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Bas Rutten: Interested in fighting for UFC

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One of the pioneers of mixed martial arts and former UFC heavyweight champion — Bas Rutten (28-4-1) — would consider fighting in the UFC if he can recover from a serious knee injury, according to an interview with

Here's a snip from "El Guapo:"

"I'm not [looking to get back into the ring or cage] because I have a very bad combination in my knee; I have an ACL and meniscus and I have arthritis on top of it. If my knee is good, yes, you know [I'd come back], but the pain in my knee takes all the pleasure from my training.... As long as I feel that pain, I don't want to train and I can't fight."

Rutten's contract was one of the "select assets" the UFC acquired in the deal with World Fighting Alliance (WFA) in 2006. He chopped down Ruben "Warpath" Villareal (11-11-3) in the first and only WFA event in July 2006.

The match with Villareal was the first for Rutten in almost seven years — he was forced to retire in 1999 because of knee and other injuries.

During his hiatus, Rutten kept a high-profile in the sport, commentating for PRIDE FC and opening up "Legends Gym" in Los Angeles, California, with UFC heavyweight contender Randy Couture. He is also the coach of the Los Angeles Anacondas in the International Fight League (IFL).

According to Rutten, UFC President Dana White has not contacted the 42-year-old Dutch fighter about a possible return.

However, if Rutten can get well soon, there's no doubt UFC fans would embrace the return of Bas.

And, his patented "Rutten Jump."