Bas Rutten spoke with longtime MMA reporter and color analyst Paul Lazenby earlier this week and when talk turned to the dispute between his fellow countrymen and longtime friends with Golden Glory and Alistair Overeem, “El Guapo” revealed a few interesting tidbits from conversations he had with both sides. They say that in any dispute there are two sides to the story and that the truth lays somewhere in the middle and being that he has relationships with both parties, Rutten’s view is a bipartisan one.
According to Bas, contrary to what Alistair is telling everyone, it was him and Not Golden Glory who are to blame for the situation and that the split came because Overeem has no loyalty to the people who were behind him through the good and bad times in his career.
“It’s a money thing. He simply doesn’t want to pay the people who made him. When he lost three fights in a row…well, like pretty much five, I mean, he lost, won, lost three times in a row, won, and lost again…and nobody wanted to have him. But his management kept pushing and using the power that they have because they have other great fighters. Like, for example [they would say],’If you want Semmy Schilt to fight, then you have to take Alistair as well.’ It’s funny how fighters think,” Rutten explains. “When it goes bad with them, their team is everything to them, and they love their team. In interviews after they win a fight, they say: “I owe everything to my team”. Then when the management starts to put great fights together for them, directing their careers and the fighter gets better and better, some of them simply can’t handle it, and it gets to their head.”
Rutten says he predicted that bad things were coming when he heard Overeem bragging about his K-1 title.
“I had a bad feeling already when he called himself, after he won the K-1 Grand Prix, ‘a legend.‘ He actually said in an interview right after he won, ‘I am a legend now.’ I don’t think a fighter can ever make that comment about himself. And talking about the Grand Prix, let’s face it, he had a great deal of luck as well there,” Bas says. “He fought Peter Aerts who had a WAR with Semmy Schilt [previously that night] and was completely banged up, and then he fought [Gokhan] Saki, who had a broken arm AND hand, in the finals! At that moment when you win, you should say, ‘I’m very happy with the result, the stars were in line for me tonight, I also got a little bit of luck.’ Because everybody is going to say that about you anyway, you might as well simply say it yourself to keep the people respecting you, but NOT, ‘I’m a legend.’”
Bas says that without his trainers and management team at GG, Overeem may never have achieved the level of success that he did and that he had no problem with his deal with them until the seven figure contracts came.
“I KNOW what Golden Glory did for him. He couldn’t punch or kick when he came to them, and I mean, HE COULDN’T PUNCH OR KICK! Some fighters get big and then forget who was fighting for them when they were losing. Two months ago, he wanted to make a belt for the Golden Glory team with, ‘FOR CHAMPION MANAGEMENT,’ engraved on it. Those were HIS words after they made this huge [UFC] contract for him, and now he says they are morons? He used them to negotiate the best deal and when they did it, now suddenly they are morons? Explain that to me. It’s unreal. Also, a few months ago, when they started to get close to a good deal with the UFC, he realized that he could make a lot of money. The first thing he did was go to Cor Hemmers, his striking coach, and tried to renegotiate the 10% trainer’s fee. You have to understand, [a deal like Alistair's UFC contract] is a dream for trainers, because there is a possibility that they create, with the help from management of course, a fighter who can make some REAL money for them. Because let’s face it, most trainers don’t live in a huge house, don’t drive a big car, they do it for the love of the fighter they train. They put their whole heart and soul in there.”