“Inside MMA” host Kenny Rice has taken considerable heat since he shut down an interview / anti-UFC rant with Ben Askren, and his co-host Bas Rutten has come to his defence.
Chances are you’ve heard more than a lot about the now famous segment, which featured Askren blasting UFC boss man Dana White. Since Rice cut Askren off to end the interview, the ONE FC champ, and many others, were quick to criticize the experienced broadcaster (and yes, I didn’t exactly heap praise on the decision).
More recently, AXS TV executive Andrew Simon apologized for the incident, and invited Askren back to the show.
Well, in a follow up post on Facebook, Rutten has provided a lengthy response for the critics, which presents their side of what went down and why. Here is some of Rutten’s comments, but it’s a lengthy post, so click here to read the entire thing.
“OK, first of all: Many of you didn’t see it on TV but saw the edited clip “on line”. When you see the TV piece you see that we talk before, during and after the interview only good about Ben. The video online started like 2 minutes into the interview. Some “on line” video’s even edited the last part out where we say “good bye” to Ben
And another thing, his interview was already a minute over the normal time limit, (we have 4 minutes for guests which we tell them before hand) keep this in mind as well, I come back to it later. Just so you have an idea, it was 5,5 minutes which was even longer then Anderson Silva had last week who has been the best P4P fighter for many years and who fought the best guys out there, meaning, we try to give ALL the fighters the same time.”
Rutten also noted, accurately, that Askren’s recent criticisms of White had already received a lot press. So it was there job to get him to talk about something else too. This is why, according to Rutten, Rice asked Askren if he’d be interested in fighting for the UFC at some juncture, or if he can make a career fighting for ONE FC. If you saw the clip, the tone of the interview didn’t really change after the question.
“El Guapo” added that by this juncture, the segment was already going long and that the show’s producer was telling Rice to wrap it up. Rutten also pointed out that Rice referred to Askren as an “entertaining” and “smart” guy after the interview ended.
Again, Rutten’s commentary is quite extensive, so it’s difficult to address all his points here, but essentially he’s taken issue with the argument that “Inside MMA” or Rice are biased towards the UFC.
While the post may not change some fans minds about the incident, or Askren’s, it’s certainly a well written ‘our side of the story’ piece.
Askren (14-0) is coming off a first round, demolition of Nobutasu Suzuki on August 29th to capture ONE FC’s welterweight title.