View Full Version : interview Dick Vrij

02-10-2005, 16:34
Prachtig interview met Dick Vrij door José Stephen op man- magazine,kijk op:

In 2002 Dick Vrij stepped in the ring for his last fight after a very turbulent career with ups and downs.

He addressed his last fight to his Father “Bert? who has past away to soon because of cancer. In a full Amsterdam Arena Dick finishes his career in style with a classic knock out. I contacted Dick for an interview to see if his life has changed after his last fight.

How are you Dick?
Everything is well with me I have a busy life. I got to run my gym fitness Centrum De Meer. My son plays soccer and practices twice a week and plays a match on Saturday and I want to go with him all the time. My daughter plays tennis. I enjoy all of this and I try to spend a much time with them.

In 2002 was you’re last fight against Barrington Patterson, how do you look back on you’re career.
My career was great, all the things I have seen and all the places I have been to fight. The highlight of my career was my last fight that I dedicated to my father. But also the first trip to Japan where I had to fight for an audience for 60000 people. I was still a youngster with a few kickboxing fight as experience and could not speak proper English; Chris Dolman had to translate the interviews for me.

Did you talk with Patterson after the fight?
After the fight I showed him around Amsterdam and we had a real good time, you know how it is in our sport. In the ring we fight and after the fight it’s back to sportsman ship and have a drink together.

What’s you’re opinion about the rumour the knock out against Patterson was fake?
Unbelievable, it was the only knock out of the evening; Patterson had twice an eight count before I knocked him out. Such a knock out is hard to simulate.

Was it a difficult decision to end you’re career?
No, four years before my last fight, I already ended my career. I think a good sportsman should end his career at the peak before he reaches the downfall. I take Rob Kaman as an example, his fight against Ignashov. He did his last fight at the age of 39 and he did not train that well for this fight. Of course Ignashov is a good fighter but during the heydays of Rob his career he wouldn’t stand a chance. And because of Rob’s last performance that was less than all his previous fights people judge him the wrong way. In my eyes Rob Kaman is the best kick boxer that the Netherlands ever had.
That point was also playing in my mind of coming up with a less fight than all the great fights in an early stage in my career. I had to go a long way to reach the shape I was in my fight against Patterson. The last year before my fight my father past away and that had a huge impact on me and it took a while before I was back on track with training and everything. I trained at Mike’s gym for my fight against Patterson and I have seen hell that period believe me. I had to catch up with all the guys because of having a lack in training hours. Even the young guys gave me damn hard time during sparing and that was something that bothered me very much. Because I am a guy that can focus well on things and I am very dedicated and that was my rescue to come back on track. My career is ended and I pas the torch to the young generation.

People say that Chris Dolman and you are the pioneers of free fight and Mma in the Netherlands?
In 1989 Chris and I went to Japan. In 1995 we organised the last fight of Chris here in Amsterdam and the place was jam-packed. From there on it started with the events of Rings Holland here in Amsterdam. But I am not a guy who likes to pad myself on the chest, a lot of people wanted to see me fight and what I was capable of. That time I was also a doorman at the hottest club in Amsterdam and people where very curious if Dick Vrij could really fight. The first event was special because people did not know what to expect. I fought only one fight per year in Amsterdam, believe me that many people were looking forward to it. The event was sold out in no time. Since than the popularity Mma and free fight started. Recently there is a decrease in popularity, like I said back in the days as soon as the posters were hanging people started to ask for tickets. Nowadays it is so hard to draw a big crowd. And there are no fighters at this moment with exception of a few like Alistair and Remy Bonjasky that can draw a big crowd. I also think that due to overkill in events the people can’t make up their mind what event to visit.

Which fight you would like to fight over again?
I do not have to think long about this. The fight against Paul Varelans, the Polar Bear. To be honest I had won that fight, this fight was a fight with no eight counts and no rope escape. There was a moment in the fight in the first round that I gained the mount position and was grounding and pounding suddenly the referee pulls me of him. At that time he should have declared me the winner but he didn’t. I gave everything in me the first round. I have never made a secret about using steroids. I don’t want to bring it up as an excuse either but the following played a huge factor in that fight. A week before the Paul Varelans Fight I had to fight Valentijn Overeem and I broke my foot while kicking on a block. My foot was in a casket for a week and taken away shortly for the Varelans fight. Michel van Halderen gave me four injections to stop the pain. Normal I take one table of ephedrine for a fight but now I took three. My whole body protested against this, is seemed that I was hyperventilating. During the break my heart rate would not go down. All my stamina was gone and I lost the fight. There is also another fight I would do over again. I fought against Pedro de Palm and I lost control of myself in that fight. While he was on the ground I kicked him in the face. No me and Pedro are good friends so a fight between us is not an option. But I regret what have happened.

There were some rumours that you would fight again; can you clear this up please?
The have asked me to fight against Akebono in Japan but no was the answer, I have closed to the door to a comeback. I am 40 years old and I do not have the same power as before, like they say:? ages starts to count??. I have said before that an athlete should stop at his peak and I am satisfied how I ended my career and I want to leave it this way.

While you were in training for the Patterson fight you had a heavy trainings schedule, how is you’re trainings activity at this moment?
I try to train once a day, in the mourning I train with the fighters and sometimes in the afternoon I work out for myself but if I don’t have the spirit to work out I simply don’t. I try to spend as much time with my kids because they are very important for me.

Where you on a special diet during that period?
7 am: 50 gram rice and 50 gram nutrix
9 am: 150 grams rice with pineapple
10 am: training (after training a carboshake with proteins)
12 am: 150 grams rice with pineapple
2 pm: Panka fish with a salad
4 pm: Rice with pineapple
6 pm Panka fish with salad
8 pm Rice with pineapple
10 pm: Protienshake with water.

Who is you’re favourite pride fighter?
I have to choose Alistair Overeem. If you look at all the fighters who fight in pride there are many good fighters like:?’ Shogun, Fedor and Crocop. But I do admire Alistair the most.

Do you have an explanation why the Dutch fighters are so successful in mma and kickboxing on a global level?
The Dutch have a big knowledge when it comes to mma and kickboxing because of people who introduced the sports in the early 70’s here in the Netherlands. I think also our country is so small and we are all close to each other, it is very easy to train with each other. With this I mean that my fighters train at other gyms like Mike’s gym and Gym Alkmaar and their fighters come here to train. The Dutch very sport minded people, look at the Olympics we always perform well

Which Dutch fighter is in you’re eyes the most talented at this moment?
Like I mentioned previously Alistair Overeem but there are more fighters that are very talented, fighters like Joeri Mes, Drago and many others. I also got to mention Badr Hari as a very talented fighter; the only thing is that he needs to come back on track after his last fight against Leko. In my eyes he should not have to lose this fight, he should train harder and be more dedicated. If I compare the trainings intensity of Badr with Joeri and Drago there is a big difference. He is very talented and has the potential to become a great fighter and a champion but he should bring his training to a higher level.

You have joined the organisation of Rings Holland. What is you’re function?
Most of the time I am collecting money (big laugh). I do some public relations with the sponsors. Milco Lambrechts is more the person with the right approach when it comes to negotiation with the local governments. The matchmaking is done in conformity with each other. Milco puts a list with fighters on the table and then we start to puzzle to come up with a good matchmaking for an event.

Back in the days at an event of Rings Holland there were no kickboxing matches only free fights that is changed nowadays. A Rings event is not complete with one ore two spectacular kickboxing fights. What’s you’re opinion about this ?
The kickboxing matches are to make the events more attractive, Lets face it fighters like Menno Dijkstra, Rayen Simson, Diender among others have the ability to display good fights in the ring that are full of tension and action. The Rings Holland events are complete now and I also think that more people here in the Netherlands want to see a standing fight instead of two fighters that are rolling on the ground. In Japan on the other hand they appreciate fighting on the ground more. When two fights remain on the ground during the whole fight they go crazy and every move is accompanied with an Ooh or aah from the audience.

What is you’re opinion about the discussion about the 30 second rule?
To keep a fight attractive and to avoid long time inactivity on the ground the 30 second rule is perfect. The fighters who want to fight in countries in Japan and Russia the 30 sec. rule is not suited because the fights in those countries can remain on the ground the full distance.

Is there a long-time policy at Rings Holland, What can we expect in the future?
We are working on cooperation with K-1 max in the near future. Promoter Simon Rutz has the big guys from the K-1 and we have the lighter version the k-1 max. It’s strange but the K-1 draws bigger crowds, and in my eyes the lighter version show better fights. If you look at fighters like: “ Diender, Mes, Kaas, Simson, Spong, Main, Drago all fighters who are known for there good and spectacular fights. Things are in a developing stadium right now and as soon things are clear I will inform you about it.

Which site do you prefer most? Fighter or Promotor?
I am glad that I have been a fighter so now I can take all this knowledge with me as a promoter. I think that fighters should get better earnings for a fight because I know what sacrifices you have to make as a fighter.

Name two fighters that can make you’re dream matchmaking?
That would be Peter Aerts vs Remy Bonjanski to be held at an event in the Netherlands. If Balrak would not fight at a higher weight division, a fight against Joeri Mes would be great.

You have stared you’re own team “Topteam Beverwijk", can you name the fighter of this team.
Taner Utlu, Dave Dalgliesh, Christos Petrosous and Brain Maulany those are the four pioneers and the fighters that stayed when Bob left. There are also some younger fighters that will make their appearance in the ring in the neir future. We have a good team, trainers are:? Gilbert Ballentine, Denis Raven and Paul Kasteel, Hans Dijman and me. We have a sponsor so it’s interesting for the fighters. We building things up and we do not want to rush things. I train with the fighters, I spar with them and do pads sessions with them. If they win I win to and the team spirit among the fighters is good.

Can you mention something that you would liked to see changed in Mma and kickboxing ?
The referee’s is a point of attention, I know it’s not an easy task and I would not do it. The referee’s should be more alert in the rings. Referee’s like Wily Peters and Peter Dijkman are good examples of referees that were in good control. The importance of a good referee is very big and a primary must for a good event.

Dick Vrij has definitely passed the torch to the younger generation and with his own team he is preparing fighters to make their mark in the square ring. I have big respect for Dick, the way he talks about his father Bert who sadly has past away because of cancer and all the things he has seen during his career. Dick gave a big donation to Clinic clowns for their good work because he knows what impact the disease has and what a visit from a clinic clown can do for a child that lies in the hospital and this gesture demands nothing but respect
It was the first time I met Dick in person and he has made a big impression on me. I the near future I will keep a close eye on “Topteam Beverwijk?.

03-10-2005, 09:57
A week before the Paul Varelans Fight I had to fight Valentijn Overeem and I broke my foot while kicking on a block. My foot was in a casket for a week and taken away shortly for the Varelans fight. Michel van Halderen gave me four injections to stop the pain.

Heeft Vrij tegen Valentijn Overeem gevochten ? nooit geweten hoe ging die partij ?

03-10-2005, 10:48
Met trainen waarschijnlijk

03-10-2005, 18:36
dick vrij liep gisterem samen met hans nijman in tilburg rond

04-10-2005, 08:38
dick vrij liep gisterem samen met hans nijman in tilburg rond

hadden ze het gezellig ? :wink:

04-10-2005, 15:11
Dick Vrij, Willy Peters, Hans Nijman, Dennis Raven, Chris Dolman ik mis ze nog steeds. Door deze jongens is MMA in Nederland op de kaart gezet. Het blijven toppers en ik kijk nog steeds graag naar hun oude partijen.

04-10-2005, 19:21
Ephedrine nemen voor een gevecht vind ik niet ok. Verder respect voor hem als vechter!