Historical Nicknames in the Fight Game Business Bas “Buffoon.” We became “The Blitz Brothers” Bas Boon, Chalid Arrab, Cor Hemmers, and Stefan Leko.
As a manager from Team Golden Glory, I had many challenges. I had meetings with the promoters like K-1 and Pride FC to discuss what I could do as a manager to make the fighters more popular. I even had discussions with TV executives about that and tried to listen to their suggestions and expertise.
A historical feeling for entertainment and nicknames.
I learned a lot during my first decade working with our company Oriental Fight Promotions. I had a good feeling about Nicknames that were fitting for the individual. Creating nicknames was a part of my marketing strategy. Peter Aerts became the Lumberjack. I even designed the axes for his woodchopper outfit, and he would carry an ax to the ring.
Igor “Ice Cold” Vovchanchin was another great appropriate nickname for the MMA fighters with the longest undefeated winning streak in the history of the sport. This nickname came before Chuck Liddell was nicknamed the Ice Man, which I also liked a lot.
The Blitz Brothers, history in the making.
Then sometimes, there could be a place where great ideas would be born. One of those places was the Hard-Rock Hotel in Tokyo and Osaka. When I was there with Cor Hemmers, our brains were buzzing. This brainstorming resulted in a new approach for Stefan Leko. His nickname was The Blitz because he was fast and self-proclaimed handsome. We took The Blitz and then started to play with the nickname. It finally resulted in The Blitz brothers. All of us in Stefan’s corner all wore sunglasses and black hats. To complete the “circus “, we choose the blues brothers’ song for the entrance.
The Japanese fans loved the Blitz Brothers.
The Japanese fans loved it. I went ahead together with Peter Wood, my friend. And we stood there with our arms crossed in the ring, wearing dark sunglasses. We stood 30cm from the face of mark Hunt, the opponent. The act worked; the place went frenetic. It was a historical moment, and Mark Hunt was not intimidated. Instead, he laughed, and it was difficult not to burst into tears.
Errol Zimmerman; “The Bonecrusher.”
Zimmerman was another example of taking the existing nickname we gave him. He broke some bones from opponents we built into a circus. I remember ordering a skeleton outfit with a skull mask which had to be tailor-made for him. When I went through customs in Japan, they asked me to open the suitcase and find the skeleton suit and mask.
They thought I was some creep out of a horror movie or a bank robber. Problems started with the customs officer. We could go through when we were recognized and all was good.
Children became instant fans of Errol Zimmerman.
Zimmerman’s entrance song was called bone crusher, “I am never scared.” Which he always used, but now he entered the 20.000-seat arena with a skeleton suit and a skull mask. It was epic, and it was hard to get to the ring. The security had a full-time job. Errol did not care. He was one of those rare fighters who would not be distracted. The Bonecrusher could joke around one till 30 seconds before a fight started.
After the first time he used the outfit, the fans were thrilled upon his return to Japan for his second performance with his new company. We could see small children in the audience and on the streets wearing Errol bone crusher suites!! Mission accomplished.
Zimmerman fought one of the most exciting fights in K-1’s history.
Talking about Errol Zimmerman, his qualification winning the k-1 GP qualification in Amsterdam, Holland was one of the most historical exciting moments in K-1’s existence. The brawl between Errol and Bjorn Breggy, an old fashion Mike’s Gym vs. Golden Glory. This fight became a rocky movie in the second and third rounds. The event was before Errol started to wear his skeleton suit. This fight is a must-watch.
Heath “The Texas Crazy Horse” Herring
Another fighter who got a 180% make-over was Heath Herring. He was a wrestler, bold, and carried too many pounds. This image was in the period when Heath came to Aruba and fought in the World Vale Tudo Championship 8 and 9. After that, Cor Hemmers started to train him, and again we created a new image for the young fighter from Texas. He turned into “The Texas Crazy Horse” after his fight with Thom Ericson.
Heat Hearing vs. Tom Erickson in Pride FC was pure violence.
An out-bust of pure violence ended Erickson’s aspirations in Pride FC. He was horse kicked by Heath. Indeed, we took the nickname further, so the team and Heath turned into cowboys from Texas. Long leather jackets, clothes, and black cowboy hats for all coaches. We would walk towards the ring with speakers blasting the song “Rodeo” from Garth Brooks, unforgettable.
Of course, we needed nicknames as well. Cor Hemmers I named the Obi1. This nickname came from the Star Wars franchise. Obi-wan Kenobi was the teacher in the films (teacher of Luke Skywalker). And there was no better nickname for Cor. Some Japanese friends even opened a bar after Cor was named Obi1! Golden Glory is a historically well know team in Japan.
We had t-shirts specially made for Cor alone. My nickname is “Mr. Bond,” “Nostrabonus,” and genius; Mr. Issi gave me that name from K-1.
Other Golden Glory fighters had cool nicknames as well:
Nicky “The Natural” Holzken, Robin “Poker face” van Roosmalen, Gokhan “The Rebel” Saki, Semmy “Hightower” Schilt, Ramon “The Diamond” Dekkers. In Thailand Ramon, they gave Ramon the name “The Turbine from Hell.” And Alistair “The Demolition Man” Overeem going to the ring with a white working helmet and a colossal sledgehammer.
The list goes on! Within Golden Glory, another name came about for the team retreats, “The Evil Mickey Mouse Club” there were unique talents and rules required to enter this department. This club was for celebrations and all fun after victories!
Historical moments in human history, nicknames everywhere.
In my upcoming book, you can read about the inside look at the evil mickey mouse club and traveling behind-the-scenes stories.
Famous Nicknames in the music business: Elvis “The King” and Frank “Chairman of the Board” Sinatra, Philthy Animal-Motorhead
Son of Movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger-Patrick Schwarzenegger. My mother’s nickname for me is “Positive Patrick. “I like to live up to that tile.
UFC star Conor “The Notorious “McGregor.
Then there is the historical master brander in chief:
Here are a few: “Crooked Hillary,” Elisabeth, “Pocahontas,” Warren, “Crazy Joe Biden,” Low Energy Jeb,” “Wild Bill,” “Lying Ted,” “Al Frankenstein.” “That Dog,” “Animal Assad,” “CNN Fake News,” CNN Very Fake News.” He liked the idea of “Stable Genius” for himself (if it comes to nicknames, we can’t argue with that)!
Trump himself received the nickname” Orange Man Bad,” Orangutans, and the usual Nazi, Trump, he’s “Hitler” names.
I even nicknamed my girlfriend; she was the “lucky “receiver of the nickname “The Wurm” because she could eat anything and never gain weight. Fifteen years later, some people still call her The Wurm. She even used the nickname herself on several occasions!
Bas Boon: Yes, I know. I heard it many times, not Bond but Bas Baboon and Bas Buffoon!
Golden Glory owner Bas Boon, GSI, bought its Showtime.
© Bas Boon www.basboon.com