shifted from favoring the professional fighter to placing him in serious jeopardy. Rutten quickly learned that superior numbers would be the least of his concerns, however, as his aggressors began to arm themselves. "I was just fighting to get them away from me. Broomsticks came out and they started to hit me with them while I was busy hitting them. It was ugly."
Seeing that the situation had become a hopeless struggle for survival, Rutten realized that his only way out was to make a quick escape. "I was trying to make it downstairs and get the hell out of there. Once I was downstairs I found the door, and what do you know, it was closed." Pinned between a locked door and a posse of sadistic bouncers, Rutten came to a morbid conclusion; this had become life or death. "I turned around and I thought, ‘OK, now I am going to hit you fucking guys in the throat and try to take you out,' since there was no other option."
As the world champion mixed martial artist prepared himself for the fight of his life, the scene took a dramatic and humorous turn. "I looked at them and they took a few steps back. ‘All right,' I thought. They can see in my eyes that I really mean business now, and they are scared! I was wrong. Behind me was the whole police force waiting outside."
Just as his notoriety had brought on the night's conundrums, Bas' fame would see him clear of them. Spending the night in a Swedish jail might not have been the planned after-hours activity for that evening, but it certainly beat the alternative. When Bas Rutten's friends found him two days later, he was his typical, jovial self. He had even been granted privileges above and beyond those of his fellow inmates. "I was eating cookies and drinking coffee and tea while I was watching TV In my cell!"
The following is an excerpt from a Swedish newspaper regarding the incident:
A Really Rotten Fighter
The three security guards stood no chance whatsoever against the deadly professional fighter. "We were lucky to have the police right outside," says Fadde Darwich, safety inspector at the trendy Spy Bar in Stockholm. A week ago, the Dutch heavyweight street fighting instructor, Bas Rutten, assaulted three guards.
He is a champion of the unfair martial art street fighting where everything is allowed: knee-kicks, punching to the throat, and choking your opponent. Bas Rutten tried to apply some of these tricks as he visited Stockholm last Friday. "He arrived at Spy Bar late at night and was rude to a guest. We decided that he should leave the bar, and tumult arose," says Fadde Darwich.
Bas Rutten cut one guard's eyebrow and landed a few more shots, but no one received any serious damage. Rutten was arrested and taken to Norrmalmsarresten (the Norrmalm Jail). He was arrested for assault and assaulting a police officer. Bas Rutten was later set free. He's now disappeared and has probably gone abroad.
As they say, "every cloud has a silver lining," which is why our story doesn't end there. In their editorial, the Swedish newspaper who attempted to defame Bas Rutten for using what it interpreted to be rotten tactics actually showed a copy of Bas's Street and Self-Defense Tactics instructional video. Rather than achieving the desired end-result, the visual aid inspired readers to rush right out and learn the techniques that had allowed one man to survive the thugs at The Spy Bar.
Just what was Bas up against that night at The Spy Bar? Click here to read what patrons of Sweden's The Spy Bar have been saying about the place for years. I think you'll find it to be quite fascinating.