International Fight League Names MMA World Champion Sebastian ``Bas'' Rutten Vice President, Fighter Operations
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI) today announced the latest step in its reorganization heading into the 2008 season, naming Mixed Martial Arts legend Sebastian “Bas” Rutten to the newly-created position of Vice President, Fighter Operations. Rutten, who has been with the IFL since its inception as a coach and commentator, will oversee the contact between the IFL, its current athletes and other athletes in the sport, as well as working to create potential future matchups and cards both internally and with other organizations. He will report directly to IFL CEO Jay Larkin.
The 42 year old Dutchman competed professionally for over 20 years in various MMA disciplines, and was a three time champion in Pancrase (the Japanese precursor to what is now MMA) as well as holding the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight title.
He became interested in martial arts when he was 14 after seeing the Bruce Lee classic film “Enter the Dragon,” and began taking up Tae Kwon Do and other forms of karate. He had had skin problems and asthma as a youngster in Tilburg, the Netherlands, and martial arts became an excellent outlet for his growing athletic ability. His professional career began with Pancrase, the upstart Japanese fighting organization in 1993 and he rose through the ranks to take his first “King of Pancrase” title in 1995, defeating Minoru Suzuki. He defended the title twice and ended his Pancrase career with 19 straight wins.
In 1998, Rutten signed with the UFC, taking the heavyweight title from Kevin Randleman in just his second bout. He vacated the title later in the year in order to drop down to his natural middleweight category, but a series of serious injuries forced him to retire. In July 2006 he made one more come back, he defeated his opponent Ruben Villareal by way of leg kicks in the first round and finished his career with 22 straight wins.
Following his retirement, Rutten moved on to coaching, acting and broadcasting, landing roles on TV shows like “Martial Law,” and “The King of Queens,” as well as three movies, “The Eliminator,” “The Vault” and “The Kingdom of Ultimate Power.” He was also the color commentator on PRIDE’s Fighting Championship events, where his sense of humor and intimate knowledge of the sport immediately made him a fan favorite. He has also produced four DVDs on workouts and techniques and written two books, Bas Rutten’s Big Books of Combat.
Bas, who uses the nickname “El Guapo” (named after the villain in the comedy The Three Amigos) has been with the IFL as one of its founding coaches, most recently training and coaching IFL standouts like current welterweight champion Jay Hieron, Chris Horodecki, Benji Radach and Alex Schoenauer, and rising MMA legend Kimbo Slice, among others. He has also been the face of the IFL on television, teaming with Kenny Rice on IFL broadcasts on FSN, MyNetworkTV and HDNet that have been seen in over 200 countries worldwide in 2007. He is also the co-host of “Inside MMA” with Rice, a role which he will continue. Rutten also owns two gyms in the Los Angeles area and is one of the top trainers for many of Hollywood’s elite.
Rutten lives and trains in Los Angeles with his wife and has three daughters.
About the IFL
International Fight League™ (IFL) has its headquarters in New York and offices in Las Vegas. For more information about IFL, please see: www.ifl.tv.
Forward-Looking Statements: This release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and IFL’s management's expectations, hopes, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future financial condition, and results of operations. There can be no assurance that future developments actually affecting IFL will be those anticipated.
Important factors that could cause actual results to differ (favorably or unfavorably) from the expectations stated in this release include the risks and uncertainties such as the conditions of the markets for live events, broadcast television, cable television, pay-per-view, Internet, entertainment, professional sports, and licensed merchandise; acceptance of the Company’s brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to litigation; risks associated with producing live events; uncertainties associated with international markets; risks relating to maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television distribution agreements; effects of competition, including locations of competitors and operating and market competition.. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of the Company’s assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary in material respects from those projected in these forward-looking statements.
IFL undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities laws. This press release may include the opinions of IFL and does not necessarily include the views of any other person or entity.
The names of all International Fight League, Inc. televised and live programming, teams, images, and logos are trademarks, which are the exclusive property of International Fight League, Inc. All other trademarks and tradenames mentioned in this release are the property of their respective owners, and are not affiliated with IFL in any way.