UFC Hall of Famer and ambassador for Karate Combat, Bas Rutten shares his thoughts on the state of combat sports as social media influencers have recently begun competing frequently.
With the third season of Karate Combat debuting on July 1 on CBS Sports Network, Rutten explained in an interview with MMA Junkie why he was instantly willing to be a part of a the promotion’s unique approach to martial arts competition.
“Well, they called me all the way from the beginning and they said,
‘Hey, we need an ambassador for the sport,’” Rutten said. “Since you come from a karate background, would you like to be our ambassador?’ I said, ‘What is it?’ ‘It’s a full-contact karate league.’ I go, ‘Woah, okay! Don’t say anymore. I want to do it!’ And then I found out the pit and the
way it’s shaped and the way it was filmed and that was the icing on the cake.”
“With these guys, they are having Olympic-level athletes fighting each other full contact, it’s the best,” Rutten stated.
New approaches to combat sports come up from time to time, but perhaps the most interesting recent development in the space is the rise of YouTube stars lacing up the gloves and fighting legitimate fighters in the boxing ring. Rutten has noted that these social media influencers have done the work to earn attention, and they’re not performing too badly in the ring as well.
“You know, they did that and you can’t complain about it,” Rutten started. “Why don’t you do the same thing, start a YouTube channel and get a lot of followers? Guess what? Then you can do exactly the same thing.
“That’s the same with (Conor) McGregor. People go like, well, but look at it, he makes all that money. Well, be like him. Good luck with that, by the way, because, I mean, he’s a master in promoting and it’s the same with the Paul brothers. I mean, they built themselves up for years now, but finally, they have to pick their career and they found a way to do something, what they love to do – fighting, boxing, and they actually do pretty well. I got huge respect for those guys. I mean, the way against Floyd Mayweather going the distance? In my book, that’s pretty admirable.”
Check out the full conversation in the video above.