I recently asked Scott Bessac aka Gunthug1 to describe some of the brutal Jump Ins that occurred at The Lion’s Den after he mentioned the tapes would never be released. After that he asked me if I had any other questions and I suggested he start a post and he asked me to start it. He was there at the beginning and is a no nonsense dude who will tell it how it was without pulling any punches. Here below is the post on another thread that started this. So ask him anything in this thread. Thanks Scott for opening up your chapter in mma/nhb history.
My question to start - how did you get involved in the Lion’s Den and who was the toughest guy that you encountered in your years of nhb? Describe what made them so tough.
We don’t get much interaction these days from OGs of mma, so enjoy this one.
Also mods, get this guy his green name or whatever it is now!
I can tell you about a few
Frank had just got out of folsom prison and Bob brought him right to the Den. I asked Ken if I could jump him in he said he wanted to do it so Frank feared him. Then for the next 30mins Ken basically committed attempted murder on Frank. Knocked him out hit him with knees to the face that were beyond brutal and submitted him over and over. It wasn’t til about 15mins in that us guys watching realized nobody had told Frank he could tap so 1of us yelled to him about tapping. It was brutal and Ken got his point across. Frank made it and became a young boy. Vernon jumped guy in that was a war. Vernon submitted guy alot but standing it was brutal guy made it both were beat up. I Don’t remember anybody I jumped in that made it they usually had to be taken to Lodi memorial hospital. But that’s because Ken would let me jump in the big mouth,I’ve had 300 street fights,if I kill you your fam can’t sue me guys. Or Hickson Gracie chief instructor who wanted to be in Pancrase but not train at the den,forgot his name. After Ken and him had a meeting in Ken’s office Ken called me back there and said what he said and said Scotty fuck him up. In the first 10secs I hit him with a overhand right that when it landed sounded like a gunshot in the warehouse he was out fell into the corner of the Thai ring I ran up started kneeing him in the face while he was still out everybody jumped in to pull me off him when they finally did inside karate was there writing a story about us,I threw my mouth piece at the writer dude and Jason got me to come outside with him so he could calm me down. But back in thòse days if you were disrespectful or condescending to the Den you were gonna get seriously fucked up. I was the only lion’s den fighter that had no martial arts experience of any kind nor was I a wrestler the only time in the real world I had been on the ground with a guy was when I was pistol whipping him. So for me it wasn’t a sport or entertainment it was being given free reign to inflict as much damage on another man as possible. Jason jump in jeff masalgia who was a ex airborne ranger. Great fight til Jason dropped him and when he got up I told him to come over to me. He had a blown pupil I told Ken Ken asked do you still want to fight Jeff said yes Ken said your in now take him to the hospital. Vernon jumped in Zane Fraiser after he had been in at least 2 UFC’s. Lasted like 3mins Zane quit. Vernon also jumped Roland Payne in after he was in ufc3 lasted about 3mins. Dozens and dozens more and hundreds of challenge fights which all ended bloody and viciously. If it happened nowadays with all the cellphone with cameras we would have all done serious prison time. Lion’s Den was a very unique dojo because some fighters were sportsmen,some competitive in the ufc and Pancrase but didn’t want to really mame or kill a guy. And then a couple of us that in things we did before curb stomping some dope boy was a normal thing. It for me was perfect. I remember one time Ken and I were lifting out of the blue he sez. You know Scotty we have the greatest job ever we get paid alot of money to fuck guys up and not get locked up for it. I said with a smile I know what a great life we have. Like I tell all the interviewers and book writers. Just ask me a question and I’ll answer it. I don’t bullshit if it happened I’ll tell you and it didn’t the same no matter what the question cuz I give 2 fucks about whether anybody thinks I’m wrong or not. I am an APEX PREDATOR. A Lion never loses sleep over the opinions of sheep. And thanks for all your support for the Lion’s Den over the years it’s much appreciated.