53: Bas Rutten: MMA Legend Shares His Journey To the Top

Bas Rutten is arguably the greatest mixed martial artist in history. He trained in Karate, Taekwondo, and Muay Thai kickboxing. Bas was a UFC Heavyweight Champion, a three time King of Pancrase world champion and finished his career on a 22 fight unbeaten streak. He is currently the star of Punk Payback on Fuel TV and co-host of Inisde MMA on AXS.TV.

Favorite Success Quote

“How do you want to be remembered?” – Bas Ruten

Key Points

1. Just Put the Time In 

Achieving success in any endeavor is a very simple formula.

Put in the time and you will achieve success.


If you want to get better in business, then put in the time, learn your craft, make deals, fail forward, and you will succeed.

If you want to get better with women, then just put in the time, go out and approach new girls everyday, date new women, learn from your mistakes and you will succeed.

If you want to become a world class martial artists, guitarist, or artist, then just put in the time, hone your skills, and eventually you will succeed.

In our modern era of short cuts and life hacks, we often forget that the best life hack of all is just to put the work in consistently, and never give up.

2. Prepare for Opportunity Before it Arises 

In most people’s lives, the doors of opportunity will only open a handful of times.

There will only be a few select moments in your life when you have a chance to invest in that company, sign that contract, or work with that mentor.

And when these opportunities come knocking, it’s important that you have put in the work before hand to prepare yourself for them.

If you want to be successful in business, then you need to put in the work and save up the cash before you are approached with an opportunity.

If, like Bas, you want to be successful in as an actor, then put the time and energy into acting classes before you have the opportunity to try out for a part.

Whatever it is that you want to achieve, prepare for it before opportunity presents yourself and you will be prepared to take full advantage of situations when they arise.

3. You Must Learn to Handle the Pressure 

Pressure is part of life.

It’s easy to practice a skill and be good whenever there is no one watching you and when you are your only critic.

But bearing your skills and your soul for the world to see is hard.

Standing up in front of an audience of 1,000 people and telling your story is hard.

Running a successful advertising campaign for a client when $10,000 is on the line is hard.

And building a business that the world can see and criticize is hard.

If you want to be successful you must learn to deal with pressure.

You must learn to handle the haters and the critics, and develop the internal fortitude to stand strong and perform at your best regardless of what other people think.

Unless you learn to become a master at performing under pressure, you will never achieve true greatness and will relegate your destiny to the realm of the unfulfilled.

4. You Have to Have a Burning Desire to Win 

When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful. ~Eric Thomas

Whatever endeavors you are pursuing in life, you must develop two very specific character traits.

A burning desire to win and a passionate hate of losing.

Lots of people love to talk about failing forward and failing fast, and while there is merit to these philosophies, you don’t want to fail.

Failure sucks, losing sucks, not being the best sucks.

There is no way to sugar coat it.

If you want to succeed, then you have to want it.

You have to have a burning desire that keeps you up late at night and wakes you up early in the morning.

There is no other path to success.

5. Don’t Quit 

At the end of the day, success comes to those who are willing to slug it out when things are hard.

Who are willing to face failure after failure after failure without losing their resolve.

Who are willing to do as Winston Churchill said and while they are going through hell they simply keep going.

Quitters never win and winners never quit.


If you want to be great, then don’t quit.

Influential Books

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Connect with Bas Rutten



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