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K-1 Fighter Profile: Ramon Dekkers

Nickname: Diamond
Nationality: Dutch
Date of birth: September 4, 1969
Place of birth: Breda, Netherlands
Fighting out of: Netherlands
Height: 5 ft 8 in
Weight: 160 lb
Style: Muay Thai

Kickboxing Record:

Total fights: 210
Wins: 185
Wins by KO: 98
Losses: 20
Draws: 5

Fighter Bio:

Ramon "The Diamond" Dekkers is a Dutch former professional kickboxer famous for being an eight time Muay Thai and kickboxing world champion. He was the most famous foreign kickboxer in Thailand in the 1990s. He was also the first foreigner to be bestowed the "Muay Thai Fighter of the Year" award.

Ramon Dekkers is a skilled fighter with powerful punches and kicks, and has a tendency to go head-to-head with his opponents, which makes him a favorite with muay thai fight fans.

Ramon Dekkers was born in Breda, North Brabant (a province of the Netherlands).

He began learning martial arts at age 12, studying Judo for a few months. He then started boxing for a year. After that, Dekkers started practicing Muay Thai under Cor Hemmers. He was awarded his first title at age 18, when he won the Dutch National Championship on November 15, 1987.

Ramon got involved in the martial arts around 1986. He visited a gym in Breda where he first witnessed Thai boxing. He started training at the Breda gym. Ramon's future stepdad was the gym's trainer who later became Ramon's coach. Ramon trained for about 3 months – his mother dropped him off every day, brought him to the gym, and picked him up after training. Cor saw that Ramon had the potential to be a good fighter. Ramon was 16 years old. Hemmers had been building a team and had no real fights by that time. Before Ramon's first muay thai fight, Cor discussed it with Ramon and his mother. During Ramon's training, Cor became more and more involved with his mother, and the two eventually married.

In his first fight at 16 years of age, Ramon won in a spectacular KO against a well-established older boxer. Ramon went on to win many more fights by knockout. He only weighed about 55kg, but some opponents said he was much stronger than he looked. As he kept on knocking people out, his name grew in the Muay Thai world as an up-and-comer.

In the beginning of his career Ramon's manager was Clovis Depretz, the manager of legendary Rob Kaman. This explains why Rob Kaman was at ringside during many of Ramon's matches, including his farewell fight. They often trained together and became good friends. He and Ramon were dubbed by many as "The Double Dutch Duo" in Thailand.

Dekkers fought some of the best fighters Thailand had to offer. Sometimes he won, sometimes he lost. His losses were because of different factors. Especially in the beginning it was hard for Dekkers to fight at full Thai rules. The scoring methods were different than he was used to so he lost a lot of point decisions. He also lost because he never refused a fight, even when his opponent had much more experience or was a lot bigger.

Dekkers would fight anyone, any time, even though he was recovering from injuries. And lastly, sometimes the Thai were just better than him. Nevertheless the Thais had and still have great respect for Dekkers' determination and ability.

Some of his biggest wins include: Richard Nam, Gilbert Ballantine, Nangpon, Cherry S. Wanich, Coban Lookchaomaesaitong (twice), Joel Cezar (twice), Sangtenoi "The Deadly Kisser", Joe Prestia, Decharwin, Pralomran, Hassan Kassrioui (twice), Marino de Florin, and Kenichi Ogata.

Some of his notable losses are: Gilbert Ballantine (twice), Jomhod Kiatadisak, Sakmongkol, Coban Lookchaomaesaitong (twice), Sangtienoi, Nangpon, Richard Nam, Orono, Joe Prestia, Chanoy, Rayen Simson, Jerry Morris, Luiz Guilherme "GNOMO", André Mezentsef "GRINGO".

On Sunday, March 18, 2001, Ramon Dekkers fought his farewell fight against Marino de Florin in Rotterdam. The Netherlands' legendary "Golden Glory" team took on the rest of the world.

The fight went the distance with Dekkers clearly controlling the fight, displaying the same style and aggression that had kept him at the top for so long.

After the fight ended in a KO in round 4, Ramon joined the "Golden Glory" team members center stage for a thrilling finale. Rob Kaman came down the rampart, Golden Glory torch in hand, presenting it to Dekkers, who in turn passed it to each team member, as video clips of his victories were shown on the display screens - an unforgettable moment in the history of Dutch Thai Boxing and Kickboxing.

After his retirement Dekkers kept himself busy training his two teams, Team Dekkers and Golden Glory. In 2005 however, Dekkers surprised the fighting world by agreeing upon a contract with K-1. He was, however, to fight under MMA rules against Genki Sudo. Dekkers, who never had fought MMA, and took the fight by a few days notice, lost by heel hook.

However, manager Bas Boon also arranged at least one more standup fight on regular K-1 Rules. Dekkers fought American Duane Ludwig in a superfight during the K-1 Max 2005 event. A few days before the fight Dekkers injured himself, tearing a ligament in his right shoulder. The entire fight he punched only with his left arm, so he could not even setup his famous boxing combinations. Nevertheless Dekkers knocked Ludwig down in every round, and won the fight by decision.

His final retirement was a superfight against Joerie Mes at the K-1 Grand Prix 2006 in the Netherlands event on May 13, 2006. After both fighters suffered knockdown in the second round, it was Mes who earned the decision victory. Immediately after the fight Dekkers took the microphone and announced his final retirement.

Titles Held:

Dutch Title at 18 years of age against Ramkisoen from the Chakuriki Gym on 15-11-1987 in Breda/Holland. He won on KO in the 2nd round
European Title (MTBN) from Richard Nam in France on 27-02-1988 in the Jaap Edenhal in Amsterdam/Holland.
European Title (NKBB) from Morris who was from England on 14th of April 1988 in Eindhoven/ Holland.
World Title (IMTA) from Mungkordum Sitchang, World Title in 59 kg, on 2-12-1989 in Salle Lionel Terray in France. He won by decision.
World Title against Nangpon (IMTF) for the World Muay Thai Championship, 18-02-1990 in the Jaap Edenhal in Amsterdam/Holland 18-02-1990
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