Religion distracted Pacquiao, says MMA legend

Posted at 01/02/2013 9:28 PM | Updated as of 01/03/2013 11:22 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Bas Rutten believes Manny Pacquiao's Bible activities have led to his knockout defeat to Juan Manuel Marquez.

Rutten, one of the most feared strikers in the 1990s, said Pacquiao could not have suffered the shock defeat if it wasn’t for the distraction caused by his activities outside the ring.

“Pacquiao, you know, he became a ‘God person,’ he started coming more to that side,” the Dutch fighter said in an interview with ES News. “I think as a fighter… it interferes to what you're doing.”

Rutten said that prior to the fight, he thought that Pacquiao will beat Marquez again.

The two boxers already had three close bouts in the past with the first ending in a draw and the next two ending in Pacquiao’s favor.

However, the opposite happened as Marquez took advantage of Pacquiao’s misstep and knocked the Filipino boxer out in the sixth round.

Rutten is no stranger to the fight game. He was a UFC heavyweight champion, a three-time King of Pancrase world champion, and finished his career on a 22-fight unbeaten streak.

He retired in 2006 with 28 wins, four losses and one draw.

“In my heart, I thought that Pacquiao couldn't have lost,” said Rutten.

But Rutten said Pacquiao’s faith still has its upside.

“It doesn't matter because God is always there,” he said.