Like many, the first time I discovered how great Bas Rutten (28-4) was came after watching his performance in UFC. Bas Rutten has had a long and storied history. He initially decided to get into martial arts after seeing Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon. He started in Tae Kwon Do and then Kyokushin Karate. In his twenties, Bas started doing Muay Thai, and started his career with 14 straight KO victories.
Bas' next stop was in the Pancrase organization. His lack of ground game were pretty much the only reason he suffered his four losses, all before 1995. After honing the ground game, Bas was able to win the King of Pancrase three times. He won over Frank Shamrock, Minouru Suzuki and Masakatsu Funaki.
When he came to the UFC he captured the heavyweight crown over Kevin Randleman in a very controversial decision. His previous UFC bout was a slug it out victory over Tsuyoshi "TK" Kohsaka. Bas' other notable victories are over Yoshiki Takahashi, 3X stoppages of Jason Delucia, Guy Mezger, 2 subs of Maurice Smith, Manabu Yamada and various wins over other Japanese veterens. Watch out for the liver shot!
*The old Pancrase rules allowed for palm strikes to the head while standing and no strikes on the ground.