CagePotato Roundtable #16: What Was Your Most Memorable Run-In With an MMA Fighter?

This story took place at Bas Rutten’s bachelor party in Las Vegas on April 2nd, 2004. Bas Rutten, myself, and a big group of friends all went to UFC 47 to watch Chuck Liddell fight Tito Ortiz for the first time. There was such a buzz in the air leading up to that fight; you could really feel the excitement in the arena. After the fight, we all took a limo bus to a nightclub and began partying.

At the club, I met this BEAUTIFUL Persian woman, one of the top two or three most beautiful women I’ve ever seen in my life, and brought her with us from that club to the next club we went to. She and I were hitting it off so I had us jump into a taxi and head towards where our group was staying. Where we were staying was really nice. One of Rutten’s friends had hooked it up and set the whole group up with this gigantic mansion suite at the Rio. The place was huge, 8500 sq ft, and had at least four rooms in it. When we got to the suite, no one was there, and the whole place was empty. In my room were two beds, a large king size bed which my friend had used to screw several high-priced hookers, and a really low bed we ordered so that I could sleep on.

The room is dark, lit only by the lights outside, and I pull the woman onto the low bed and start to go to work. Just as we’re having sex, in walks Rutten, drunk, in his underwear, and he comes over and stands by the bed. He has his hands on his hips, so that his hips are pushed forward, and his crotch is right next to the girl’s face. She turns her face to the right, sees his crotch right by her face, looks up at me, and starts shaking her head in a “No, no, no, this three-some is not happening” type-motion. I tell her “Relax. He doesn’t know where he is.”

Rutten: *waving and extends his hand* “Hi, I’m Bas!” with this big smile.

Girl: “Hi I’m M (we’ll just call her M).” *shaking his hand*

Rutten: “Am I interrupting something?”

Me: “Yeah, kind of.”

Rutten then politely excuses himself.

Girl: “Your friend seems nice.”

Me: “Yeah, he’s a great guy.”

We start to go back to work and a few minutes later, in walks Rutten again, still in his underwear.

Rutten: “Hey T! Remember that part in The Three Amigos? That part where the guy swings and falls?”

Me: “Yeah?” (kind of confused)

Rutten: “That’s a great part in the movie.”

Me: “Ah, Bas. We’re kind of in the middle of something.”

Rutten: “Okay, okay. You don’t want Bas to be here. Bas doesn’t want to be here either.” And he starts to walk out.

As I walk Rutten out of the room, I put a rocking chair by the door. For whatever reason, this room had no lock to the door and had a rocking chair in it. Yes, a rocking chair.

Boom! We hear this loud bang on the door followed by a few moments of silence. Boom! Another loud bang followed by silence.

Girl: “Do you think it’s your friend trying to come in again?”

Me: “I can’t imagine that it’s him. Maybe it’s someone else from the group?”

BOOM! The rocking chair rolls over and in stumbles Rutten over it.

Rutten: “This, this doesn’t work.” *as he is trying to reset the rocking chair*

Me: “That’s because that’s not what it’s for!”

Rutten: “That’s good. Because it doesn’t work.”

Me: “Get the fuck out!”

I walk Rutten out and this time I’m giving it to the girl doggy-style. Everything is going smooth and then in walks Rutten, fully-dressed, wearing a king’s crown, with a camera crew, a bunch of his friends, some American pro fighters, and some Japanese Pancrase fighters. They turn on the lights and suddenly there is a camera and a microphone in mine and the girl’s face.

Girl: “Maybe we should stop?”

Me: “Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.”

The girl and I go and eat, I come back and sleep, and the next morning I wake up to all of these pro fighters sleeping all over the living room. Good times with El Guapo!

Rob “Stranglaitis” Fernandes

My brother and I got to go backstage at UFC on FOX 1 right after Cain Velasquez was KO’d. As we wait for our cousin to get his things from his locker room (sorry can’t tell you who he is) we were standing in a room with Donna (VP of Zuffa) watching the after fight on a tiny TV. She was upset about something I’ll keep to myself and was mumbling to herself. As she was yelling at the TV, the door opens and Chuck Liddell walks in with his wife and her friends. I gave him a nod but no response.

My brother was standing 10 feet away from me and Chuck stops to my left, making a triangle with us two. He just stared at my brother who immediately looked away, so he looks my way with a non-aggressive stare and I couldn’t help but stare back. He sits there for a uncomfortable moment, turns around mumbling, then comes back and does it again, this time talking to someone in the other room but just staring at me, then looking back and forth at us with no words from any of us.

It might have been the weirdest moment of silence I have ever shared with anyone as he just stood staring like “who the hell are these guys in our locker room?” What lasted about five minutes felt like an hour. I asked someone who walked in why the Iceman didn’t care for us, he laughed out loud and said Chuck said the same thing, wondering why we didn’t talk to him. He said Chuck isn’t the type to start conversations, but expects others to and was weirded out that I just stared back.

Viva Hate

Rather than retell a story that has lived on in CagePotato infamy for almost 2 years, about the time me and my best pal Pat Barry hung out at a punch machine. I will tell two quick untold stories from the UFC Expo in Boston and UFC 118. The first occurred when none other than Joe “Daddy” Stevenson wandered past the CP booth with his lady friend. I politely asked him to take a swing at our punch machine which he not-so-politely blew off. I then decided that since all hope of getting a great CP video was off, I would be a fan boy and ask for an autograph to which he agreed. He then decided to take a black Sharpie and sign his name on the BLACK RIM OF MY HAT. I responded with a polite thank you and how about you try signing somewhere the human eye could read? He then scribbled again, walked past the punch machine, gave it an unenthusiastic shove and scurried off with said lady friend.

Post UFC 118, a wheelchair bound Roy Nelson was wheeled in front of my car as I sped from the TD Bank North Garden parking garage; his handler allowed him to simply roll down a handicap ramp right in front of my car. I slammed on my brakes and barely avoided major front-end damage to my vehicle.

Nick Heroux

I got the opportunity to train and hang a little with Junie Browning last fall at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket. It was a somewhat bizarre experience for a lot of people as we all knew of his past difficulties. It’s strange to meet someone and know so many negative things about them while they know nothing about you. Regardless, he was a totally cool guy and a complete gentleman. He had no ego at all about him and was cool with everyone from the total noobs to the fighters. However — and this is a big however — he made no secret of his methods for relaxing on the weekends (Thailand has VERY lax pharmaceutical policies). It didn’t exactly shock me how this story ended a month or so later.

Angelo Vila
I’ve got a very funny encounter with an MMA fighter that’s more of a joke on myself. I have been active in training MMA for several years, and currently train at Ultimate Fitness in Sacramento. I shake hands with Urijah Faber, Joe Benevidez, Chad Mendes, etc. on a weekly basis. So I’m not really awe-struck when I run into a fighter. However, I was competing in an amateur Muay Thai “smoker” in Northern California when I ran into a pretty big UFC star and didn’t even realize it.

After my fight, I was a little loopy from the three-round war and was shaking hands with all of my teammates and some of the fans. I bumped shoulders with somebody, quickly apologized, and was trying to get out of the way of the people surrounding the ring, but he turned around, patted me on the back, and said, “Good fight bro, nice leg kicks.” I muffled a quick thanks and continued on my way. My girlfriend was smiling and she said to me, “I think that’s the guy that beat Brock Lesnar last month.” I was stunned. About 10 feet away from me, in a crowd of people, was Cain Velasquez. Now mind you, I am obessed with MMA: I train every day, have a huge collection of UFC/Pride DVDs, read all the news, etc. But in the heat of the moment, I didn’t even recognize him. I quickly ran over to him and apologized for not recognizing him. He smiled and said, “No problem, it happens sometimes.”

Jeremiah Keller

A local sports bar had been advertising a guest appearance from a UFC fighter for like a month. I pretty much didn’t pay attention to it assuming that at best it would be a TUF reject. Luckily a few hours before this appearance I had the radio on and they announced the fighter was Dan Henderson. I instantly freaked out in disbelief.

He was scheduled to be there at 9:00 and I had to work until at least 8:30, and knowing it was going to take about 20 minutes to get to this bar it’s safe to say I was a little bit of a wreck, knowing there had to be a ton of people who felt the same. While at work running the scenarios through my head of how I could make this happen, I was talking to a co-worker/friend who was as much as a wreck as me, but in disappointment since he was too young to get in the bar. So I made him a deal that if I could get a picture with Dan I’d also try to get an autograph made out to my friend.

To try to shorten this; I got off work, rushed to the bar, took the chance of leaving my van wide open — I’m in a wheelchair so picture like 20% of my van just open to the world — and rushed inside. As I go to pay the cover they tell me they just reached capacity and I had to wait for someone to leave before I could enter. I was a little put back by this but Dan wasn’t there yet so I tried to keep my cool. Luckily, some drunk douchebag tried to pick a fight with the bouncers right in front of me and they quickly escorted him out. I took a kick in the shoulder but that was a person down and they let me in. I would have gladly made that trade if they offered it.

Now I’m inside holding a picture I printed of him in mid-air coming down on Bisping for that incredible final punch (you know the picture) and my cell phone with the camera ready. Finally he walks in with his entourage and it felt like a scene from straight from Lionheart. He is immediately surrounded by the crowd and I’m thinking he’s going to leave before I even get to him. While I waited they made several announcements that he had no time for autographs or pictures which was a little disappointing. Less than five minutes go by and one of Dan’s guys came up to me and said “Hey, you wanna talk to Dan?” (I guess wheelchairs have their perks) to which I probably mumbled something stupid but he took me right over to him.

Dan couldn’t have been more awesome. As soon as he saw me he also saw I had my phone out and asked if I wanted a picture, and his guy took my phone and snapped a pic. He then noticed the picture I had printed and asked “You want me to sign that?”, then picked it up and said “That’s a good-ass picture,” to which I’m pretty sure I replied “Thanks!” as if I had anything to do with making it. I hated myself for that but I got the autograph for my friend, and he has it framed on his wall so I can let it go.

I stuck around just long enough to watch him interact with a couple more fans, still a little in awe, but decided to leave so someone else could come in and see what a great guy he is. Him saying “That’s a good-ass picture” will forever be burned into my memory, though.