Bas: Fedor can still make a UFC title run
“Oh very much so,” said Rutten. “When I came back at 42 I felt great, until the injuries of course came back. That was less … but I was going strong. I mean I didn’t do anything for three and a half years. I had nine weeks to prepare, and at four weeks I was flying. I go 'man, this is so awesome, I feel so great' and then all the injuries came back.
“Fedor if he doesn’t have that – and I think that he retired because of injuries – you know, I think that now with the rest and the here-and-there training, you know, not as hard, he feels that his injuries are gone, so now he wants to make a comeback. I think he can make a big impact. I think guys like that, they always stay dangerous, you know? It’s the one-punch guy. He’s got the very slick ground game, he’s good everywhere, so why wouldn’t he try it out?
“And I truly believe that he was to go though to the UFC. That’s the one thing that you always have to do – here we go again – it’s the biggest company right now. I always say this, if you’re a fighter and you don’t want to go to the UFC, you know, you say 'no, no, I’m perfectly happy where I am,' well you’re going to regret it 30 years from now because everybody is going to ask you 'oh so you’re a world champion? 'Yeah.' 'Wow so how many titles you won in the UFC?' 'No I was not in the UFC' 'Oh you weren’t at UFC?' 'Yeah.' 'Ohhhh OK.'
“You will always have that because the difference is just way too big with the next company, you know? And so it’s the 'pro league' so to say. I’m saying this as football. You know, football….that is, you wanna go to the NFL. That’s how it is right now. God knows it will change in the future, we don’t know, but if it does it actually will be good for MMA as well because than the prices for fighters will go up as well.”
Rutten was asked if Fedor still has a UFC title run left in him.
“I do think so, I do think so,” said Bas. “I mean I’ve been watching this guy over the years, and every time he amazes me. It’s like on the ground it’s almost like he’s baiting you. He moves a little weird and then you think 'oh nah, I shouldn’t do that,' and the fighter probably who is fighting thinks the same and then 'boom', there’s the submission. And it goes so slick, and so smooth, and so fast, you know it’s all muscle memory. And I think at his age he’s still got a big run to go. He only needs to connect once, we know this. And you make one mistake on the ground, as well he’s very good as well. You know, Werdum would be a nice little rematch there.”
“I look at the heavyweight division I think Werdum is – like you said – he’s the guy who always improves. Every fight you see him he’s better. And he’s been doing that since, well … all the way back. The guy gets better, and better, and better. So it’s going to be very hard. But we don’t know what was going on with Fedor when they fought the first time. Maybe there was something going on, maybe we don’t know. Fedor is not the kind of guy who says that, like 'I was injured or was this,' he doesn’t look for excuses. But what if there was something that went on and he thinks right now 'Okay, Werdum is the champ. I would like to get another run when I’m healthy.' Maybe something like that is happening. But then again, you know, Werdum now is a much better striker than he was at the time, and his ground work, I mean he’s the best heavyweight on the ground for sure.”
“I always thought that Fedor is such a … he’s not a … he shouldn’t be fighting at the heavyweight. The guy is like 225 pounds, that’s like you just lose, lose 15 pounds or something and then fight at 205. What an animal he would be at that. But then again he probably fights at the weight that he feels most comfortable, and I think against Bigfoot, if you have a guy who cuts down from 285 to 265, who was on the day of the fight 275 again, and then you’re 230 pounds or maybe a little less and the guy has technique and he sits on top of you and he has control. Yeah that’s just a lot of weight difference.”
“205. Yeah well if Jones goes back, he’s an animal too. But you know, when I look at Fedor, when I think about Fedor, I see him just crushing people in Japan. And if I think about him coming back – because maybe he had injuries and those were the reasons he started losing. I don’t know – but just in my mind if I picture myself THAT Fedor coming back, I think sky’s the limit for him. You know, even a Jon Jones. I don’t know, he always find a way to win. Look at the Arlovski fight. You know, Arlovski was doing really good, really well, and then this one punch finished it all. And the way he punches against the Brett Rogers fight. Watch that in slow-motion where his punch leaves. Every fighter, pretty much all of them, they load up their punch. He’s just holding it in mid air in front of him, and from there, 'Boop'. Suddenly the punch comes out and it nails him right on the button, super powerful, drops him with one shot. So any guy like that is just a dangerous guy.”