UFC Hall of Famer Bas Rutten joined Submission Radio. You can watch the interview in the video above, they sent us these highlights:
Brock Lesnar returning to the UFC with an immediate title shot:
"Yeah, it's not honest. I wouldn't say he deserves it, but it is what it is. It's a fight that everybody wants to see and I think he's gonna face a guy who's gonna beat him. I truly believe that DC's gonna beat him. The guy's so tough. The only knockout loss was a high kick. We know that Brock is not gonna throw a high kick knockout and he doesn't have the tools to set him up with striking that Jon Jones had who by the way tested positive for that fight, that's why they overturned the whole thing. But still, he doesn't have those striking qualities. His most impressive work is power and his wrestling, and once he's on top he's a very dangerous guy. But you're talking about a guy who's so hard to stop. Look at what Velasquez did to Brock Lesnar. You know, he's a training partner for DC, so I think that they're gonna do the same thing. They're going to have to weather the storm early on in the fight because Lesnar is incredibly strong and he does have technique, and once he's on top it's a very dangerous guy. But they will figure out how to weather the storm, and once it goes past round number two I think it's gonna all play into DC's game and I think he's actually gonna stop him."
"I think once you get clipped for something, for PEDs, it's one of those things that you think, if a guy gets caught is it really the first time? Right? I mean, look at him, how big he is. So, it's probably not you know, you're thinking about that and that might tarnish it. But for a guy to come in and only have a few fights and fighting for the title and then winning a title, I mean, people have to respect that. And he didn't test positive for that fight, so he's a truly impressive guy, he really is. But, I see a big guy like that, once they start shying away from punches, you know, it doesn't look good as well. I think if he would spend more time on Mixed Martial Arts for two years, really get the striking under control so he doesn't shy away from punches anymore and actually goes in for an attack and not push but start punching with that strength that he has and explosive power because he does have it, it's not like he's got the slow twitch fibres, he's got the fast twitch fibres, so he's an explosive guy who can do it but he just has to learn it, and I think once he would do that, yeah, then he could really be a force to reckon with. But I don't know, with everything around it, still to pull off a heavyweight champion in the world in the UFC, I think it's pretty impressive, especially after such a short amount of fights."
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor being made for UFC 229:
"I love it. I love that Conor took this fight, because for Conor this is a very dangerous fight. And the reason I'm saying this is just look at the fight he had with Chad Mendes. Chad Mendes took him to the ground immediately. Well, Nurmagomedov is as good a wrestler, maybe if not better. They're from Dagestan, they only got wrestling, it's in their heart, it's everything. I mean, they grow up there, it's their culture. And so this guy who never lost we know Conor is the striker, he's the submission guy. He's (Nurmagomedov) also a striker and he will have enough defence in order to take him down. If it comes to takedowns, that could be big trouble for Conor McGregor. Now, I don't know what Conor's been doing in the meanwhile, but still, if you fight a guy whose father is one of the most famous trainers that's out there and who started probably when he was three years old wrestling, you know, you can't learn that in a year, even if you train every day. Yeah, you can stop some takedowns, but once the fight is there and punches have been thrown and little movement and little feints, it's very hard to stop a takedown. So for Conor to take this fight, you know, for me, I think he has a puncher's chance. Now, the good thing for Conor is the he has incredible timing and incredible accuracy. So, if he can land a punch, although Khabib has never been knocked out, but still, he's never been hit by McGregor. McGregor can hit really hard as we know, because everybody he hits he destroys."
"It's a big fight for him. To stay away from the ground for five rounds. I look at the Nate Diaz fight as well, you see as soon as it goes to the ground. So, it's a big chance he's taking, but I applaud him for it because a lot of people thought that he was probably not gonna take the fight seeing as the guy is such a good wrestler and wants to take this fight to the ground."
If Bas is favouring Khabib to win this fight:
"I would (favour Khabib) if he doesn't get hit. To tell you the truth, I'm a huge Conor fan, although I'm a huge Aldo fan. I thought he was gonna have a lot of trouble with Aldo. Aldo, man, is an animal, I've always said it. I always said he reminds me of Ramon Dekkers. The way he fights, everything is power. No jabs, no nothing. And then to just dismantle him, and saying that before in the interview in the dressing room, 'don't worry, guys, it's gonna be a short fight. I'm gonna knock him out within 30 seconds, within a minute,' he said, and then he did it. You see, so if he can land a punch and if there's a lot of pressure on Nurmagomedov. I mean, he cannot lose this fight, everybody's gonna be on top of him. He's gonna make a killing in money as well.
"You know, everybody wants to fight Conor because of the PPV deal, so that's a good thing for him as well. I don't know if it puts pressure on him. I don't think so. I think these guys from Dagestan, they just go, it's their job. They either go (into) book keeping or they go fight. For them it's pretty much the same. So yeah, once it goes to the ground, I see trouble there for Conor. But if he can connect, you know, if there's a stand up, it's all about the connection, and if he connects that could be a knockout coming from him."
If there's anything Conor can do in preperation to stop Khabib's takedowns:
"Well, if they were smart they kind of knew this fight was going to happen, so hopefully they knew this like eight months in advance, because we knew that if he was gonna take a fight he was gonna fight him. So if he then starts and his coaches and you have like John Kavanagh and his coach as well, guys like that who are very smart submission guys, if they start picking out all the favourite things that Khabib would do, and just pick five things that he's always done since the first fight that he had and since the last fight, because you know it's in him, it becomes a habit. And once you find the defences for that, yes. But if you're gonna be a guy, "I want to learn the defence for a triangle choke, side choke, a rear naked choke and this choke and la la la," then nah. Then it's like because of the trees you can't see the forest anymore. That's what they say in Holland, there's too many trees. That's why I think it's going down. But if it's simple and there's only a little gamble on the things that he mainly does and find reversals for that or just play safe so that there's gonna be a stand-up, then yes. But it's very hard, because once you're grappling and you get hit in the face, well, if you don't do that in a gym, that's a problem, because that's a distraction. Now there's an armbar. You see, little things like that make a huge difference. Just grappling or grappling with hitting big difference. So I hope they grapple with hitting, with elbows, with everything. But normally they don't do that because elbows can cut you and in training you don't want to get cut because otherwise you can't work out anymore. So, it's a hard one, very hard one. If he keeps it simple, yes, but if he tries to find a solution for every submission attempt, that's not gonna work."