I love Bas Rutten. Literally, nothing else in MMA brightens up my day as much as watching Bas being Bas, whether it’s the latest episode of Inside MMA or some YouTube video he’s on. But of all the crazy things Bas says and does, nothing brings me as much as joy as when he’s commentating for a fight and goes absolutely nuts about a shot to the liver…”Liivveer Shot!” Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.
Anyways, I’ve never actually wondered why Bas loves the liver shot so much (just assumed since it’s so effective), but I think I’ve stumbled upon the reason why. In their latest issue, FIGHT! Magazine did a feature article on Bas and on the first page, Bas tells the story of how he first got “dropped” in a fight. And guess how it happened? Yep, from a liver punch.
Six years later, Rutten, now a 20-year old physical specimen, finally moved out of Valkenswaard. His first order of business: get back in the gym and fulfill his self-imposed destiny. He worked quickly, earning black belts in both Tae Kwon Do and Karate, and then decided to try Thai boxing, which had already begun to take Holland by storm.
“My first day in the gym, I got my ass kicked,” says Rutten. “I had never been dropped before, but that day I went hard, and it came from a liver punch.” Rutten went home and shadow-boxed in front of his mirror for four straight hours. “My wife at the time, she said I was crazy, but I came back the next day and just cleaned the place out. I beat the shit out of everybody. Six weeks later, the guys who ran the place got me my first fight.” Rutten won that bout 43 seconds into the first round, courtesy of a spinning back kick to the opponent’s liver. He went on to win his first 13 fights by knockout, all but one coming in the first round.
The story never actually confirms if that’s why Bas loves the liver shot so much, but since it happened to him at such a memorable point in his career, I’d be willing to bet that’s when it started. The rest of the story is really good, so make sure you check it out, especially if you’re a Bas fan too.