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Episode Info

Episode Info:

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Bas Rutten was basically the small skinny guy in the Charles Atlas comic book advertisement, “The insult that made a man out of Mac.” Rutten had two major health issues that made him target for bullies: eczema and asthma. Puffing around the schoolyard out of breath, he got called “leper” and other epithets kids love to be called, and taunted with violence. This went on for 14 years, until, against his parents wishes, little Rutten took a martial arts class and decided to stop running from the chief bully and his posse.


One hard punch to said bully’s fragile resulted in a free visit to the hospital. And it changed Bas Rutten’s life forever, leading him to a career about which few athletes can boast. Bas Rutten eventually became UFC World Champion and was inducted into the MMA (mixed martial arts) Hall of Fame.


He’s also a deeply devoted Catholic convert and family man.


In this interview you will learn:


  • How a sickly young Dutch boy went from bully fodder to world champion fighter
  • How the rules for MMA matches maximize the safety of the competitors
  • Anecdotes galore about motivation, conviction, and the stamina it takes to be the best of the best in the world
  • His advice for parents with kids who are being bullied
  • His terrifying encounters with the ghost of a dead woman and how his bold confrontation with her resolved the trouble
  • Why Bas prays all his prayers in Latin, the mother tongue of the Church

Resources mentioned in this episode:


Theology and Sanity by Frank Sheed

Going Deeper by Leo Severino

Born Only Once by Conrad Baars, MD

Bas Rutten’s website

To book Bas as a speaker


Question of the week:


What spiritual lessons can be gleaned from the life of an MMA fighter (even if the sport is not your cuppa)?

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