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08-04-2008, 23:06
Bas Boon Interview (http://www.nokaut.com/?id=38&solo_news=1401&lang=e&cur=eur) [Mar 10, 2008]

by Slaven Vujic - Nokaut.com

Hi Bas, it's a pleasure to talk to you. Let's make a brief introduction for our readers. How did you get involved in martial arts?

Bas Boon: When I was 15 years old I started taekwondo, later I took up full contact kickboxing and kicking 8 times above the waist.
What were the key moments that gave such a boost to Golden Glory, making it the leading fight team in Europe, next to Red Devil?
Bas: Please do not compare Red Devil with Golden Glory. Gambaryan was beaten by Fatih (Kocamis) and Zentsov was beaten by Chalid (Arrab) and Alistair (Overeem). This was all before Fedor was introduced to Red Devil by me. Golden Glory started at 2H2H number 2, where all GG fighters were victorious and many journalist therefore wrote about Golden Glory.
Besides managing fighters, you also promoted events together with several partners. What's your most memorable event?
Bas: I think Peter Aerts vs Frank Lobman. Also, the beginning times with a company called Oriental Fight Promotions, set up by me, Cor Hemmers and Joop Musterd. We had a TV deal with Screesports who broadcasted through Europe and it was the professional start of Thai/Kickboxing in Europe.
Do you still consider promoting events in Europe?
Bas: I am making movies now in Hollywood (www.badguysthemovie.com (http://www.badguysthemovie.com/)) but Martijn de Jong from GG promotes events with Golden Glory under the name of Ultimate Glory (www.ultimateglory.com (http://www.ultimateglory.com/)).

There are so many well known names in Golden Glory team, starting with Semmy Schillt, Alistair Overeem, Stefan Leko, Challid Arab. Although your fighters compete in MMA, the biggest success came from K1 with Semmy wining his titles?
Bas: I do not agree, Alistair just became world champion Strikeforce in the States, Siyar Bahadurzada became Shooto world champion in Japan and Paul Cahoon from England became British champion Cage fighting!
Do you agree that MMA is growing at much higher rate then K1? If so, are we going to see more and more of your K1 fighters fighting under MMA rules?
Bas: I do not agree, I think K-1 is starting to grow now in Europe. It is regularly broadcasted throughout Europe whereas MMA is not. Moreover, I just made a deal with number 1 TV in Holland. MMA is popular in the States but only because it is promoted as American. Chuck Lidell, Matt Huges, Randy Couture are all white heavyweights, the American population can identify themselves with that. Look what happened to boxing; you have Klitschko and Valuev, do they draw the same PPV numbers as Tyson or Hollyfield did in their time?
Do you think that transition from K1 to MMA is a heavy task? Also, do you agree that older fighters like Sefo, Hunt, LeBanner will have more problems in adapting to the new fighting style than younger fighters?
Bas: What I like about MMA is that it promotes cross training: you have to be a striker, train wrestling and BJJ to become all round. Why would you start fighting a new style of fighting if you make more money at a style you know? It is the same in the States, why would famous boxers go into K-1 or MMA if they will make less money and have a bigger chance of loosing fights?
Can you tell us more about your beef with PRIDE?
Bas: In 2003 I went through the worst time of my career as a manager of team Golden Glory. I was kicked out the K-1 with Stefan Leko and Semmy Schilt while they were qualified to participate at the last 8 (the time Bonjasky won). Then I made a deal with Kawamata in Japan in cooperation with Miro Mijatovic for a show on new years Evening called Bom-ba-ye. The promoter left the country and did not pay my fighters, so my partner Ron Nyqvist and I ended up paying 300K out of our own pocket. To see the full story you can quote our web site www.goldenglory.com (http://www.goldenglory.com/) the forum yakuza part 1,2,3.

What's your take on Japanese MMA market at the moment? There are new organisations (World Victory Road, DREAM) that try to follow PRIDE's legacy. Can they be bigger and better then PRIDE in its best days?
Bas: The one who gets a Fuji TV deal or any TV deal is there to stay. I will leave to WVR on March 1 with Golden Glory fighter Siyar Bahadurzada, who now is the world champion shooto. It will be interesting to see what will happen, I guess 2008 is going to be a very interesting year.
K1 Heroes is also trying to make their market share bigger in Japan. Since K1 is primarily known for K1 tournaments, do you see them establishing a successful brand in MMA as well?
Bas: Like I said before, K-1 also created a good relationship with TBS and Softbank. They have TV and know how to put on a show. If they would have me as a matchmaker they would have succeeded already [laughs].
What's next for Semmy Schillt? He's already a 3-times K1 champion and my guess is that he wants his place in K1 history next to a 4-times winner Ernesto Hoost. Does he have any plans in MMA?
Bas: We will see what comes on our pad. Semmy likes MMA too and has no problem with fighting any opponent in MMA if there is enough preparation time!

Semmy already fought some top names in MMA, including Fedor. Do you think that he would do better now and why?
Bas: He fought 20 minutes with Fedor and Fedor said once in an interview that it was his most difficult fight so far. Semmy had problems changing from K-1 style to MMA and back, and he was switching a lot back then. At the time of the fight against Barnett at Bom-ba-ye, he had only fought once before in that year. It was against Bonjasky, he won the fight but it was K-1 style. All in all, he missed fighting rhythm and prepared for K-1 GP, not for MMA. So yes, he would do better now!
Alistair Overeem is GG's top MMA fighter for many years. He's always dangerous and near the top, but never on the top. What are your thoughts on him and his future?
Bas: Alistair had a lot of personal problems in the last year but seems to have found his way back on track, winning the World heavyweight Strikeforce Championship. He got unlucky against Chuck Lidell and Shogun, who both became the biggest names in the 205 class. Alistair had to cut too much in weight and is happy now as a heavy weight. He is ready again and still young! He even trained with Kharitonov in Holland who also joined the Golden Glory team. One time Alistair won and the last time Kharitonov did, so it is 1-1 and now they are training together. It’s a funny world.
Who are the best MMA fighters from the GG team after Alistair?
Bas: Siyar, Oktay, Fatih ofcourse, Sergey Kharitonov and Chalid “die Faust” (the fist). There are some young upcoming talents about whom we will hear a lot soon!
There's a fighter from Sarajevo, Denis Stojnic, in your team and he's undefeated in MMA so far. What are your thoughts on him and his future?
Bas: Denis is not undefeated anymore, he has now 11 fights and 10 wins with 9 KO’s. He accepted a fight on short notice and lost by decision against Gibbs in Holland. But he is going to make a lot of noise. Dennis is a spectacular fighter, he comes to fight, to knock you out. We will be hearing a lot from this young heavyweight in the future.
For Stefan Leko we can say the same thing as for Alistair. Near the top, but never on the top? What are your thoughts on him and his future?
Bas: Stefan had some bad luck too, he fought Hoost at the last 8 at lost to a decision, then lost to Hunt in round three being ahead on points. He got a double hernia when he got his contract with Pride where his string of bad luck continued. He defeated Aerts twice, Badr once, Mighty Mo and Ray Sefu, so he belongs to the top. I hope that we will see an new Blitz as soon as he’s recovered from the operation on his knee he had to undergo recently!
Can you introduce the people who are behind Golden Glory's success? I'm sure that Cor Hemmers, as a world class muay thai expert, plays an important role in your business.
Bas: It is a big company. For trainers, take a look at the www.goldenglory.com (http://www.goldenglory.com/) web site. I started the company with Ron Niqvist my partner and Cor Hemmers, Dave Jonkers and Martijn de Jong playing a big role. Also Fred Royers is training the Golden Glory fighters, busy busy busy.
Which fighters you admired the most in the past in both K1 and MMA and who are the best MMA fighters in the world at the moment?
Bas: Branko Cikatic for surprising the world by winning the first K-1 World Gp ever. Royce Gracie for introducing MMA to the world as well as Art Davie and Frederico Lapenda (two promoters). Sakuraba for being the fighter with the biggest heart and balls and Semmy Schilt because of his training dedication and being loyal. Quinton Jackson (who played in my movie www.badguysthemovie.com (http://www.badguysthemovie.com/)) and who is now UFC light heavyweight champion. Fedor and Sergei from Russia and Ramon Dekker, Rob Kaman and Peter Aerts!
Thank you Bas for your time and good luck to your fighters in the upcoming bouts.

09-04-2008, 08:27
Bas Boon... je houdt ervan of je houdt er niet van..
Maar hoe dan ook.. ik vind het een prima interview.

09-04-2008, 09:27
Ik vind hem nogal zelfingenomen. Maar ik geef toe dat hij wel vaak gelijk heeft. Hij komt wel altijd met argumenten. Ik vind alleen het argument over Alistair niet zo sterk. Strikeforce kampioen klinkt leuk, maar hij heeft er maar een gevecht voor gewonnen van een vechter die niet echt bij de top hoort. Verder verloor Alistair eerder juist van enkele vechters die wel bij de top horen. Ik hoop dat Alistair wat dat betreft zijn reputatie weer snel wat kan opvijzelen door te winnen van enkele toppers.