Golden Glory founder, Bas Bonn, has been building a stable of top level mixed martial artists and elite strikers for decades. Boon has been an essential key to the growth of MMA in Japan. He started with K-1, 20 years ago, and now he has expanded himself into a global market that combines martial arts and television. Boon recently took the time to chat with The Mouth of MMA about everything from the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, to his upcoming movie projects. and he even tells us who he thinks could possibly beat Alistair Overeem.
Jason Kelly: How long have you been involved with martial arts?
Bas Boon: 29 years
JK: When did you open Golden Glory?
BB: We started the first gym 12 years ago.
JK: Who were some of the first fighters to join Golden Glory?
BB: Chalid Arrab, Semmy Schilt, Valentijn/Alistair Overeem, Fatih Kocamis.
JK: Besides the more popular names like Alistair Overeem and Semmy Schilt, who are some of the up and coming fighters at Golden Glory?
BB: We will hear a lot from John olav Einemo and there are some very young upcoming heavyweight talents who will be in the news soon. Thommy Depretz and Siyar Bahadurzada are doing really well as well as well as K-1 max fighter Robin van Roosmalen.
JK: Bas Rutten recently suggested that Brock Lesnar should go to Golden Glory and learn some striking, have you ever had an American visit Golden Glory for a training camp?
BB: Heath Herring was 5 years with Golden Glory, so yes.
JK: Would you be open to having fighters from other gyms frequent Golden Glory when they are in preparations for a fight?
BB: No we don’t, we will sign professional fighters. It does not make any sense to make better fighters who are later potential opponents under a different management.
JK: You guys have the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix coming up, what are your thoughts about the whole tournament?
BB: We have been participating for 12 years in tournaments and won many, we like the concept.
JK: Do you think it is a positive thing for Strikeforce to do?
BB: Yes, it shows a great heavyweight division and spectacular fights.
JK: Do you think Strikeforce might have a problem finding an opponent if Alistair Overeem wins the tournament?
BB: There will always be fighters who challenge, I am not afraid that strikeforce would run out of opponents, Scott Cocker is doing a good job.
JK: Do you think Alistair should be fighting in the tournament or do you think Strikeforce should have set up a tournament without Overeem to find an opponent for him?
BB: No its fine, we wanted to fight Werdrum as he defeated fedor first and Alistair is the reigning champion, so we got what we wanted. If the second fight is against Big foot who also defeated Fedor, no problem.
JK: Would you like to have seen Overeem and Fedor in the finals so all the talk can end, or do you not have a preference who Overeem fights?
BB: I think the tournament should (have) been divided (so) that would be the finals, unfortunately Fedor is out, so we do not see that fight in the finals.
JK: You have been involved with television production for a long time, and recently bee doing things for FOX FILES in U.S.A. Do you plan to do more of that? Do you have any upcoming television projects in Holland or the United States?
BB: Yes right now I am producing a movie called Amsterdam Heavy were Gokhan Saki, Alistair Overeem, Semmy Schilt and Marloes Coenen from Golden Glory will act. We got some reality shows in the planning and I am producing a video game called Fight Game, there are also plans for Fight Game the movie. I produced a lot of fighting shows with stars like Peter Aerts, Rob Kaman, Ramon dekkers, Ernesto Hoost. It was the start of a great time. I brought the sport to TV in Europe and later also into many other countries.
JK: As a result of the television work, do reside in U.S.A or Holland?
BB: I live in Thailand as it is closer to Japan, Korea and China. It is more practical for me.
JK: One last question before I let you go. Would you like to see Alistair Overeem in the UFC ever and do you view anyone in the UFC heavyweight division a challenge for Overeem?
BB: Every fight is a fight, it will be no different in the UFC, but right now Alistair is the strongest and most skilled, complete and has great fighting rhythm. I do not see him get beaten anytime soon except maybe a teammate of Golden Glory in the future can give Alistair troubles.