"Fyeet was making his RINGS debut and he's the most colorful fighter this organization has brought over in years. He's a kickboxer from Holland, who looks, if you can imagine this, like a cross between Sweet Daddy Siki with the bleached hair, and the late Lonnie Mayne or Dick Brower because of the crazy eyes. He has great charisma and good hand speed and packs a very strong punch. However, he's still very inexperienced on the ground and you can't consistently win at this game lacking ground skill. Since he's only 23, he has potential and quite frankly, he has a natural charisma as he connected with the crowd like only the top level pro wrestlers, and look to, where if someone would get a hold of him, he probably would be more successful at traditional pro wrestling than anything, although he'd have to add some mass to his 206 pound frame, but he's got the height and frame to where he could do that pretty easily."
The Berserker: A very aggressive fighter, referees had to throw him off his opponents to make him stop.
Death Glare: He usually circles and gets in his opponent's face with one during match introductions.
Delinquent Hair: Shaves part of his head, leaving some hair at the back of his head, then dyes it in the shape of a skull.
Early Installment Weirdness: In his first 2 fights in RINGS Holland, he actually waits in his corner during match introductions and even fist bumps with his opponents before the fights begin. He always was The Berserker though, with his dyed blond goatee.
Establishing Character Moment: It was his fight against Jerrel Venetiaan at RINGS Holland: The Kings of the Magic Ring show is where he displayed his Ax-Crazy mannerisms and the skull at the back of his head.
Fake Ultimate Villain: Looked like he was Ax-Crazy, was incredibly imposing as he would stare down his opponents and walk around them like he was a predator stalking his prey during match introductions, was a good enough striker that few people were willing to trade strikes with him and was billed in Japan as Holland's secret weapon. Then he lost to a debuting Alistair Overeem and got submitted by Andrei Kopylov in 8 seconds which destroyed that image.
Foil: Was comparable to Dick Vrij, both were hard hitting Dutch kickboxers, were intimidating presences in the ring, but were later exposed as not being at good as hyped up to be and lacked grappling talent. While Vrij was a Big, Strong, Chiseled, Stoic, white Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy, who looked like a Terminator, Fyeet was an Ax-Crazy, Berserking, Lean and Mean, Scary Black Man, who acted like a predator with his prey. Even their nicknames contrast each other, Vrij was the "Cyborg" and Fyeet was "The Animal".
Was also one to Gilbert Yvel as they both have backgrounds in Karate and Muay Thai, had very aggressive and wild fighting styles, were Dutch Scary Black Men, and both even trained under Bert Kops Jr for grappling (not that they really gained anything out of that). The differences between them are Fyeets lack of success in MMA compared to Yvels, Fyeets Delinquent Hair versus Yvels Bald of Evil, and in their behaviors; Fyeet was called "The Animal" as he like to intimate his opponents by acting like predator stalking his prey before the fight starts, while Yvel was called "The Hurricane" as he didnt try to intimate his opponents because he didnt care if they were or not, he just wanted to kick their heads in.
Go for the Eye: Tried to eye gouge Tyrone Roberts in the first round of the 1999 King of Kings tournament.
I Know Karate: Started at the age of six then switched to Kickboxing and Muay Thai at age 17 at places like Matuari Gym, Golden Glory and Mike's Gym. He also trained for grappling at Sportcentrum KOPS, though he didn't get much out of it.
Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Ramon Dekkers. Kaman was at ringside during many of Dekkers' matches, including his farewell fight. They often trained together and became good friends. Dekkers and Kaman were dubbed by fight fans in Thailand as "The Double Dutch Duo".
Red Baron: "The Dutchman", "Hammerkick", "Mr Low Kick", "Kikku no Teiō" ("Kick Emperor").
Worthy Opponent: He considered all the Thai fighters he faced to be his toughest opponents, Ernest Hoost was the smartest, and Peter Smit was the craziest. He also thinks this of Rick Roufous, when fighting under ISKA rules.
Joop van Kasteel
"Kasteel, who looks like a huge bodybuilder, outweighed Tamura by 77 pounds, 266 to 189. Even more than the Hans Nyman and Bitzsade Tariel matches, the size difference looked huge because Kasteel is a bodybuilder while the other two are simply big fat guys fighting a very small but muscular foe."
Extremity Extremist: Was a kicking specialist, though he did have other tools, he just prefers to kick.
I Know Karate: A multiple time Dutch Kyokushin national champion, two time European Champion and was also a Kickboxing champion. He also trained in boxing and freestyle wrestling and later in his career put in serious effort to learning Judo and sambo.
Red Baron: "Mr Legs", "The Bulldog from Amsterdam", "Oranda Gundan no Ura Banchō" ("The Hidden Boss of the Dutch Corps").
Ur-Example: He was the first person in showing the downward roundhouse kick which would later be popularized as "the Brazilian Kick" by Glaube Feitosa. Nijman called it "Nijman Geri" and used it as a double feint, though once actually injured Mitsuya Nagai with it.
The Apprentice: To Chris Dolman, Lucien Carbin, Peter Hoopman, Greg Jackson, Mike Winkeljohn, Dave Jonkers, Cor Hemmers, Martin de Jong, Randy Couture, Ron Frazier, Neil Melanson, Roberto Flamingo , Robert Follis, and Dennis Davis.
Drop the Hammer: Liked carrying around a big wooden hammer in his PRIDE days.
Fan Nickname: "The Reem", "Ubereem" to signify the ridiculously muscled physique that he developed after moving up to the heavyweight weight class.
Future Badass: He would amass a 12 wins streak after his tenure in RINGS and would become one of the most known UFC powerhouses.
Glass Cannon: While not as bad as his brother, Alistair is an incredibly large and incredibly buff looking man with some of the most brutal striking in the sport and a very good grappling game all of which is offset by poor stamina, defense, and a very glassy chin.
Signature Move: Left knee to midsection, left body kick, and the guillotine choke.
Tag Along Kid: He was in RINGS basically for being Valentijn's little brother.
Tempting Fate: Alistair showed no respect to "Bigfoot" Silva in the weeks leading up to or during their fight. During the fight, he repeatedly dropped his hands, chin up, without regard for Silva's striking. He ended up on the receiving end of a shocking TKO in the third round after arguably winning the previous two.
The Unfettered: While not as dirty as his fellow countrymen, he does have some cheating to his name, especially in K-1 fights and fans have criticized his constant use of throws in those fights.
Ur-Example: The only fighter to simultaneously hold three championship belts from Strikeforce, K-1 and Dream. He also is the first of only two fighters to win a world championship in MMA and Kickboxing.
"Overeem would have been considered a safe opponent for Tamura in a shoot, but nobody understood just how much he's improved and how dangerous he is. It was one of those fights where you see a guy go into the ring thinking he can't lose, and all of a sudden he's getting his ass kicked royally."
— Dave Meltzer, on the Overeem vs Tamura title fight.
Anybody who steps in a ring or cage has balls, fans should understand we are all human beings and we can have personal problems, family issues, injuries and other problems which could cause the biggest talents in the world to fail. We are all human and from flesh and blood, I love [the] fans who stayed fans of me [even through the] bad times, those are the real fans. I love everybody who supports the fight game.
— Valentijn Overeem
Alternate Company Equivalent: Arguably to Pancrase's Jason DeLucia. They were both gaijins of low level but very dangerous themselves, who got some big wins in their records, and who later were criticized for their training politics.
The Apprentice: To Chris Dolman, Jan Plas, Dave Jonkers, Cor Hemmers, and Martin De Jong.
Brilliant, but Lazy: According to his brother Alistair, Valentijn did not have much focus on training, focusing more in paychecks and such.
Fan Nickname: "Oldereem" because he is Alistair's older brother.
Glass Cannon: Extreme example. A solid kickboxer and sambist, he definitely knew how to strike and submit, but his main disadvantages were his laughably weak defense in both fields and his inability to keep his heart up if he found a strong resistance.
Leotard of Power: Initially fought in black pants, but he switched to a wrestling double singlet.
Let's Get Dangerous!: His irregular record and his defeats in legit shoots to native midcarders like Sakata and Kanehara might cloud his aura, but this guy curbstomped Kiyoshi Tamura in his MMA debut and also submitted cleanly Randy Couture and Renato Sobral in their primes.
"The winner of the eight man tournament in Holland, Dutchman Willy Peeters loved the island and loved fighting and he did not think twice when he got the offer to fight in Aruba. Unfortunately the referee stopped the fight because of a cut but Willy did not want to give up and was very disappointed with the decision (great fighting spirit from Peeters)."
— Bas Boon, creator of Cage Fighting Championships, World Vale Tudo Championships and Golden Glory gym, about Peeters in WVC 8: World Vale Tudo Championship 8.
The Apprentice: To Chris Dolman in Kyokushin Karate and along with Willem Ruska and Willy Wilhelm; Judo, Jan Lomulder and Fred Royers in Kickboxing and Freddy Winters in amateur wrestling.
Bratty Half-Pint: Won several juvenile wrestling and karate championships in Holland and had a nasty temper to boot.
Combat Pragmatist: Though not as much as Bob Schrijber and Gilbert Yvel, Willie was a rather dirty fighter. Most of his misdeeds took place in his feud with Sakata, especially in their fight in RINGS Holland, where he broke every rule imaginable and only got away from DQ thanks to home referees.
Combat Referee: Doubled as a referee at RINGS Holland events and after retiring from fighting became one full-time.
Revenge Before Reason: In their second fight, Wataru Sakata broke late a toehold after Peeters had grabbed the ropes, causing him a leg injury which almost had the match stopped. Peeters's answer when the fight was restarted was rocking Sakata with a close-fisted punch and nonchalantly endure the red card he gained.
Heroic BSoD: Left RINGS after losing to Wataru Sakata in a shoot, considering himself unworthy of the promotion.
I Coulda Been a Contender!: He was supposedly a very promising rookie in the RINGS dojo, so much that Akira Maeda personally praised him to no end and Masakatsu Funaki wanted to recruit him for Pancrase, but he never lived up to the potential and barely had a MMA career before retiring.
The Apprentice: To Thom Harinck and later Peter Aerts who was also his cornerman.
Bullying a Dragon: In a Muay Thai bout against Bas Rutten in Holland, the match got so heated that Rooze bit Rutten through his ear a la Mike Tyson. Inconvenienced with the foul, Bas gave him a knee strike in the groin. (At that point, unsurprisingly, the fight was stopped and a brawl broke up).
Combat Pragmatist: He is also famous for his way of fighting the limits of the rules and for any fouls and misconduct.
"Bob Schrijber has all sorts of unflattering nicknames, but the most revealing is Dirty Bob. Hardly known to American audiences, Schrijber's fighting career spans nearly fifteen years and has taken him all over the world. A man who considers the rules in MMA bouts too restrictive, Schrijer is as notorious for his behavior outside the ring as he is for his behavior inside it. An admitted partier who spent his youth carousing and brawling, Schrijber and his fighting wife Irma have reputations for being two of the biggest hard asses in MMA. Looking more like a pitbull than a human, Schrijber thinks nothing of resorting to dirty tactics in the ring, be it holding ropes, headbutting, or kicking a man while he's down."
— Schrijber's profile in the book; Mixed Martial Arts' Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Crazy Combat, Great Grappling, and Sick Submissions, Chapter 6 - Downright Dirty: Fighters Who Cheat.
"Free Fight? Thats pussy stuff. Cage fights are where its at. No rules only, of course."
— Bob Schrijber
The Alcoholic: Abused alcohol at a young age, he quit for a while when he started martial arts, but he now enjoys a beer whenever he gets the chance.
Dark and Troubled Past: When he was young his parents divorced which separated him from his brother Fred whom he was close to and he also smoked, abused drugs and alcohol at a young age and once went to prison for stabbing someone.
Drugs Are Bad: Abused them at a young age, when he started training in martial arts and noticed he was in poor physical shape compared to his peers and went cold turkey.
Expy: Seems like one to Gerard Gordeau. Till he put on some pounds at least.
Hidden Depths: Has an interest in Punk Rock music and was even a band with his brother called Jesus and the Gospelfuckers, with Bob as a guitarist.
I Know Karate: Began training in this along with Judo. He later learned Muay Thai a year later and even went to train with Rob Kaman at the Mejiro Gym.
Lean and Mean: At first. He slowly gained more weight over the years.
The Napoleon: In one instance, before his fight with Semmy Schilt, he set up a mini ladder in the center of the ring so he could look down on Semmy during the introductions.
"Witness Gilbert Yvel. Yvel, who in his last fight defeated Kiyoshi Tamura, giving Tamura his worst beating of his career enroute to winning the RINGS world heavyweight championship (a title which started out as a pro wrestling version of the world title and now is actually defended in shoot matches) looked to be one of the most exciting fighters to watch due to his great kickboxing skill. In RINGS, if a fighter is taken down, if the action slows on the ground, the referee orders a stand-up. Yvel was taken down repeatedly in everyone of his major wins in RINGS, but his repeated stand-ups allowed him to eventually connect on strikes and put the hurting on his foes."
— Dave Melter
"It is my life. Ive been fighting on the streets and in school since I was 10, 11everywhere. At one point I jumped in the gym and made it my jobit is my life. Wherever I go, people ask me about fighting, fighting, fighting, fightingtheres never a conversation with me without the questions, Who are you fighting? When are you fighting? Mixed martial arts is my life."
Combat Pragmatist: Has a pretty nasty temper and a certain disregard from rules, and his history contains niceties like biting, eye gouging and knocking out the referee. However, unlike fellow teammates, Yvel has stated repentance for (most of) those fouls.
Cool Teacher: He plans to be a MMA trainer now that he has retired.
I Know Karate: Was a former European Full Contact Karate Champion. He later trained for Muay Thai at Vos Gym before his RINGS debut. He is also trained in wrestling and sambo at Sportcentrum KOPS and is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Joe Lewis.
"What I teach, is neither Kodokan judo nor Kyokushin Kai karate but instead a mix of one-third karate and Thai boxing, one-third throwing techniques I teach seven different throws and one-third groundwork. That altogether is the full circle of unarmed fighting. That is not arrogant, that is the truth."
Badass Grandpa: Even in his 60s and beyond, he was still considered one of the most dangerous men alive.
Badass Teacher: Was once the coach of the Dutch national Judo team. He has also trained guys like Chris Dolman, Willem Ruska, Hideyuki Ashihara, Takashi Azuma, Jan Plas, Thom Harinck, Otti Roethof, Ernest Hoost, Remy Bonjasky, Branko Cikatic, Peter Aerts, Rob Kaman, Semmy Schilt, Gilbert Yvel, Juan Carlos I of Spain, etc.
Blood Knight: He loved competition, according to the sources, a bit too much. He has been criticized (and liked by other people) for talking with excessive serenity about breaking limbs and beating people down.
Downer Ending: He died on December 17, 2018, he was 85 years old.
The Dreaded: Was known as "The Beast from Amsterdam" for a reason, and his fame was such that people often dropped off from tournaments to avoid facing him.
He Also Did: Was an actor for several Dutch films between 1961 to 1990.
I Know Karate: A 10th dan in Kyokushin Karate with a bit of training in Shotokan. He is also a 10th dan in Hapkido and a 9th dan in Judo. He also has some training in boxing and maybe taekkyon, and trained in bojutsu, iaijutsu and Kendo with Tokyo police instructors Takaji Shimizu and Ichitaro Kuroda.
Mighty Whitey: Was considered by some to be Masutatsu Oyama's best student.
French Jerk: Was born in France but later changed his nationality to Dutch in 1999.
Hidden Depths: In the sixties he was a singer in a famous French group called "Les Charlots". He was just fourteen when he had his first Rock and Roll hit on the famous Sidney Bechet label called "Disques Vogue".
The Mentor: Was a manager to many Dutch fighters like Perry Ubeda, Bas Rutten, Rob Kaman, Ramon Dekkers, Andre Masseurs, Andre Mannaart, Luc Verhey, Brian Pieters, Rayden Simson, Semmy Schilt, Cheik Kongo, Marc Emmanuel, etc. He also worked with the French fighters like Daniel Quoniam, Orlando Wiet, .
Non-Action Guy: Was a manager and not a fighter, though he does have training.
Cool Teacher: Roberto is one of the Blackzilians striking coaches and has trained fighters such as Rashad Evans, Tyrone Spong, Eddy Alvarez, Thiago Silva, James Mc Sweeneys, Gilbert Yvel and Alistair Overeem among others.
Badass Teacher: Founded the Chakuriki Gym and has trained many fighters like Peter Aerts, Branko Cikatić, Lloyd van Dams, Hesdy Gerges, Badr Hari, Jérôme Le Banner, Melvin Manhoef, Anderson "Braddock" Silva, Sergei Lascenko, etc.
I Know Karate: A 6th dan black belt in Kyokushin, he also has a brown belt in Judo and Japanese jujutsu, and is a 7th dan black belt in kenpo. He also trained in amateur wrestling, boxing, early Japanese Kickboxing, savate, and of course Muay Thai.
Start My Own: Originally he taught a marital art he called "Chakuriki" which was based on Kyokushin Karate, boxing, Judo, jujutsu and wrestling. He also founded the NKBB (Dutch Kickboxing Association) in 1976, the MTBN (Dutch Muay Thai Association) in 1983, the WMTA (World Muay Thai Association) and the EMTA (European Muay Thai Association) in 1984.
Ur-Example: Is the first foreigner to receive the rank of the grand master in Muay Thai and one of the fathers of Kickboxing in The Netherlands alongside Jan Plas.
Start My Own: Co-founded the Free Fight Federation (originally the International Organization Combat Sports) with Charles Dumerniët. He also developed his martial arts ranking system under the name Free Fight, with himself as a 9th Dan.
Beat Them at Their Own Game: Manhoef was knocked out by a single hard punch from Robbie Lawler who was almost unanimously believed to be his inferior at stand-up striking. During DREAM's 2010 Light Heavyweight Grand Prix semifinals, Manhoef would even be knocked down by his opponent Tatsuya Mizuno, slugged multiple times (while his head was trapped by a turnbuckle pad of all things!)... and then submitted.
Cool Teacher: Has his own MMA school, Manhoef Fight & Fitness.
Glass Cannon: Manhoef, a Dutch kickboxer, has truly horrifying punching power. He was the first man to ever knock out Mark Hunt, who was famous for shrugging off career-ending strikes to his presumably granite-filled head. Manhoef delivered the KO◊ while moving backwards. Unfortunately, even though he's fought at the highest levels of Kickboxing and MMA and can put together beautiful offensive combinations, Manhoef's strike defense is quite lacking, and he has been knocked out by mid-level fighters far more often than an elite striker should. More saliently, his grappling skills are pure garbage. For MMA professionals, fighting Manhoef can either end in Melvin decapitating you with a punch, or with him meekly tapping out 15 seconds after the fight hits the mat.
Cool Teacher: Is now a personal trainer, one of the trainers at Karate Team Boelbaai, at Jimmy's Gym in boxing and Kickboxing, and an assistant national coach at the Karate Do Bond Nederland.
I Know Karate: A 3rd dan black belt in Kyokushin, a Dutch national champion and a multiple time runner-up in the European and World championships. He has also trained in boxing, Kickboxing, amateur wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The Apprentice: To his father Wijnand Tapilatu, Chris Dolman, Cor Hemmers and Dave Jonkers.
Badass Family: Is a member of a large and successful Taekwondo family headed by his father Master Wijnand Tapilatu, who was a member of the winning Dutch team that took the 1984 World Taekwondo Championship. His sister Bianca and his cousins Django and Patiparu have also won many ITF titles. Bianca Tapilatu is married to Toma Barada, three times ITF World Champion and six times ITF European champion.
Cool Teacher: Is a personal trainer and a national coach of ITF Netherlands.
I KnowTaekwondo: A 6th Dan black belt, a ITF World Champion in 1990 and 1994, won two European titles, in 1990 and 1992, in 1991 he won a silver medal at the WTF World Championship in Athens and won the King of Taekwondo competition in Tokyo, Japan, in 1995 and 1996. He also trained for Kickboxing and MMA with Chris Dolman and later with the Golden Glory gym.
Office Lady: Has worked the office operations of Sportcentrum Van Asdonck and RINGS Holland, is a secretary at the Free Fight Federation and also works membership administration for Vechtsportcentrum Wout Kist.