K-1 Fighter Profile: Andy Hug
Nickname: Tetsujin (Iron Man)
Date of birth: September 7, 1964
Birth place: Wohlen, Switzerland
Death date: August 24, 2000
Death place: Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan
Height:5 ft 11 in
Weight: 220 lb
Years Active: 26 (1982-2008)
Total fights: 47
Wins by KO: 22
Andy Hug was a Kyokushin Karate fighter from Wohlen, Switzerland. Hug was the first Karate-fighter to win the K-1 World Grand Prix Championship in 1996 and was runner up in 1997 and 1998. Hug was one of the smallest fighters in K-1 when he first started out, but still defeated opponents such as Jerome Le Banner and other who outweighed him with 25 kilosor more quickly made him rise to fame. Hug is widely credited for helping K-1's popularity world-wide.
In Japan he was given the name "Blue-Eyed Samurai", even though he had brown eyes. This had a symbolic meaning and referred to Andy's Swiss heritage and the fact that he was a "gaijin", which is a term foreigners in Japan often are referred to as. He was the only K-1 fighter ever to be rewarded an honorary samurai title by K-1 founder Kazuyoshi Ishii and was widely considered to be the bravest K-1 fighter of all by the Japanese public.
Andy was legendary for his axe kick and scored numerous victories with it against some of the most experienced fighters in the world. The spinning low heel kick, targeting the opponents thigh was another trademark kick. In Japan, it was known as "the Hug Tornado" since no other fighter could perform it with the same perfection as Hug.
Andy defeated Mirko "Cro-Cop" Filipović at K-1 Fight Night, on June 3, 2000, in Zurich, Switzerland. His last fight was against Nobu Hayashi on July 7, 2000. Just a little over a month later, Hug would be dead. On the 24th of August 2000, Andy died unexpectedly as a result of leukemia a few weeks short of his 36th birthday. Due to his kyokushin karate background, Hug's unprecedented popularity in Japan made his passing headline news all over the country. An Hug shrine was shortly arranged in a public place in Tokyo so the Japanese fans had somewhere to pray for Hug and to pay their condolences by offering flowers and other gifts to the fallen fighter.
1996 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion
1991 Kyokushin European Championships 1st Place
1989 4th Ibutsu Cup 1st Place
1985 Kyokushin European Championships 1st Place
1985 2nd Ibutsu Cup 1sr Place
1983 1st Ibutsu Cup 1st place
Best fighter I ever watched perform. I know guys like Buakaw and The Dutchman have better resumes, but Andy was the most beautiful kickboxer I ever watched. R.I.P. Andy Hug...
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