Butterbean doesn’t pull his punches — in any sort of way. Standing at 5 ft.-11 in. and weighing in at 390 lbs., the “King of the 4 Rounders” Eric Esch doesn’t care whether his opponent Pat Smith knows his plan of attack for their match at the inaugural YAMMA pit-fighting event in Atlantic City, N.J., taking place tonight.
“He can find out all he wants to about me,” says the bald behemoth. “I’ve seen some of his early stuff from UFC (Ultimate Fighting Competition). This should be a pretty good fight.”
A battle the former WAA World Heavyweight and IBA World Super-Heavyweight champion says he’ll try to win by knockout instead of submission.
“You can do one of two things: You can use your ground game and make a guy submit, or you can stand up and bang. I like to stand up and bang,” says Butterbean. “A lot of fighters don’t realize that I’ve got a ground game, but I’d rather go for a knockout because I think that’s what the fans like to see.”
The boxer-turned mixed martial artist makes inflicting pain for public amusement his stock in trade as a five-time World Toughman Heavyweight Champion. Other achievements include winning a match against “Hurricane” Peter McNeely, gaining a 6-0-1 MMA record in King of the Cage, Fightfest and Rumble On The Rock, and the now infamous 1999 Brawl For All matchup with Bart Gunn at Wrestlemania XV, in which Butterbean knocked the wrestler out in less than 30 seconds.
Easy wins? Not really. Butterbean says the transition between straight boxing to martial arts has been a difficult one.
“It’s taken me a long time to get where I am in the training. I’ve had to learn a lot of new stuff, like kicks. I’ve worked pretty hard to do that,” he says. You get the sense that while the victories are exciting for Butterbean, the battle is everything.
He’s already looking forward to his next potential opponent, and doing everything he can to stir up interest for it.
“I want to get this match done, so I can fight Kimbo Slice.”